“The Sport of Kings” (TML / Universal; 1985)
Often considered one of the most disappointing Triumph records, “The Sport of Kings” was attacked because of its heavy keyboard sound and the band’s shift to a more radio-friendly song style (in the vein of the then uber-popular Foreigner and Journey).
While this newly remastered version of this CD can’t erase all of that 80s cheesiness, “The Sport of Kings” does sound more dynamic today than it did upon its initial release, even if some of the songs are truly dated (and, over 20 years later, why wouldn’t they be?). While songs like “Tears in the Rain” perhaps play better today than in 1985 (due to the exquisite remastering here), the lackluster of other songs — such as “What Rules My Heart” — becomes really apparent.
Not a bad Triumph CD if you’re a fan of 80s rock radio, but quite disappointing if you like Triumph’s harder-edged sound, “The Sport of Kings” at least benefits from the recent re-mastering. It still may not be one of the band’s best CDs, but at least some of the better tunes have been punched up a little.
Triumph: Rik Emmett – guitars, vocals; Mike Levine – bass, keyboards; Gil Moore – drums, vocals.