“Allied Forces” (MCA; 1981)
When I was 13, my uncle had a music store in Tulsa, OK and he let me pick out any cassette I wanted — a cassette, mind you. As you may guess, I chose Triumph’s “Allied Forces.” Well, some may argue with my choice but it sparked a love for music that led me to keep that cassette free of nicks and scratches until the CD came out and I guard that closely as well. I primarily picked it because of the radio favorites that you can still hear today on any classic rock station. Listening to Triumph on my MP3 player destroys the memories I had when they released this guitar-flavored favorite, so I try to preserve what I can.
Rik Emmett and Gil Moore share vocal duties on this disc. They each take turns per the tracklist but it’s Emmett who shines on such classics as “Magic Power” and “Say Goodbye.” I’ve heard Triumph called by some as “the poor man’s Rush” but I give credit to both bands equally. I’ve always felt that Triumph had a slight amount of blues stirring in them and the song “Hot Time (In This City Tonight)” confirmed that to be true.
My only complaint is the song “Ordinary Man.” It’s kind of cheesy and long but, at 2:46, the song takes a gallop and keeps your interest for a few more bars. I know that they are a progressive band but this track just drags along. One that may have slipped by you is “Petite Etude” — it has some clean classical guitar picking and it leads into the final track that allows Triumph to close out their fifth disc with an oft-requested favorite.
There is a passionate sound that Triumph tried to translate in their music; I got it, and although some 80s music has been shelved for a while; it calls to those who liked Triumph to at least revisit their mark on history.
The best cuts are “Fool For Your Love,” “Magic Power,” “Fight The Good Fight,” and “Say Goodbye.”
Triumph: Rik Emmett – vocals, guitar; Gil Moore – drums, vocals; Mike Levine – bass, keyboards.