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Triumvirat └ La Carte album cover
1.73 | 116 ratings | 11 reviews | 3% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1978

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Waterfall (4:58)
2. (Oh I'm) Late Again (6:48)
3. Jo Ann Walker (4:46)
4. For You (5:53)
5. I Don't Even Know Your Name (4:47)
6. A Bavarian in New York (5:38)
7. Original Soundtrack from the Movie (3:48)
8. Darlin' (3:46)
9. Good Bye (4:28)

Total Time 44:52

Bonus tracks on 2002 remaster:
10. Waterfall (single edit)
11. Jo Ann Walker (single edit)

Line-up / Musicians

- David Hanselmann / vocals
- JŘrgen Fritz / keyboards, tambourine (8), producer
- Werner Kopal / bass
- Matthias Holtmann / drums & percussion, marimba (3)

- Barry Palmer / lead vocals (1,5,8)
- Diana Lee / backing vocals (3)
- Marty McCall / backing vocals (3)
- Myrna Matthews / backing vocals (3)
- Ed Carter / guitar (3,8)
- Wolfgang Maus / guitar (5,8,9)
- Mark Isham / flugelhorn (3)
- Charly Schlimbach / saxophone (8)
- Michael Andreas / saxophone (8)
- Richard Hurwitz / trumpet (8)
- Rob Stevens, Jon Osbrink, Jerry Whitman, Stan Farber, Walt Harrah, Larry Kenton, Fred Frank, Bill Brown, Gene Moredro, Gene Merlino, Allan Davies, Diana Lee, Sally Stevens, Terry Stilwell, Gloria G. Prosper, Linda Harmon, Susie McCyne, Darice Richman, Jackie Ward, Sue Allen, Peggy Clark, Myrna Matthews, Jan Gassman, Karen Kenton / vocals
- Gordon Marron / conductor
- Israel Baker / concertmaster
- Michelle Grab, Ken Yerke, Robert Lipsett, Brian Leonard, Robert Dubow, Spiro Stamof, Peter Kent, Mari Tsumura, John Wittenberg, Bonnie Douglas, Linda Rose / violin
- Sam Bogossian, Denise Buffom, Linda Lipsett, Dan Neufels / viola
- Fred Seykora, Glenn Grab, Juliana Buffom, Gloria Strassner / cello
- Steve Edelman, Buell Neiblinger / bass
- Richard Hurwitz / trumpet
- Bill Lamb / trumpet
- Mark Isham / trumpet
- Vinnie Fannele / trombone
- Randy Alcroft / trombone
- Marie Robinson / French horn
- Allen Robinson / French horn
- Tommy Johnson / tuba
- Bob Hardaway / tuba
- Jene Cipriano / tuba
- Malando Gassama / percussion

Releases information

LP Harvest ‎- 1C 064-45 184 (1978, Germany)

CD Harvest ‎- 7243 5 35171 2 0 (2002, Europe) Remastered with 2 bonus tracks

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy TRIUMVIRAT └ La Carte Music

TRIUMVIRAT └ La Carte ratings distribution

(116 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(3%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(7%)
Good, but non-essential (21%)
Collectors/fans only (37%)
Poor. Only for completionists (33%)

TRIUMVIRAT └ La Carte reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
1 stars Very poor album! Like GENTLE GIANT, they declined because they fell in love!!!!!!!!!!!! If you like "Spartacus" and "Old Loves Die Hard", then do not expect the same here!! No more prog here!

They completely became pop, but a very bad pop! Unbelievable! Well, it is music, no doubt, they all play their instrument correctly, but the compositions are common and less than ordinary! It has no personality! Barry Palmer has definitely a bad voice!! Fortunately, is appearance is rare on this record. The other singer is better. Their worst album by far!

Review by slipperman
1 stars I'm new to the progarchives community--few of you know me from a hole in the ground. So before I get called a completely narrow-minded idiot, please know I very much like and defend Genesis' 'Abacab' often. That should be enough evidence that I can accept once- groundbreaking bands streamlining their sound. As long as the material still carries a good degree of depth and quality, I'm in. But 'A La Carte' by Triumvirat is possibly the worst album I've heard by an otherwise great prog-rock outfit. A disaster.

