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Triumvirat - Essential CD (album) cover

ESSENTIAL

Triumvirat

 

Symphonic Prog

3.62 | 12 ratings

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presdoug
4 stars Triumvirat "Essential" is the second Compilation that has ever been devoted totally to the band, and was released by EMI Germany in March of 2012. It features tracks from all of Triumvirat's seven studio albums, as well as a few singles tracks.

For the uninitiated, Triumvirat were a seventies, German, Symphonic Prog band, starting out as a Keyboard based power trio influenced by The Nice and early ELP. The band went through numerous personnel changes over the years, and their sound evolved into something less progressive,and more pop oriented.

Below is a break down, track by track, of the songs on this compilation:

Be Home For Tea-this is an excerpt from the Suite "Across The Waters" comprising Side One of the band's 1972 debut album "Mediterranean Tales". Though it would have been nice to have had a larger excerpt, it is good to see this included. Some great keyboard dominated music.

Broken Mirror-this is my favorite song from the debut album, real classical rock, with a stirring intro of piano, and a rousing conclusion-this is Triumvirat at their very best.

Ride In The Night-this is from the band's first single-it is a great traveling song, complete with the sound of a motorcycle at the beginning. I don't think this was given a big promotional campaign, and it should have, as it is both catchy, and cerebral in that inimitable Triumvirat way.

Dancer's Delight-this is from the group's second single, and features for the first time Vocalist/Guitar player Helmut Koellen, who had joined the band recently, replacing previous member Hans Pape. This is another catchy song, that i think should have been a bigger one than it was. Helmut's presence is a blessing, as always.

Dimplicity-this is an excerpt from the Side One suite "Illusions On A Double Dimple", from the album of the same name, Triumvirat's best studio record, recorded in '73 and released in '74, also featuring Helmut Koellen. Again, it would be nice to have had a longer excerpt, but in fitting everything here onto one CD, there are space issues.

Million Dollars-this is an excerpt from the Side Two suite of the Illusions album called "Mister Ten Percent", and is some of Triumvirat's best music, with Helmut Koellen's vocals and bass playing doing a great job along with Jurgen Fritz's keys and Hans Bathelt's tight drumming.

The Capitol Of Power-this is the opening song from 1975's "Spartacus" album, and also a concert opener for the band at times. Great to see this included, as Triumvirat are in fine form, with Fritz's keys especially to the fore-a totally instrumental track.

The Sweetest Sound Of Liberty-this is from Side Two of Spartacus, and features some great vocals from Helmut-very moving.

Spartacus-the title track from that album, and a must for inclusion here-an exciting tour de force, with a stirring finale-again, the band in top form.

Old Loves Die Hard-the title track from the group's 1976 studio album, featuring vocalist Barry Palmer for the first time. The absence of Helmut Koellen as musician and singer is keenly felt here, and the music is not as progressive as previous material had been.

Take A Break Today-the group's stab at a radio friendly, mainstream single. Not really that important or striking. This also features the Old Loves lineup.

The Hymn-the only song included from 1977's concept album "Pompeii". There is some nice singing by Barry Palmer, and also beautiful instrumental work from Jurgen Fritz and guest musicians Curt Cress and Dieter Petereit from Passport, though the song, unfortunately, has been edited.

Waterfall-the first song from Side One of 1978's "A La Carte" album. This is lighter, more pop-oriented, and less progressive than previous Triumvirat music, but is nice, all the same, and features Barry Palmer.

(Oh, I'm) Late Again-the same can be said for this A La Carte number, though Palmer is absent. Still far from the band's signature sound.

Jo Ann Walker-a song from A La Carte about a "Lady Of The Evening"-not much to it, really.

I Don't Even Know Your Name-from the same album, featuring vocalist Barry Palmer, and somewhat more up tempo-nice.

Party Life-the only song from Triumvirat's last studio album from 1980, "Russian Roulette". A catchy, almost new wave/punk flavor here, and the Russian Roulette album's best track. A fun way to end things.

I give this CD four stars, not five, because i think EMI should have made this set a two CD affair, which would have given room for more songs, and less song editing. Nonetheless, there is a cross-section of some great music here. More suited for someone needing an introduction to Triumvirat, though.

presdoug | 4/5 |

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