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As the fall season kicks off, it’s a busy time for the boys in TRIUMPH. On Friday September 30th, 12pmEST,  Mike Levine will be featured on a special edition of The Big Rock Show with Tina Peek. Listen live at www.outboundmusic.com

And.. if you missed the live broadcast of TRIUMPH’s appearance on Rockline Radio last Wednesday, worry not! The broadcast will be available for 2 weeks on the Rockline website following the show. Check it out while you still can at http://www.rocklineradio.com/.

TRIUMPH will also be featured on three hit television series this fall. Simon Cowell’s XFactor, Battle Of The Blades, and Cover Me Canada, so keep your eyes peeled and your ears open!

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“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.

“Surveillance” (TML / Universal; 1987)

After the disappointment of some fans with 1985’s “The Sport of Kings,” Triumph recorded and released “Surveillance” which, while not a complete return to form, was at least a step in the right direction.

Adding more hard rock crunch in the form of distorted guitars and irresistible riffs, and bolstering the number of rock’n’roll anthems versus radio-friendly ballads, “Surveillance” gave longtime Triumph fans more of what they wanted: music that sounded like the band’s earlier albums.

This re-mastered edition is incredibly crisp  and, although the music never aspires to the glory days of “Allied Forces” or “Never Surrender,” “Surveillance” is still a pretty damn good Triumph CD.

Triumph: Rik Emmett – guitars, vocals; Mike Levine – bass, keyboards; Gil Moore – drums, vocals.

No Compromises for Canadian Rock Group

From The Citizen, 24th August, 1979

Among the many heavy rock bands  performing in Canada, Triumph must surely rank as one of the loudest and most successful. In the four years since it burst onto the scene, the Toronto-based band cultivated a strong following in the United States first before becoming accepted in its native country.

The trio – bass player Mike Levine,  guitarist Rik Emmett and drummer Gil Moore – pack a dynamic visual and musical  package into their shows and Citizen rock critic Bill Provoke called their NAC concert last January “a rock and roll battlefield and victory celebration.”

While their rock and roll hearts may be in the right place, the members of Triumph do not want their group to be pegged as just another heavy metal band pumping out ear-splitting tunes to hungry rock fans.  They are striving for respectability and longevity in a business that is known for devouring their own. “we don’t pretend that we’re setting the world on fire musically” said bassist Mike Levine earlier this week in a n interview, ” nor do  we compromise whatever we play. We merely feel that what we do is some thing  that is valid, justified and good.” “However, we also think that a rock concert  is a place to have fun. We have a good time on stage and we try to communicate  that feeling to the audience.”

Triumph fans will be able to see them  perform tonight beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the Ex Grandstand show. Levine promises the show will be different from their last appearance here. “We will  include songs from out latest album and visually, I think, the show will be more  interesting because we acquired some new special effects and lighting equipment that we haven’t used yet.”

Their booming record sales in Canada can attest to their new-found popularity. Their latest album, titled Just A Game, is reaching platinum status (100,000 copies), while in the United  States, it has passed the 800,000 mark. A single, Hold On is already a  hit in the U.S. and it seems fairly certain it will do just as well here.

The paradox in the Canadian music business is that our bands must  demonstrate their clout south of the border before they can return home and be  acclaimed. Triumph knows that scenario all too well. They cut their musical  teeth as one of many bar bands in Toronto prior to extensively touring in the United States. Two years ago in San Antonio, Texas, one radio station was so  enthusiastic about the band that it promoted a rock show in the San Antonio  Municipal Auditorium which drew thousands of Triumph devotees. “Something like  that would never happen in Canada although the situation is changing slowly”  said Levine. “We’re still not the most played band in Canada by any stretch of the imagination. We tend to get more airplay on U.S. stations.” Levine said obtaining a track record is important in establishing your credentials to  Canadian radio stations. “You have to show them that you’re legitimate before they will support you.”

After the Ottawa concert, Triumph travels  through Northern Ontario for a few dates and returns to the U.S. next month for a series of concerts. They have been and the road since April – with a short break in July – and in November they begin work on another album.

The  rigors of traveling have not taken their toll on the band members. They enjoy touring and Levine summed it up best when he said: “if we stop having fun on  tour, or in our business affairs, of in personal relationships, then I don’t  think Triumph would exist anymore.”