TRIUMPH
Hard Rock • Canada

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Late-'70s/early-'80s hard rock band Triumph endured countless comparisons to Rush throughout their career, and with good reason; they were both quite similar musically and lyrically, comprised of three members each, and hailed from Canada (although it must be said that Rush was the originator, and were much more commercially successful). Formed in Toronto during 1975, the trio consisted of guitarist/singer Rik Emmett, drummer/singer Gil Moore, and bassist/keyboardist Mike Levine, and issued their self-titled debut a year later via the independent Attic label. Although the album was largely ignored, it became a favorite of a radio DJ in San Antonio, TX, which led to a regional following solidified by a tour of the state. The exposure also gave way to a deal with RCA Records, who reissued the debut as well as Triumph's sophomore effort, 1977's Rock & Roll Machine, which spawned the group's first semi-hit single, a cover of Joe read more...
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Triumph - Greatest Hits RemixedTriumph - Greatest Hits Remixed
CD+DVD
TML Entertainment 2017
Audio CD$12.97
$12.96 (used)
Allied ForcesAllied Forces
Remastered
ROUND HILL/TRIUMPH CATALOG 2017
Audio CD$9.97
$9.96 (used)
Just a GameJust a Game
Remastered
ROUND HILL/TRIUMPH CATALOG 2017
Audio CD$6.39
$4.55 (used)
ClassicsClassics
ROUND HILL/TRIUMPH CATALOG 2017
Audio CD$9.97
$3.82 (used)
Never SurrenderNever Surrender
Remastered
ROUND HILL/TRIUMPH CATALOG 2017
Audio CD$8.16
$7.77 (used)
Thunder SevenThunder Seven
Remastered
ROUND HILL/TRIUMPH CATALOG 2017
Audio CD$8.14
$7.99 (used)
In the BeginningIn the Beginning
Remastered
ROUND HILL/TRIUMPH CATALOG 2017
Audio CD$6.86
$6.64 (used)
SurveillanceSurveillance
Remastered
ROUND HILL/TRIUMPH CATALOG 2017
Audio CD$6.70
$3.60 (used)
StagesStages
Remastered
ROUND HILL/TRIUMPH CATALOG 2017
Audio CD$8.33
$4.99 (used)
The Sport of KingsThe Sport of Kings
Remastered
ROUND HILL/TRIUMPH CATALOG 2017
Audio CD$6.20
$6.19 (used)
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EX/EX- !! Triumph/Stages/1980 MCA Double Live LP EX/EX- !! Triumph/Stages/1980 MCA Double Live LP USD $13.28 Buy It Now 1 day
EX/EX- !! Triumph/Allied Forces/1981 MCA Records LP EX/EX- !! Triumph/Allied Forces/1981 MCA Records LP USD $13.28 Buy It Now 1 day
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TRIUMPH Discography

TRIUMPH albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 3.50 | 4 ratings
Triumph
Hard Rock 1976
.. Album Cover 4.48 | 4 ratings
Rock & Roll Machine
Hard Rock 1977
.. Album Cover 4.25 | 2 ratings
Just a Game
Hard Rock 1979
.. Album Cover 4.22 | 3 ratings
Progressions of Power
Hard Rock 1980
.. Album Cover 4.95 | 2 ratings
Allied Forces
Hard Rock 1981
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
Never Surrender
Hard Rock 1982
.. Album Cover 4.02 | 2 ratings
Thunder Seven
Hard Rock 1984
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Sport of Kings
Hard Rock 1986
.. Album Cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Surveillance
Hard Rock 1987
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Edge Of Excess
Hard Rock 1992

TRIUMPH EPs & splits

TRIUMPH live albums

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Stages
Hard Rock 1985
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
King Biscuit Flower Hour: Triumph
Hard Rock 1996
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live at the US Festival
Hard Rock 2003

TRIUMPH demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

TRIUMPH re-issues & compilations

.. Album Cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
Classics
Hard Rock 1989
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Livin' for the Weekend
Hard Rock 2005
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Extended Versions
Hard Rock 2006
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Greatest Hits Remixed
Hard Rock 2010

TRIUMPH singles (0)

TRIUMPH movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Live At The US Festival
Hard Rock 2003
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
A Night Of Triumph Live
Hard Rock 2004

