Artists | Issues | CD Reviews | Interviews | Concert Reviews | DVD/Video Reviews | Book Reviews | Who We Are | Staff | Home
 
Non-Prog CD Reviews

Triumph

Greatest Hits Remixed

Review by Gary Hill

This greatest hits package is cool, but not without flaws. The flaws are sort of a primer for how hits and money can screw up a great band. Triumph started out as an incredible group who had similarities to Rush. They were part progressive rock and part hard rock. They espoused an incredibly positive image in the lyrics and their attitude. And they were original. Then either the lure of more cash or pressure from their record label lead them to move into doing music that was generic. Some of it fit into the realm of 1980’s pop metal, while other songs were closer to AOR. The truth is, while both gained them success, neither suited them well. The real magic was when Triumph was being true to Triumph.

 

This set includes both a CD and a bonus DVD. The hazards of the searching for the hit mentality are shown a bit in the CD, but really comes through in the DVD. The section at the beginning with a series of music videos really shows the contrast from when the band were following their dreams and when they were looking for the pursuit of the dollar. Still, the DVD is a bonus, and a great one at that. It’s just an interesting observation made more clear by those videos. As to the CD, there are some great songs here. There are also weaker ones. Nothing is bad, though. I’d highly recommend this set as a first purchase for those looking to start their Triumph collection. I’d also recommend it to hardcore fans based on that bonus DVD.

 

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Allied Forces

This fires out with a hard rocking, prog-like sound, but moves to a motif that’s pretty much all heavy metal. It’s a good tune, but I think it tries to hard to be “metal!”.

Lay it on the Line
Here’s a track that’s more proggy. It alternates between a mellower, prog-like movement and the harder rocking sounds. References to Rush are valid, but I hear a lot of Uriah Heep in the vocal arrangement, too. It’s a stronger tune than “Allied Forces,” I think, despite the fact that it doesn’t hit you over the head as much.
Follow Your Heart
This cut is very much in an ‘80’s pop metal motif. It’s good, but again, not the quality of music that band is fully capable of doing. 
Magic Power
Now, this is more like it. With its swirling keys and great arrangement, if the bulk of Triumph’s output were like this I’d consider them a progressive rock band. 
I Live For the Weekend
OK, this is a straight ahead rocker with a 1970’s meets harder rocking element to it. It’s fun and cool. 
Hold On
Musically, this one reminds me a lot of “Magic Power.” It’s another great tune that’s pretty much progressive rock. It’s stronger yet than “Magic Power,” I think. It’s a great one and one of the real highlights of the set. 
Just One Night
Wow, this is a generic 1980s rocker. It reminds me of Foreigner meets Whitesnake. It’s good, but doesn’t sound like Triumph. It’s also just way too standard for the talent these guys possess. 
Fight the Good Fight
This is another cut that’s basically a prog rocker. It alternates between harder rocking and mellower motifs. I’d say it has as much in common with Yes as it does with Rush or hard rock. This is a killer tune. It’s probably my favorite on the set, and you just can’t argue with the positive lyrical message either. Triumph should have stuck to this kind of music. 
Spellbound
This one seems to be some great middle ground between the more mainstream metal approach of a lot of later Triumph and their earlier sound. It works quite well and serves as one of the highlights of the set. 
Never Surrender
There are parts of this that are similar to “Fight the Good Fight.” Surely the lyrical theme is similar. The cut is both a more purely hard rocking one and a more complex and proggy piece. It’s also one of the real highlights of the set. This is why Triumph was such a great band. 
When the Lights Go Down
Here’s another track that’s almost metal, but to me this sounds like old school Scorpions meets Montrose. That makes it a unique combination and something above the more generic metallic pieces that are present at other points in this set. There’s also a cool blues section that bookmarks this in a great way.
Somebody’s Out There

A fairly straightahead rocker, this has plenty of that older Triumph character and charm. It’s another strong tune that leans towards progressive rock.

Rock and Roll Machine

There’s an almost punky texture to this hard rocker. It’s more raw than a lot of the other stuff here. It’s also quite tasty. It’s got some extended jamming in the middle of it and seems designed to be a show stopper live.

Love Hurts

Here Triumph covers Nazareth. I love the original version, but this one is great, too. I wouldn’t put one over the other as each one has its own particular charms.

 
More CD Reviews
Metal/Prog Metal
Non-Prog
Progressive Rock
 
Google

   Creative Commons License
   This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

    © 2019 Music Street Journal                                                                           Site design and programming by Studio Fyra, Inc./Beetcafe.com