- Oct 5, 2009
- Reaction score
- I live in Buffalo, NY
Triumph Official Website
By the late summer of 1978 I had been to only 3 concerts in my life: Aerosmith w/ AC/DC, Cheap Trick w/ 1994, & of course my first & probably favorite concert of all-time… Kiss. I could not believe the show Kiss put on & I was amazed with all of the flash pods, dry ice, & other pyro that Kiss used in their explosive show. Anyway, one day late that summer I was walking through the mall & as I walked into the record shop I saw Triumph’s ‘Rock & Roll Machine’ record album on display (I can’t find a picture of that particular cover anywhere to show). The cover photo of the trio performing on a stage full of amplifiers, smoke, & flash pods blew me away. I immediately thought of the Kiss show I had seen eight months earlier & soon after I purchased the album. I later found out that the American version of the album was different than the Canadian version. In Canada, Triumph had 2 releases: their S/T debut & ‘Rock & Roll Machine’ while the American version of ‘Rock & Roll Machine’ was a combination of songs from the two Canadian releases. I loved ‘Rock & Roll Machine’ from the first time the needle hit the groove on the opening Kick-*** tune “Takes Time” through the closing rocker title track.
The whole album felt like one big rock & roll party & still does to this date. Songs like “24 Hours a Day”, “The Blinding Light Show”, & “Rock & Roll Machine” all gave the feeling that you are actually at a concert with cigarette lighters blazing in each hand. That December Triumph played at a 3000 seat hall & I was there about 10 rows from the stage. The show was even more explosive than what I imagined. “Blinding Light Show” was a perfect description of the concert.
The Blinding Light Show
Rock And Roll Machine
One year later Triumph released the fantastic ‘Just a Game’ album. ‘Just a Game’ took the band to a new level & direction. The album still had it’s in your face rock & roll with tunes like “American Girls” & “Movin’ On” but it also premiered a new direction which would cause Triumph to be a household name on Classic Rock Radio. Those tunes are “Lay it on the Line”, “Just a Game”, & “Hold On” which all three songs started out with soft guitars & beautiful vocals by guitarist Rik Emmett before kicking in with an almost progressive hard rock feel. Again, I caught Triumph live & this time was just as good if not better than the first time I saw them. Rik Emmett is a fantastic guitarist & the control he has over the crowd with just his guitar work is astounding. The rhythm section of Gil Moore (drums & vocals) & Mike Levine (Bass) screams out Rock & Roll.
Lay It On The Line
Triumph was still going strong in 1980 & 1981 with 2 great rocking albums “Progressions of Power” & “Allied Forces”. Both albums kept the Rock Roll Machine party atmosphere rolling with songs like “I Live For the Weekend”, “Allied Forces”, “Tear the Roof Off”, “Allied Forces”, “Hot Time in the City Tonight”, “Fool For Your Love” & the phenomenal “Natures Child”. Rik showcased some great acoustic skills with “Petite Etude”, “Finger Talking”, & also from (‘Just a Game’) “Fantasy Serenade” & all 3 songs are each under 2 minutes. These 2 albums also added more Classic Rock Radio classics with “I Can Survive”, “Fight the Good Fight”, & “Magic Power”(which also was getting plenty of airplay on the new video channel MTV).
1983 brought us “Never Surrender” which reached number 26 on the Billboard charts. The album was another step in the progressive/hard rock genre for the band. This is album is fantastic all the way through. The opening tune “Too Much Thinking” rocks the house along with the inspirational “All the Way” & “Never Surrender”. “World of Fantasy” is just a fantastic progressive piece of music. My favorite track on the album is “When the Lights go Down” which starts off with a bit of acoustic blues before kicking into a cool bluesy rock classic.
When The Lights Go Down
“Never Surrender” was Triumph at it’s peak but the band did stick around for 3 more decent studio albums: ‘Thunder Seven’ (which featured the fantastic “Spellbound”), ‘Sport of Kings’(featured the MTV hit “Somebody’s Out there”), & ‘Surveillance’. They also released a live album called ‘Stages’ which was a good but not great live record. Rick Santers was added as a second guitarist & keyboardist between ’84 & ’93.
By 1988 Emmett was done with Triumph & embarked in a solo career which has had a few good releases but is nothing compared to his work with Triumph. Mike Levine & Gil Moore added Phil Xenidis (Phil X) (who previously worked with Aldo Nova) to the line up & released ‘Edge of Excess’ in 1993 which I felt was a good album. Just as the album was picking up the record company ‘Victory Records’ dissolved & so did Triumph.
Child Of The City
Triumph reunited in 2008 with Rik, Mike, & Gil at the Sweden Rock Festival & there is a strong vibe that Triumph will do a Canadian only tour in 2010. I would highly recommend those first 2 Canadian releases, Just a Game, Progressions of Power, & Never Surrender
Last edited by a moderator: