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Triumph

Classics 30th Anniversary Vinyl Edition

Review by Gary Hill

For the thirtieth anniversary of the release of Triumph's Classics album, this new double record vinyl set has been released.  The vinyl is heavy 180 gram and silver in color. The gatefold sleeve has all kinds of photos of the band. The inner-sleeves have the lyrics to the songs. If that's not enough, the first three sides are made up of the studio songs from the original set, while the final side has a couple smoking hot live tunes. This is a great set that is well worth owning. It should be noted that I previously reviewed many of these songs on another compilation. For the sake of consistency, those track reviews have been either used as they were originally written or modified for reuse here.

Bonus video footage of this release is available at the Music Street Journal Youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfFa6zM-Ls8

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2020  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Side A

           

Tears in the Rain

A droning element brings this into being. The guitar rises up with a hard-edged, almost metallic sound. The keyboards on this bring a bit of a dated element to it, but the song holds up well to this day despite that.

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 strong tune.
I Live for the Weekend

Okay, this is a straight ahead rocker with a 1970s meets harder rocking element to it. It’s fun and cool.

Magic Power
Now, this is cool. 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.
Side B
                
Somebody’s Out There

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

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.
A World of Fantasy

I have always been a big fan of this tune. It has a real proggy element. It comes in mellower, and a bit mysterious. It grows out from there in such a classy way. It manages to rock out quite well in the alternating parts. I love the guitar elements on this. The tune is one of the most dynamic of the set. It has some seriously powerful moments, too.

Follow Your Heart
This cut is very much in an 80s pop metal motif. It’s good, but again, not the quality of music that band is fully capable of doing.
Side C
           
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.

Rock & 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 has some extended jamming in the middle of it and seems designed to be a show stopper live.
Hold On

Musically, this one reminds me a lot of their song “Magic Power.” It’s another great tune that’s pretty much progressive rock. It’s a great one and one of the real highlights of the set.

Side D
             
Never Surrender (Live at the US Festival)

I've always been a big fan of this song. This live version really rocks so well. It really captures the band in a killer performance. The proggier section later in the track is so cool, too. This thing is screaming hot, really.

Blinding Light Show/Moon Child (Live at Sweden Rock)
This screams in with some powerhouse jamming. After the powerhouse introduction it drops back to a mellower, proggy movement for the first vocals. The cut grows outward in dramatic fashion, feeling a bit like a harder rocking ELP in some ways. The cut is dynamic, working through some cool changes as it grows and evolves. This eventually drives out to some screaming hot metal jamming as it works onward. It calls to mind Iron Maiden in some ways in that part of the two-fer. The cut eventually makes its way back to the song proper in a harder rocking arrangement for another vocal section. A false ending gives way to a return to a reprise of the opening movement of the piece. It ends the piece and the set in style.

 

 
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