I gave it a chance. I really did! Given that the 5 previous albums are all essential prog albums to one degree or another (especially the massive 'Spartacus'), 'A La Carte' is a severe wrong turn. Sure, they were streamlining, sure, Jurgen didn't want to be trapped in the prog mold any longer...but that doesn't meaning anything if the songs are no good. And none of these songs are good. None. On first listen I kept waiting for the good songs to the second side I kept waiting for the one good song that just had to be there. I desperately tried to justify my purchase by giving it the chance it deserves--just because it is Triumvirat, or so they say--but I kept coming up empty. I would prefer to give the album a more in-depth analysis, any album deserves a quality review, regardless of the quality of the album itself, but I no longer own it. Life's too short to waste on really bad records. Hail 'Spartacus'!!!

Review by ZowieZiggy

Very bizarre change of direction for this once good German trio. From a pure ELP sound they switched to a pop sound a la Supertramp. One of the problems, is that they are only the shadow of a sub-par Supertramp. What you'll find here is rather poor music, overwhelmed with orchestrations (viloins, cellos, trumpets and lots of choirs). Not really my cup of tea.

We'll travel from poor to worse here. The latter being "For You", by no doubt. An insipid and syrupous ballad (on par with the closing number "Good Bye". Truely awful and difficult to imagine how low "Triumvirate" has evolved. In this aspect "I Don't Even Know Your Name" just looses by an inch the highest step of the podium.

The least boring numbers being the ones that will sound the most to the Tramp : "Waterfall" and "Late Again". But don't expect too much. But of course, compared with "A Bavarian..." and the funky-oriented "Original Soundtrack...", they sound like masterpieces.

"Darlin' " is also a good joke. But a bad song with stupid chorus and trumpets.

It is really a poor album and I can only recommend to stay away from this "work". One star of course and nothing prog to be found.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
1 stars Oh, I skipped this album for decades. Somehow I knew I would not like it and now that I finally had a chance to hear it I found out I was right all along... I┤m glad I did not hear this CD at the time, it would have been a huge disappointment. It is ok that Pompeii was not Triumvirat┤s best, but it was good and certainly a prog record. This one is anything but. Try to imagine Genesis releasing Invisible Touch after A Trick Of The Tail! The difference is the fact that A La Carte is way worse than Invisible Touch.

Not that this album is too bad per se: obviously all the musicians are skilled and the arrangements are well done. But it is pure pop and the songwriting is simply mediocre at best. Sometimes very poor as in the case of tracks like For You (I never believed a band like this would release such a lame song). The better tracks are A Bavarian In New York (good overall arrangement) and Goodbye (even if it sounds like an Elton John rip off). And this was released only an year after Pompeii!!! Unbelieveble!

One of worst and fastest cases of a great band downfall. Unless you┤re a fan of third rate pop, avoid at all costs.

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
1 stars Triumverat was unfortunately losing their progressive edge and the record label was pressuring Hans-Jurgen Fritz (keyboards) to take the band to even a more radio-friendly sound. The band had gone through an almost complete change of personnel after both Frangerberg (bass) and Hans Bathelt (drums, lyrics) left the band leaving Fritz as the only original member left. Just like Keith Emerson and ELP, Triumverat just couldn't exist without Fritz, and he caved into the pressure from the record label. The album "Pompeii" was released in 1977 and would be the last album to have any semblance of progressive style.

By the time "A la Carte" was released in 1978, there was hardly anything left related to the original band. Except for Fritz, the record company had pretty much taken over and ended up contracting all of the other musicians leaving Fritz with no power forcing him to accept their choices. Barry Palmer, the vocalist on "Pompeii" was replaced by David Hanselmann, Werner Kopal was contracted as the bassist taking over for Dieter Petereit and Matthias Holtmann was hired to take over for drummer Curt Cress. Once again, the band experiences a complete makeover. At least an orchestra and chorus was hired to try to give some backbone to the album, and the result is a top heavy array of musicians standing on top of a very weak and unstable foundation that was destined to fail. What a waste of talent, time and people.

