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Triumph - Triumph [Aka: In The Beginning] CD (album) cover




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2.75 | 30 ratings

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2 stars I picked up the album for only one reason, and it was a good reason. That was to hear the track from my youth for the first time in decades, "The Blinding Light Show/Moonchild". I knew in advance that this would probably remain the only reason to have this album, and indeed it is.

The other 8 tracks are generally tepid hard rock of the most mundane kind. Lyrics like "be my lover, slip under the cover" didn't even appeal to me when I was 18, and they sure don't now, nor do the street smart pretensions of living the rock and roll lifestyle exposed in "What's another Day of Rock and Roll". To me this is far more disingenuous than anything done by prog bands of the era - that "look Ma, we're stars, can't sing or write but can sure pick up chicks" attitude. Add to that the Geddy Lee-isms of "Street Fighter" among others and you have nearly unparalleled drivel. "Don't Take my Life" is the best of the bad lot, mostly because it borrows from classic `1960s artists like Hendrix.

Yet where on earth does the brilliant "Blinding Light Show" come from? I submit it is a by product of the era. Any rock band in 1976 would have absorbed prog influences, and while Triumph made it clear early on that they were opting for sludge, they obviously left part of their heart in King Crimson/Led Zeppelin country. Even the "Moonchild" theme hearkens back to KC. In any case, make no mistake that this song is worth the price of admission. It is not a suite but more a long piece of spacey prog with a number of recurring movements in different forms. The singing is passionate, the contrasts masterfully executed, and the acoustic guitars and string synths incorporated with care and skill.

2 stars just for track yourself a favour and skip the others.

kenethlevine | 2/5 |


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