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Triumph Triumph [Aka: In The Beginning] album cover
2.78 | 34 ratings | 4 reviews | 15% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1976

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. 24 Hours a Day (4:35)
2. Be My Lover (3:17)
3. Don't Take My Life (4:45)
4. Street Fighter (3:30)
5. Street Fighter - reprise (3:02)
6. What's Another Day of Rock 'n' Roll (4:49)
7. Easy Life (3:56)
8. Let Me Get Next to You (3:00)
9. Blinding Light Show/Moonchild (8:43)

Total Time: 39:37

Line-up / Musicians

- Rik Emmett / guitars, vocals
- Michael Levine / bass, co-producer
- Gil Moore / drums, vocals

- Laurie Delgrande / keyboards

Releases information

Artwork: Northern Mills

LP Attic ‎- LAT 1012 (1976, Canada)

CD TRC Records ‎- TRCD 6201 (1995, Canada) Remastered by Scott Hull, re-entitled "In The Beginning" and with new cover art
CD Castle Music ‎- CMRCD1206 (2005, Europe) Same as above

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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TRIUMPH Triumph [Aka: In The Beginning] ratings distribution

(34 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(15%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(26%)
Good, but non-essential (44%)
Collectors/fans only (15%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

TRIUMPH Triumph [Aka: In The Beginning] reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!

It has been almost twenty years since I listened to a Triumph album (all my vinyls stayed in Canada) so I got the albums from a friend on loan. Triumph to most Torontonian kids meant a whole lot more than just the second trio of the city. The debate whether they should be included here is a minor issue especially regarding their early albums. Yes Triumph were a good times and party RNR band but they had some good wildcards in their line-up. First a superb guitarist with an exceptional acoustic guitar skill In Rick Emmett, but also able to dish out the riffs like the best of the hard rock genre. A sort of crossover between Stotzem and Paco De Lucia on the acoustic side and Blackmore and Steve Perry on the riff side. Then they had also one of the hardest skin pounder in Gill Moore around rivalling with Moon, Powell Bonham etc... and he was the main singer on top of it. Mike Levine's bass playing is fine but not often heard clearly enough on the first generation Cds and he doubles up on Kbs but those remains discreet and just as symphonic layers.

The first three tracks are all good kick-ass RnR tracks with many tempo changes and heavy drumming and they resemble a bit the early Rush (Working Man & Anthem) , sometimes going to Aerosmith and Journey. The two part Street Fighter is the fist glimpse of their brilliance as the fist part is still riffy but there are many qualities that you will enjoy most notably Moore's good vocals sustain powers (while drumming away, he did those in concert too) and the second part starting from scratch to build up through many moods the song to end up with the full powered riffs of the first part.

The second side is built a little similar with three rock tracks depicting rock and roll lifestyle (one of their favourite subject) and resembling the first side but they are less inspired. Then comes the real monster: the Blinding Light Show, a full blown progressive track clocking in at almost 9 minutes and full of delightful atmospheres, good virtuosity, and great interplay. This is Triumph at their most......... Triumphant moment and the second most prog moment in their career after the three part epic The City in the following album.

Well after twenty years of rest, Triumph came back to liven up the many souvenirs of my turbulent teendom, and I had a real joy rediscovering (I had not forgotten any tracks) them , but to be fair from a prog point of view , they do sound a bit dated , a bit boyish rock and I cannot help but blush a bit at how I was so into the fabulous three bands from Toronto (Rush , Max Webster and Them) , but none seem to have the same effect nowadays. I hope I have not grown old before I die...... would say Roger Daltrey nowadays.

Review by kenethlevine
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.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
2 stars In the beginning there was... confusion!

There seem to be a number of different versions of Triumph's debut album some of which include tracks from their second album. Some versions are simply called Triumph, while others are called In The Beginning and yet others Rock 'N' Roll Machine. The version I have is not identical with any album listed here but has several of the same tracks as this album. It starts with Takes Time which is a rather straightforward party hard rocker. It continues with Bringing It On Home which features acoustic verses and a hard rocking chorus and some nice riffs and solos. Rocky Mountain Way is, I think a cover song, and it is not too interesting as it is a rather straightforward Blues rocker.

