Currently viewing the tag: "rock"

Triumph – Edge of Excess (Virgin) 1993

Picked this one up used and despite the fact that I had never heard it, thought I’d give it a shot. I mean, how bad could it be right? Well, I was oblivious to the fact that Rick Emmett did not play on this disc. That right there had me a bit skeptical before I even popped the disc into my CD player. To me Emmett gave Triumph their charm and charisma with his rafter rocking vocals and neo-classical guitar work. Drummer Gil Moore and bassist Mike Levine were obviously a big part of the band as well, but Triumph without Emmett is like Aerosmith without Steven Tyler, Led Zeppelin without Jimmy Page. It’s just not the same band. So, while “Edge of Excess” doesn’t really sound like Triumph, it’s also not a bad arena rock album. “Child of the City”, “Black Sheep” and “Trouble Maker” are all actually pretty solid rockers. (“Trouble Maker” was also featured in the Hellraiser III soundtrack.) So, despite missing a vital part of the formula, “Edge of Success” is actually pretty successful.

1. “Child Of The City” (5:04)
2. “Troublemaker” (4:06)
3. “It’s Over” (4:21)
4. “Edge Of Excess” (4:44)
5. “Turn My Back On Love” (4:06)
6. “Ridin High Again” (4:55)
7. “Black Sheep” (5:25)
8. “Boy’s Night Out” (5:19)
9. “Somewhere Tonight” (4:34)
10. “Love In A Minute” (4:45)

Triumph-King Biscuit Flower Hour (In Concert) (King Biscuit) 1996

1. “Tear the Roof Off” (5:01)
2. “American Girls” (4:52)
3. “Lay It on the Line” (4:54)
4. “Allied Forces” (3:48)
5. “Fight the Good Fight” (5:23)
6. “Blinding Light Show/Moonchild” (12:27)
7. “Rock ‘N’ Roll Machine” (9:42)
8. “I Live for the Weekend” (2:19)
9. “Nature’s Child” (4:12)
10. “Drum Solo” (3:44)
11. “Instrumental” (5:09)
12. “Rocky Mountain Way” (5:22)
13. “Hot Time in the City Tonight” (4:31)

Sometimes it takes just one cd to rediscover a band. I use to be a big Triumph fan, but had basically forgotten about them after I sold all my vinyl. Fortunately, some ten years later, I picked up this cd in the used bins for $3.99 and WHAM! Killer band! I need to build up my Triumph collection now. Having seen Triumph in the past, I think King Biscuit’s live disc features an even better track selection than the officially released “Stages”. I particularly enjoyed hearing all the guitar and drum solos once again. It brought back flashbacks of those wonderful laser light shows that Triumph had at their concerts. Great stuff. Like I said, I will be building up this collection, so this page will be growing soon.

Triumph – The Sport of Kings (MCA) 1986

1.  Tears in the Rain (3:54)
2.  Somebody’s Out There (4:05)
3.  What Rules My Heart (3:54)
4.  If Only (4:00)
5.  Hooked on You (3:23)
6.  Take a Stand (4:30)
7.  Just One Night (3:39)
8.  Embrujo [instrumental] (1:29)
9.  Play with the Fire (5:18)
10. Don’t Love Anybody Else but Me (3:55)
11. In the Middle of the Night (4:34)

Considered by many fans  to be the last great Triumph record, others consider it to be one of the band’s worst. “The Sport of Kings” is definitely radio-friendly, especially the surprisingly melodic and catchy “Somebody’s Out There”. With Triumph’s popularity and string of past hits, how did this song not become a hit? “Tears in the Rain” and “What Rules My Heart” are both classic Triumph rockers. I’m also partial to “Play with the Fire”, one of the harder rocking songs on the album. As usual Rik Emmett’s guitar playing is excellent. As on past records, this album’s lone instrumental allows Rik to strutt his stuff. “Embrujo” is a short, dynamic guitar solo with a Spanish influence. “Hooked on You” is a straight forward blues rocker and one of the only songs where Rik Emmett & Gil Moore share lead vocals. “Just One Night” sounds like it could have been a Foreigner ballad. I tend to agree with the majority on “The Sport of Kings” that it was their last great record. While it seems to be slightly more slickly produced than some past albums, it still sounds like classic Triumph to me.