There are no suites or concepts making up this album. It's made up of individual songs that are not tied together at all. Right from the beginning, the sweet saccharine sound of pop blasts your senses with offensively simple music. The Emerson-like keyboards are gone exchanged by cookie cutter electric piano passages and typical rock/pop clichÚs. And the songs aren't even catchy or interesting at all. The music has hardly any passion even with the forced screaming on "Late Again". The first side of the album is just filled with poppy, yet flat songs that end up all sounding the same, even with the addition of extra background singers and trumpet on "Jo Ann Walker", which tries to get the listener's attention with a story that, frankly, no one cares about. The only thing that breaks up the monotony of the first side is a schmaltzy, over-produced ballad called "For You". Oh my God, it is soooooo bad that it's almost hilarious.

Side 2 starts off with a bad disco rip-off "I Don't Even Know Your Name" complete with brass that sounds like it came off of a conveyor belt that gets even worse when it tries to become a rumba in the instrumental break. The closest thing to any semblance of their past is on "A Bavarian in New York" with some great organ and synth sections, but the vocals (more forced screaming) and brass is so bad that you probably won't even notice. The only instrumental follows with "Original Soundtrack from the Movie 'O.C.S.I.D.'" which will remind you of a disco tornado, that's not a good thing if you were wondering. "Darlin'" is an over-produced cover of The Beach Boys song. The miserable collection of songs ends with "Goodbye", another awful ballad.

This record is a perfect example of what happens when corporate takes over for a band and ruins it completely. No one was interested in this sound and the album sold poorly. Yet, no one learned their lesson from this failure as there was one more attempt at pop stardom with an even worse album to follow. It seems this band was following the same formula as what their main influence followed. "A la Carte" is Triumverat's "Love Beach", but even worse. At least ELP tried to add something that resembled prog with their "Officer and A Gentleman" suite, but for "A la Carte" there is absolutely nothing to hold on to unless you have a desire to hear some really bad pop/disco/commercial music. It's a sad ending for what was once a proud and excellent band. I can't even see how this album would appeal to even die-hard fans and it isn't worth anything to collectors, so I will proclaim this one for completionists only, unless you are interested in seeing just how bad it can get. If you see this one walking down the street, walk on by.

Review by VianaProghead
2 stars Review N║ 621

Triumvirat was a progressive rock band that was formed in 1969 in Cologne, Germany by keyboardist JŘrgen Fritz, bassist Werner "Dick" Frangenberg and drummer and lyricist Hans Bathelt. Frangenberg left the group in 1970 and was replaced by Hans Pape. They released their debut album "Mediterranean Tales (Across The Water)" in 1972. During the making of their second album "Illusions On a Double Dimple" released in 1973, Pape also left the group and was replaced by Helmut K÷llen. Their third album "Spartacus" released in 1975, gave to Triumvirat their greatest commercial success. At the end of the live tour of "Spartacus" K÷llen left the group too. Frangenberg rejoined the band and Barry Palmer was their new lead vocalist. This quartet released their fourth album "Old Loves Die Hard" in 1976. Their fifth album "Pompeii" was released in 1977. The band was firefly renamed New Triumvirat due to legal dispute between Fritz and Bathelt. As all we know, by 1978 progressive rock was no more a popular musical genre. So, it was in this difficult musical context that Triumvirat recorded their new album, the sixth Triumvirat's album "A La Carte" released in 1978.

If we take a look to Triunvirat's career, it becomes clear how much the band changed all over the years. Starting out as a bombastic, keyboard-led prog machine, or an Emerson, Lake & Palmer clone as many have labelled them, with such classic albums as "Illusions On A Double Dimple" and "Spartacus", the band slowly went the commercial avenue, and the culmination of that style became with this album "A La Carte". While certainly no "Spartacus", this CD does contain some good moments. However it sounds like a completely different band. With its mix of Toto or Ambrosia sounding California pop/prog and Eectric Light Orchestra harmonies, combined with the Keith Emerson inspired keyboards of Jurgen Fritz, "A La Carte" is commercial pop at times, average prog rarely, but bland or mediocre for most of the time.

The line up on the album is David Hanselmann (vocals), JŘrgen Fritz (keyboards), Werner Kopal (bass) and Mathias Holtmann (drums). The album has also an endless number of many other participating musicians.

