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TRIUMPH

Prog Related • Canada


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Triumph biography
TRIUMPH is usually known as the band who, in their early days at least, tried to be like RUSH. Hailing from Canada and also a trio, they initially played similar music to RUSH's early period, but much less fantasy-oriented and more AOR. They quickly moved on to standard hard rock, however. In 1977 TRIUMPH really kicked off, getting radio play and growing as a band artistically. After several lineup changes, and despite a good fan base in the hard rock community, they broke up in 1993.

Fans hard rock should like TRIUMPH as well as the fans of DREAM THEATER'S less complex more straight-ahead rock moments.

STUDIO ALBUMS:
Triumph 1976
Rock & Roll Machine 1977
Just a Game 1979
Progressions of Power 1980
Allied Forces 1981
Never Surrender 1982
Thunder Seven 1984
Stages [live] 1985
The Sport of Kings 1985
Surveillance 1989
Edge of Excess 1993
In the Beginning 1995
Cleveland 1981 1996
King Biscuit Flower Hour (In Concert) 1996
Live at the US Festival 2003

COMPILATIONS:
Classics 1989
Living for the Weekend: Anthology 2005

VIDEO:
Live at the US Festival 1992
A Night of Triumph 1995

Triumph official website

TRIUMPH MP3, Free Download (music stream)


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TRIUMPH Videos (YouTube and more)


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Buy TRIUMPH Music


Greatest Hits Remixed (CD + DVD)Greatest Hits Remixed (CD + DVD)
CD+DVD
TML Entertainment 2010
Audio CD$12.23
$10.95 (used)
Allied ForcesAllied Forces
Remastered
Tml Entertainment 2004
Audio CD$6.97
$6.25 (used)
ClassicsClassics
Tml Entertainment 2007
Audio CD$8.83
$4.96 (used)
Never SurrenderNever Surrender
Remastered
Tml Entertainment 2004
Audio CD$6.90
$6.45 (used)
Just a GameJust a Game
Remastered
Tml Entertainment 2005
Audio CD$6.95
$6.94 (used)
Thunder SevenThunder Seven
Remastered
Tml Entertainment 2004
Audio CD$6.94
$6.74 (used)
Live At Sweden Rock Festival (CD+DVD)Live At Sweden Rock Festival (CD+DVD)
TML Entertainment 2012
Audio CD$11.78
$11.77 (used)
Progressions of PowerProgressions of Power
Remastered
Tml Entertainment 2005
Audio CD$4.54
$5.35 (used)
StagesStages
Remastered
Tml Entertainment 2004
Audio CD$6.99
$6.42 (used)
Rock N Roll MachineRock N Roll Machine
Remastered
Tml Entertainment 2005
Audio CD$5.92
$5.91 (used)
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OBLIQSOUND Tama Waipara TRIUMPH OF TIME Factory Sealed Brand New Unused Music CD USD $6.36 Buy It Now 45m 55s
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TRIUMPH**ALLIED FORCES (30TH ANNIVERSARY/180 GRAM/AUDIO-VIDEO DOWNLOAD CARD)**LP USD $19.64 Buy It Now 51m 44s
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Cliff Eidelman : Triumph of the Spirit (OST) CD (2010) USD $10.00 Buy It Now 7h 43m
TRIUMPH 'PROGRESSIONS OF POWER' UK LP USD $10.91 Buy It Now 7h 46m
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12h 12m
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12h 40m
Triumph Allied Forces LP 1981 MCA-5542 RL Masterdisk Vinyl Record USD $3.59 Buy It Now 12h 44m
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TRIUMPH Classics CD Best of Greatest Hits Rik Emmett TRC pressing 1989 USD $0.99 [1 bids]
13h 56m
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14h 58m
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16h 27m
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TRIUMPH JUST A GAME 1979 ISSUE 8 TRACK TAPE TESTED NEW SPLICE USD $9.95 Buy It Now 18h 34m
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TRIUMPH Hold On SPAIN 7"PS 1979 PROMO HEAVY METAL USD $15.99 [0 bids]
18h 43m
TRIUMPH PROGRESSIONS OF POWER 1980 ISSUE RCA 8 TRACK TAPE TESTED NEW SPLICE USD $14.95 Buy It Now 18h 45m
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TRIUMPH shows & tickets