Triumph –  Surveillance (MCA) 1987

1.   Prologue: Into The Forever (1:01)
2.   Never Say Never (3:36)
3.   Headed For Nowhere (6:07)
4.   All The King’s Horses (1:47)
5.   Carry On The Flame (5:14)
6.   Let The Light (Shine On Me) (5:33)
7.   Long Time Gone (5:10)
8.   Rock You Down (3:57)
9.   Prelude: The Waking Dream [instrumental] (1:13)
10. On And On (3:49)
11. All Over Again (3:57)

Triumps’s “Surveillance” is a slickly produced, radio rock album and is a departure from the heavier rock of everything up and through “Allied Forces”. Whereas some band’s benefit from a slick production, I think Triumph were a better band when they had a rawer sound. The band also adds more keyboards to this album as well. However, all that is not to say that “Surveillance” is a bad album. I also preferred the rawer, harder rocking Whitesnake albums to the far more popular and slickly produced mid-80’s albums. The more commercial approach worked well for Whitesnake. It should have worked well for Triumph as well because “Surveillance” is chock full of songs ripe and ready for radio play. “Never Say Never” is almost a power-pop tune with a cool intro in the form of “Prologue: Into the Forever”. Listening to this song I can only imagine how heavy it would have been had the guitars been turned up and the keyboards minimized. Still, a very cool song that could have been a hit. Though I’ve never been a huge fan of ballads, “All Over Again” is a good song and again could easily have been a hit on the level of “Is This Love” and “Honestly”. The song features one of Gil Moore’s best vocal performances. Once again, the approach worked for Whitesnake, but it shall forever be a mystery as to why it didn’t work for Triumph. Rik Emmett lets loose on some smokin’ guitar solos on this album and his vocals are as great as they have ever been. It’s just unfortunate that the rock and roll machine was hidden behind a layer of gloss and keyboards. Still, not a bad record.

Triumph – Thunder Seven (MCA) 1984

1. “Spellbound” (5:12)
2. “Rock Out, Roll On” (5:10)
3. “Cool Down” (4:49)
4. “Follow Your Heart” (3:32)
5. “Time Goes By” (5:57)
6. “Midsummer’s Daydream” [instrumental] (1:40)
7. “Time Canon” [acapella] (1:32)
8. “Killing Time” (4:15)
9. “Stranger in a Strange Land” (5:11)
10. “Little Boy Blues” [instrumental] (3:33)

I saw Triumph on this tour in Philadelphia at the Spectrum. Before that point I was a casual Triumph fan, but after seeing them live, I suddenly just “got it”. Triumph are pure, unadulterated rock and roll. Songs like “Spellbound”, “Follow Your Heart” and “Cool Down” are prime, rockin’ Triumph. Unfortunately by 1984 many of the hard rock bands of the 1970’s were sounding a bit watered down, mostly due to slick production. Surprisingly, “Thunder Seven” rocks as hard as anything they had ever done, even if the album doesn’t have the heavy, raw production of their early material. I’m surprised more of this album didn’t find it’s way to the radio. Most of what is presented here is at least as good as the acclaimed “Allied Forces” album, and better than “Never Surrender”.. The album also featured two instrumentals, showing just how much diversity this band had. Rik Emmett is certainly no slacker on the guitar. “Time Canon” is an acapella number that reminds me of something Yes might have done during the Trevor Rabin years. “Stranger In A Strange Land” is Triumph experimenting with a more blues-inspired sound. All in all, “Thunder Seven” is a prime slab of Canadian hard rock.