TRIUMPH Reviews

TRIUMPH Just a Game

Album · 1979 · Hard Rock
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
siLLy puPPy
The Canadian power trio TRIUMPH had been on an upward trajectory of gaining popularity in their home country and with their second album “Rock & Roll Machine” finding a global market, their reputation as a hard rock and heavy metal band was growing by the day which included a small crossover from prog fans who were hoping that they would delve more into those arenas. However on their third album JUST A GAME, the comparisons to Rush had finally taken their toll so TRIUMPH streamlined their sound more into the hard rock camp but also found their niche with those catchy AOR power ballad hooks that found two of their most popular tracks of their career hitting the top 40 worldwide including the Billboard charts. “Lay It On The Line” and “Hold On” showcased Rik Emmett’s high pitched vocals while the more heavier tracks focused on hard bluesy rock which were primarily written by drummer Gil Moore.

As a result of the world of popular music ditching prog oriented music in favor of punk and heavy rock in the latter part of the 70s, TRIUMPH jettisoned the ambitious longer tracks presented on their first two albums and created a more cohesive albeit less exciting collection of nine tracks. JUST A GAME as well played as it is, sounds very much in tune with the mainstream hard rock of the era with not only the Styx and Journey sounding AOR tracks but with the bluesy rockers such as “American Girls” that remind me a lot of 38 Special and other Southern-tinged hard rock of the late 70s / early 80s turnover. Musically TRIUMPH basically sold out as JUST A GAME doesn’t even feature any outstanding virtuosity of Emmett’s guitar skills as heard on the previous albums however as a standard commercial sounding hard rock album of the era, all tracks are catchy and pleasurable to listen to as they are well performed, well produced and take the final step in finding their unique sound that jettisons many of the characteristics of fellow Ontario mates Rush.

While JUST A GAME may not be the most sophisticated album musically, the album cover is absolutely brilliant with the original LP vinyl version that folded out to display a giant board game that could actually be played although bassist Mike Levine convinced the band that it should be impossible to win and so it was! The futuristic looking front cover also contains a symbol that depicts every song on the album, so apparently they weren’t quite ready to let go of the all the prog urges which becomes even more apparent by the short classical guitar number “Fantasy Serenade” that sounds a bit out of place actually. When all is said and done, JUST A GAME is a competent album that plays it all too safe. While commercially it was the right thing to do, it seems a little too tame in comparison to the albums that surround it. While the singles are some of the strongest TRIUMPH had to offer, the rest of the album seems a little mediocre in terms of quality. Pleasant album but not outstanding either.

TRIUMPH Rock & Roll Machine

Album · 1977 · Hard Rock
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
siLLy puPPy
TRIUMPH, the Canadian power trio of Rik Emmett (vocals, guitar), Gil Moore (drums) and Michael Levine (bass, keyboards) followed up their debut just a year later with their second release ROCK & ROLL MACHINE which at first was released only in Canada but due to increasing popularity they scored an international recording contract with RCA and then soon after MCA Records. Unfortunately the album was released with one album cover and track listing for the Canadian release and another for a global market with even a few tracks donning completely different titles. Obviously this has led to a ridiculous amount of confusion over the years as one version even went as far as mixing several tracks from both the debut and this album under the title ROCK & ROLL MACHINE. Thankfully this marketing faux pas has been corrected with the newer remastered albums at last donning the original superior album cover with the band’s profile in the space sphere as opposed to the cheesy neon lit guitar and sparkles under the band’s logo.

While no sophomore slump haunted the band, comparisons to Rush certainly did however ROCK & ROLL MACHINE successfully sounds like a foray into their own world of bluesy hard rock with more idiosyncratic heavy riffing which would become the trademark sound of Gil Moore’s songwriting contributions . Also debuting is the classic AOR ballad sound that would showcase Emmett’s powerful vocal style on “Bringing It Home” and “New York City Streets - Part 1,” a style that would yield them their biggest hits in the future. As with the debut, TRIUMPH also continued their dabbling into the progressive rock world as heard on the ambitious fusion frenzy of “City: War March / El Duende Agonizante / Minstrel’s Lament” which would hijack a sampling from Gustav Holst’s “The Planets” as well as display a superb Spanish classical guitar workout by Emmett. The beginning thunderous march actually brings Rush’s progressive works to mind (think “La Villa Strangiato”) as well as showcasing a percussive rhythm workout that would find a home on Dream Theater’s “Images And Words” album a decade and a half down the road. Worth mentioning is the second part of “New York City” with its jazzy guitar segments and genre shifting restlessness.