TRIUMPH has no upcoming shows, according to LAST.FM syndicated events and shows feed

TRIUMPH discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

TRIUMPH top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.58 | 17 ratings
Triumph (aka In the Beginning...)
1976
3.36 | 26 ratings
Rock And Roll Machine
1977
2.62 | 32 ratings
Just a Game
1979
2.59 | 30 ratings
Progressions of Power
1980
2.45 | 53 ratings
Allied Forces
1981
2.52 | 30 ratings
Never Surrender
1982
2.40 | 38 ratings
Thunder Seven
1984
1.86 | 24 ratings
The Sport of Kings
1985
2.88 | 25 ratings
Surveillance
1989
2.50 | 9 ratings
Edge Of Excess
1993

TRIUMPH Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.33 | 12 ratings
Stages
1985
2.96 | 5 ratings
King Biscuit Flower Hour (In Concert)
1996
3.36 | 5 ratings
Live at the US Festival
2003
2.00 | 3 ratings
Extended Versions Live
2006

TRIUMPH Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.00 | 5 ratings
Live At The US Festival
2003
4.00 | 2 ratings
A Night Of Triumph Live
2004
4.00 | 1 ratings
Live at Sweden Rock Festival
2012

TRIUMPH Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.72 | 10 ratings
Classics
1989
3.00 | 1 ratings
Living For The Weekend
2005
4.00 | 2 ratings
Greatest Hits Remixed
2010

TRIUMPH Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

TRIUMPH Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Allied Forces by TRIUMPH album cover Studio Album, 1981
2.45 | 53 ratings

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Allied Forces
Triumph Prog Related

Review by Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Indefensibly mediocre AOR that fits right alongside the arena-rocker greats of the era (or steals from them wholesale, whichever). A lot of people compare Triumph to Rush for obvious reasons, but for me Triumph is much closer to Journey: sort of proggish in the '70's transitioning to mainstream rocking in the '80's. For some this isn't a bad thing; after all, I appreciate camp, so like this style just fine. But, in the same year that Journey put out their top selling album of all time, Escape (as does Rush, coincidentally with Moving Picture), Triumph's Allied Forces seems like that much more of a squeaky whimper that says "us too!"

So what do we get with Allied Forces? Well, if you can image a band finding unused songs by Journey, Rush, Bad Company, Styx, Foreigner, and REO Speedwagon you'll have an OK idea of what Triumph is doing here. Maybe that's a little harsh, because there's actually some excellent musicianship on this album and Rik Emmett's legacy is respectable, but Allied Forces simply sounds derivative, unambitious, and humorless. It doesn't connect with the listener, in part because of bland production that gives each song the same flat tone. Moreover, it sounds like each song was written in an attempt to satisfy a different market segment (this song is for people who like to sing along; this one is for people who like Led Zeppelin; etc.).

Standout songs like "Fight the Good Fight" and "Ordinary Man" have a few artistic crumbles to enjoy, but for each one of those one must endure the AOR pastiche heard throughout. Emmett's voice is thin and shrill which makes me wonder why he even bothers singing when his guitar work is clearly where his talent lies. Songs like "Magic Power" feel to me like they were written for an '80's movie montage, but when you hear Emmett's vocals you'll probably agree that not even Ralph Macchio or Sylvester Stallone could make them cool.

Songwriting: 1 - Instrumental Performances: 3 - Lyrics/Vocals: 1 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 2

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 The Sport of Kings by TRIUMPH album cover Studio Album, 1985
1.86 | 24 ratings

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The Sport of Kings
Triumph Prog Related

Review by Bupie

3 stars I feel really embarrassed with some of the reviews on this band. Actually, these reviews and the overall abyssal ratings detracted me from trying Triumph again after something like a thirty years hiatus. Fortunately, traveling from link to link on Youtube, I happened to stumble upon some Triumph songs and I was really surprised by how good some of these songs are. That being said, with all due respect to guideline number 5, Triumph obviously have nothing to do on this website since their music is not remotely prog and the biography doesn't give much explanation on their presence. But they are here and so I guess that they deserve a fair or at least -since musical taste is a highly subjective matter- a more open minded treatment.