Then there is the two part Street Fighter and Street Fighter (Reprise), the latter of which is an acoustic song with a strong vocal performance and the first a fast tempo Hard Rock song. The next number is the party rocker 24 Hours A Day which might have the cheesiest chorus ever created. But the verses are musically and vocally strong. And then there is the almost nine minutes long Blinding Light Show/Moonchild which alone makes this album worthwhile (regardless of which version we're talking about as long as it features this song). Triumph is not a great band and also not a progressive band, but they surely have their moments and this song is their very finest and most progressive moment. It features a very strong vocal melody, symphonic keyboards in higher quantity than on any other Triumph song, great electric and acoustic guitar parts, some choir and several changes in sound and tempo throughout. It is a truly excellent song! To think that this brilliant song would rub shoulders with such pedestrian Rock 'N' Roll numbers as 24 Hours A Day and the album closer Rock 'N' Roll Machine is hard to believe.

One thing is for sure, Triumph could make great music when they put their minds to it. They are great musicians with a certain charm to their sound. Sadly, they wanted to focus mainly on rather straightforward Rock numbers. There are certainly some less than good moments here (and that seems to be so regardless of which version you find), there are though a few good moments and one excellent song that almost make up for that, but not quite still. Therefore I will rate this with two strong stars. It is not Triumph's best album overall, but it does feature their best song. The song is highly recommended, but as album considered this is not for everybody.

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
3 stars Personally i think the band TRIUMPH is a tad underrated in the footnotes of history and part of this reason is that they get tagged as a Rush wannabe band and to be honest the comparisons are quite warranted in many ways. First of all, they were a power trio consisting of a bassist and keyboardist (Mike Levine), drummer (Gil Moore) and while in this case it was guitarist who was the lead singer (Rik Emmett) he actually sounded kind of like a less goofy yelping version of Geddy Lee. Not to mention that they also emerged in the Toronto area of Canada about the same time AND to be fair there is very much on their debut album that really does sound like the first Rush album. Originally album number had an eponymous title but was retagged in 1996 as IN THE BEGINNING with an entirely new album cover. The album was pretty much limited to Canada in those days but is now easily available with a recent remastered version emerging.

While the band would grow musically and become both notable for their catchy hard rock bordering on heavy metal melodies as well as for their AOR radio with Rik Emmett's high pitched vocals creating a distinct mark on the world of hard rock, on IN THE BEGINNING they sound very much like a 70s hard rock band. The album kicks off with a bluesy hard rocker that sounds a bit like a hard Alice Cooper bluesy shuffle with a party all night Kiss attitude. Yeah, the lyrics on this one weren't too developed at this point and are a little focused on teenage obsessions such as partying all night! Love! Easy living! And of course rock 'n roll. Many of the tracks sound like they could have fit right in on Rush's debut release and the influence is undeniable and understandably so given time and place however TRIUMPH-isms do exist like Emmett's signature guitar solos sounding nothing like Alex Lifeson's and their riffing while similar is still all their own. "Let Me Get Next To You" however is a little too close to early Rush territory for its own good sounding like "Finding My Way."

"Don't Take My Life" sounds a bit like "I'm 18" from Alice Cooper and simultaneously a bit like "All Along The Watchtower" by Hendrix showing a couple more influences in the mix. The most interesting track that deviates from the blues and hard rock queue is the near nine minute closer "Blinding Light Show / Moonchild" which sounds completely different from the other tracks. It begins with a hard rock Celtic type of jig but completely shifts gears and becomes a spacey Pink Floyd sounding acoustic arpeggio run and really sounds like something off of "The Wall" a full three years before that album was released! It has a rock chorus but evolves into a beautiful classical guitar sequence that gets quite accomplished thus the type of track that often gets them in progressive rock related territory.

While not completely finding their own distinct sound quite yet, IN THE BEGINNING is a well performed debut that is a pleasure to listen to. Emmett had some of the best vocals in the world of hard rock and AOR and TRIUMPH sort of was a much more sophisticated version of Journey rather than a mere Rush clone at least after the first couple albums. On this one they do sound a lot like early Rush but that's not a bad thing for me since i happen to love the early Rush albums before they blossomed into prog behemoths. While TRIUMPH albums have traditionally suffered poor production values and neglected due to the fact that despite finding some success never really hit the big time either but the new remastered releases sound excellent like they were made for modern day consumption. Even if 70s hard rock isn't your thing, i highly recommend the closing track for prog heads however if you do fancy bluesy heavy rock from that era, TRIUMPH's first album is quite the pleasant listening experience.

3.5 rounded down

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