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3 stars First written review. Triumph Stages is a good live album, touching on their biggest hits over a long and somewhat spotty career. I don't have a lot of their disks but know enough about them just due to the fact that they had a good deal of success as that "other" Canadian power trio.

This live double album starts out in fine fashion with the first three songs doing everything they can to blow your doors off. When the Lights Go Down, Never Surrender and Allied Forces gets the crowd heavily into things. Never Surrender in particular is very nice, with Rik Emmett really blasting out one of my all time favorite guitar solos. Things slow down next on Hold On. This is not a good thing. They had to scale it back because the album version was heavily produced and they could not recreate it live. So Emmett does an acoustic version which pales to the original. I was so upset at the time I taped this off in college twenty years ago that I got the studio album with Hold On from the guy I had borrowed Stages from and put the original onto the end. Oh the beauty of the 90 minute cassette. The final three songs of album one get things back in gear but not quite to the level of the first three songs.

They pull another song truncation with the first song on album two. A World of Fantasy is a great song but just when it is about to get going, they break it off into a drum solo. Bad move. The rest of the live part of the album has its ups and downs but ends with a great encore song, Fight the Good Fight. They then put on an extra two studio tracks which are nothing special. Of course my version then ends with the studio version of Hold On, which will not be available to you but I thought I would rub that fact in. Sorry.

I want to go four stars on this for some wonderful highlights but really three is more appropriate. Of course if you are a prog purist, this album will not hold a lot of interest. But for someone who wants to check them out during their peak and does not want to wade through everything, this might do the trick. This is a good, hard-rocking, roll the windows down and blast it type of album. Enjoy.

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Posted Tuesday, February 17, 2009 | Review Permalink

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