The Sport of Kings is not one of Triumph most praised albums, being seen as too poppy and slick, so this is no surprise that it gets the lowest rating of all of their discography on PA. This is indeed an AOR album in the vein of Foreigner (the band that comes to my mind first), Styx or Journey, where most songs can be labeled generic of the genre. Though, as far as I am concerned, these songs, while unspectacular, make it for a pleasant listen and lay the scene for the four gems of the album. Amongst these gems, first comes Somebody's Out There, a pop tune with a catchy as hell chorus that made for an obvious single ; two tracks later arrives If Only, a great power ballad ; finally the acoustic guitar instrumental Embrujo blends with Play With The Fire, a brilliant rocker that is the longest and IMHO best song of the album. A few words can be added for the second and last single, Just One Night, a ballad that in my book went, listen after listen, from totally lame at first to an assumed guilty pleasure. I read somewhere that this is the most radio-played Triumph song, which is not necessarily a good thing for the band's fame.

Overall, I consider The Sport of Kings a solid three stars album. But I suggest that prog fans who are not allergic to heavy AOR start somewhere else with Triumph, Allied Forces being probably the safer pick.

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 Live At The US Festival by TRIUMPH album cover DVD/Video, 2003
4.00 | 5 ratings

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Live At The US Festival
Triumph Prog Related

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Fun, sun, heat, beer, and computer gurus

The US (US as in all of us, not United States) festival 1983 was a multi-day 80s juggernaut that drew over half a million people to see the likes of The Clash, Bowie, Pretenders, Stevie Nicks, U2, Van Halen, Ozzy, Judas Priest, Scorpions, Berlin, Men at Work, and many others. Financed by Apple computers bigwig Steve Wozniak, the festival's goals were not simply profit, but rather community and "evolving technology" ideals. This is a very good thing because money-wise, he lost his ass. But the kids who went to this now legendary festival had such a great time they barely seemed to notice the oppressive heat and sun, which topped 100 degrees. While a compilation DVD of the festival was released, providing 1-3 songs for each act, Triumph is one of just a few who have released their full set as a stand-alone DVD.

Triumph is often mentioned in the same breath as Rush because both are from the same area, have three members, and a high-pitched vocalist. These are superficial reasons at best and the two bands are very different. Triumph is really more like a Canadian version of Styx minus Dennis DeYoung. Triumph is what I believe Tommy Shaw would have wanted for Styx if they could have found a way to push Dennis out of the airplane. When you think of Shaw tracks like "Blue Collar Man", "Crystal Ball", and "Love in the Midnight" you realize they aren't so far away from some of Triumph's own melodic and soaring hard rock. Both bands are sometimes accused of being "cheesy" but this no longer bothers me in the least. They are more "formulaic" and radio-friendly than many "prog rock" bands but are simply out there trying to play good music, not please critics like us. Regular Joes enjoy music too and all tendencies of prog snobbery I may subconsciously harbor melt away when good hard rock is this catchy and fun. They run the gamut from longer, more elaborate tracks (not featured in this set) to slightly bluesy party rock to spirited ballads and catchy album-oriented rock. All is done with a bit more pizzazz and color than many lesser peer hard rock bands, thanks mostly to Emmett being an exceptional guitarist. It is true that they do not live up to a creative or "chops" comparison with Rush, but they never asked for it. Triumph were a pretty humble bunch of guys who had a fierce dedication to their fan base, and they to the band.

The US festival DVD captures Triumph if not at their creative album peak, which may have been a bit earlier, certainly at their peak as a live act. They leave nothing on the table. For a band who had never seen an audience this big before or since they took the stage liked they owned the place and they smoked! With only a one hour slot here they deliver eight of their most crowd pleasing tracks. They open with "Allied Forces" and have the audience eating from their hands with "Lay it on the Line," which today is still an FM radio staple. Rik Emmett was on fire that day sporting a huge grin of pure enjoyment, his voice hitting every high note with an ease Geddy hadn't managed since about '78. His guitar work was as impressive as it was aggressive, switching effortlessly from chunky rhythms to blistering leads and lightning fast scales. Their next single "Magic Power" speaks of being "young, wild, and free" which the editor chose to use for audience shots of the oceans of young California kids who were partying like Jeff Spicoli. Sadly early 80s heavy metal kids proved to be terrible dancers as all of the audience dancing shots look like Elaine's character from Seinfeld doing her tragic office convulsions.