"A La Carte" has nine tracks and is a very complete different album than their other previous five studio albums. As I wrote before, it even sounds more like a completely different band. The band's established The Nice and Emerson, Lake & Palmer symphonic progressive rock style is suddenly discarded on this album, as well are the virtuoso keyboard excursions of the band's leader JŘrgen Fritz. In their place we have a collection of pop rock tunes that had exchanged the bombast and opulence of former offerings for slimmer arrangements, successfully based on international musical productions along the lines of Supertramp. And the worst of all is that the pop song writing is very inconsistent and unbalanced, a true mix salad, making of "A La Carte" a very difficult album to listen to even if you are a great pop rock fan. Undoubtedly, the album reflects the band's most commercial significance in those days, and turns the album a true lavish pop rock feast. The album seems to be really a menu, describing the nine tracks as if they were truly dishes.

In relation to the tracks, I must say the following. "Waterfall", "(Oh, I'm) Late Again" and "Jo Ann Walker" are decent musical numbers, with the strong vocals of Hanselmann leading the way and with Fritz in a support role of multiple keyboards. In fact, these tracks are all very nice as pop songs in 1978. "For You" is a soft sappy pop ballad that makes even cry the paving stones. "I Don't Even Know Your Name" is a mediocre light rocker musical number with lots of horns featuring all sorts of guest musicians. "A Bavarian In New York" is the first really good track on the album. It's a hard driving song with a good bass line, interesting symphonic synthesizers and organ and nice piano works by Fritz. "Original Soundtrack From The Movie O.C.S.I.D." is a very good piece of music and can be considered the best track on the album. The two last tracks "Darlin'" and "Good Bye" are two both generic and bland songs, a pale of Supertramp's songs with the obvious intention to achieve the Billboard charts, which sadly for them, they never been able to achieve.

Conclusion: "A La Carte" is, for me, one of my biggest disillusions in the progressive rock. How was it possible that the same virtuoso musician that released "Illusions On A Double Dimple" and "Spartacus" do something like this? Like antonio I also think that "A La Carte" is better than "Russian Roulette" is, but like him, I also think this is another story. However, I can't agree with progbaby when he says that "A La Carte" is a good album and the only problem with it is that he isn't a progressive album. I must say that, in my humble opinion, all Genesis' studio albums since "?And Then There Were Three?" are slightly progressive or even non progressive, and that has not made of them too weak albums. By the other hand, "Giant For A Day" is even worse than "A La Carte" is, and is almost as bad as "Russian Roulette" is. And this isn't only for being non-progressive albums, but mainly because their musical quality. Concluding, "A La Carte" is a very weak album and it has nothing to do with all previous Triumvirat albums. This is a commercial pop rock album, without great quality, and almost with nothing of what we can call progressive music. So, I'm very disappointed.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Latest members reviews

3 stars Triumvirat's A La Carte is a quite nice pop-rock effort. Though nothing like the previously heralded progressive masterpieces from the band's past, and that something that a lot of listeners held against this record, if you want tasty pop-rock for a change, (and even a progressive ... (read more)

Report this review (#626898) | Posted by presdoug | Sunday, February 5, 2012 | Review Permanlink

1 stars From ELP to Supertramp and then to some overblown Las Vegas ballads. Or is it the casinos in Dortmund, Monaco or Manchester this band is aiming for with this album ? God knows, but not even the worst gamblers should be exposed to this album of Supertramp like ballads and pop. This album is pomp ... (read more)

Report this review (#623713) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Tuesday, January 31, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I was surprised to see so many 1-star reviews for this album. So is it really that bad? Please be aware though that I do like some of the mid-late 70's AOR stuff. I love this web- site and enjoy spending hours at a time reading the many thoughtful/awesome reviews. I've come to the conc ... (read more)

Report this review (#230087) | Posted by progbaby | Wednesday, August 5, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars like many groups of this era,the changes of direcction in his music are evidents,triumvirat are not a 1978 made an album like MEDITERRANEAN TALES is a suicide comercial. ... (read more)

Report this review (#77842) | Posted by antonio | Thursday, May 11, 2006 | Review Permanlink

1 stars Well, it`s sad to see such a talented band go down the toilet. Triumvirat goes from worse to the unthinkable. An attempt at pop songs which has nothing to do with their previous glories on albums like, Illusions On A Double Dimple, Spartacus and Mediterrenean Tales. Take this one out to the skeet s ... (read more)

Report this review (#11874) | Posted by Vibrationbaby | Thursday, March 4, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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