Also of extreme importance is the fantastic title track finale which jumps back into the hard rock arena and pumps out the heaviest track on the album with one of the best heavy rock guitar solos the 70s had to offer displaying Emmett as not only a gifted vocalist but a bona fide virtuoso guitarist of the first degree. This track would remain a staple of live performances and remains one of the most memorable tracks of TRIUMPH’s entire career. The only track that is a misstep to my ears is the ill-placed Joe Walsh cover “Rocky Mountain Way.” While i absolutely adore the original and Walsh’s music in general, there is something just so wrong when it’s performed without his distinct vocals at the helm. TRIUMPH does a veritable job but it really seems like a fish out of water on this release. The only other gripe i have is that the beginning heavy guitar riff on “New York City Streets - Part 2” sounds too much like Edgar Winter’s “Frankenstein.” Other than these quibbles, TRIUMPH produced one of their best albums of the 70s. ROCK & ROLL MACHINE is an excellent collection of hard rock, power pop and prog related treats and not a bad place to check out what made them stand out. Be sure to track down the album with the original listing as it is the superior format as well as the intended one.

TRIUMPH Triumph

Album · 1976 · Hard Rock
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
siLLy puPPy
Personally i think the band TRIUMPH is a tad underrated in the footnotes of history and part of this reason is that they get tagged as a Rush wannabe band and to be honest the comparisons are quite warranted in many ways. First of all, they were a power trio consisting of a bassist and keyboardist (Mike Levine), drummer (Gil Moore) and while in this case it was guitarist who was the lead singer (Rik Emmett) he actually sounded kind of like a less goofy yelping version of Geddy Lee. Not to mention that they also emerged in the Toronto area of Canada about the same time AND to be fair there is very much on their debut album that really does sound like the first Rush album. Originally album number had an eponymous title but was retagged in 1996 as IN THE BEGINNING with an entirely new album cover. The album was pretty much limited to Canada in those days but is now easily available with a recent remastered version emerging.

While the band would grow musically and become both notable for their catchy hard rock bordering on heavy metal melodies as well as for their AOR radio with Rik Emmett’s high pitched vocals creating a distinct mark on the world of hard rock, on IN THE BEGINNING they sound very much like a 70s hard rock band. The album kicks off with a bluesy hard rocker that sounds a bit like a hard Alice Cooper bluesy shuffle with a party all night Kiss attitude. Yeah, the lyrics on this one weren’t too developed at this point and are a little focused on teenage obsessions such as partying all night! Love! Easy living! And of course rock ’n roll. Many of the tracks sound like they could have fit right in on Rush’s debut release and the influence is undeniable and understandably so given time and place however TRIUMPH-isms do exist like Emmett’s signature guitar solos sounding nothing like Alex Lifeson’s and their riffing while similar is still all their own. “Let Me Get Next To You” however is a little too close to early Rush territory for its own good sounding like “Finding My Way.”

“Don’t Take My Life” sounds a bit like “I’m 18” from Alice Cooper and simultaneously a bit like “All Along The Watchtower” by Hendrix showing a couple more influences in the mix. The most interesting track that deviates from the blues and hard rock queue is the near nine minute closer “Blinding Light Show / Moonchild” which sounds completely different from the other tracks. It begins with a hard rock Celtic type of jig but completely shifts gears and becomes a spacey Pink Floyd sounding acoustic arpeggio run and really sounds like something off of “The Wall” a full three years before that album was released! It has a rock chorus but evolves into a beautiful classical guitar sequence that gets quite accomplished thus the type of track that often gets them in progressive rock related territory.

While not completely finding their own distinct sound quite yet, IN THE BEGINNING is a well performed debut that is a pleasure to listen to. Emmett had some of the best vocals in the world of hard rock and AOR and TRIUMPH sort of was a much more sophisticated version of Journey rather than a mere Rush clone at least after the first couple albums. On this one they do sound a lot like early Rush but that’s not a bad thing for me since i happen to love the early Rush albums before they blossomed into prog behemoths. While TRIUMPH albums have traditionally suffered poor production values and neglected due to the fact that despite finding some success never really hit the big time either but the new remastered releases sound excellent like they were made for modern day consumption. Even if 70s hard rock isn’t your thing, i highly recommend the closing track for prog heads however if you do fancy bluesy heavy rock from that era, TRIUMPH’s first album is quite the pleasant listening experience.

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