"A World of Fantasy" was another FM radio entry at the time and this was followed by Emmett's guitar solo...yes, a proper old fashioned metal wailfest with screaming fireworks, bends, feedback, and even a quiet classical interlude bit thrown in for good measure. He and bassist Mike Levine ran across the large stage for the whole set despite the heat. Emmett and drummer Gil Moore sang very complimentary harmonies together which adds much to the Triumph sound. They finished with their excellent "Fight the Good Fight" which was crisp and heavy. It's another of several Triumph songs which feature very uplifting, positive lyrics and messages for kids. While so many bands focus on negative themes and imagery, Triumph was always trying to affirm and inspire while pushing faith, perseverance, and joy. It's pretty refreshing to me.

The last detail that makes this gig special was the fact that it was outdoors in broad daylight. Usually I like a dark stage with good lighting to showcase the band. But for this festival and this band, the bright sunshine was a perfect compliment to the smiles and no-frills set Triumph wanted that day. They nailed it despite arriving late and without the benefit of a soundcheck, Moore even had to use someone else's kit he had never seen before. I'm not a drummer, but how would you like to walk out in front of hundreds of thousands of people and sit down at a drum kit you'd never touched before? He did just fine but I'd imagine it was not ideal for him.

The audio and video quality are passable for the 80s but certainly not perfect by today's standards. It won't matter if you are just out to have fun as I was. I enjoyed the hell out of this concert and will return to it often. Special features include a short documentary, a more recent interview, and a couple of music videos. For me this is 4-stars level of DVD watching fun but for those who don't really appreciate FM-friendly hard rock, you would probably find this 3-stars tops.

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 Surveillance by TRIUMPH album cover Studio Album, 1989
2.88 | 25 ratings

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Surveillance
Triumph Prog Related

Review by Chicapah
Prog Reviewer

1 stars I realize that it may look like I have something against this band. Some kind of evil vendetta intended to soil their reputation. I assure you that I don't. I knew nothing specific about them until I stumbled across their group's name in the prog related list and remembered that I had some of their albums in my mp3 library. Part of me wishes I hadn't because I could've stayed blissfully ignorant of them but what's done is done. Being a lifelong musician/songwriter I take no joy in criticizing a band's output because I know all too well how difficult, frustrating and time-consuming the whole drawn out process getting from the germ of the initial musical idea to the final mastered product is. I also admire the fact that this trio stayed intact for so many years. You can't say they didn't give it a good run. However, as a reviewer it's my responsibility to call 'em as I see 'em and in some cases there will be blood. If you're a fan of this group I mean no disrespect to your taste but after listening to several of their records I'm convinced that their tie to progressive rock is negligible at best. I noticed that this particular disc, "Surveillance," is their highest rated offering on this site so I was quite ready to have my mind changed. It didn't happen. In fact, it only cemented my dislike of them.

"Prologue - Into the Forever" conjures up a palpable Pink Floyd atmosphere complete with David Gilmour-ish guitar licks from singer/guitarist Rik Emmett. Unfortunately, the downhill slide commences immediately afterward. "Never Say Never" is a useless chunk of glossy, Journey- styled hard rock that owns no originality whatsoever. It epitomizes the formulaic, vapid crap that abounded in the forgettable era that was the 80s. The aptly titled "Headed for Nowhere" is next and it features a guest appearance by Steve Morse. The hot guitar work he adds is nice but it's like smearing icing on top of a pasture patty. It was a good move to let the former Dixie Dregs virtuoso graciously try to give them a shot in the arm but his effort is wasted on an inferior tune. "All the King's Horses" follows and I must admit that the serene aura they provide is a welcome change from the same old same old but, alas, it's nothing more than a brief intro to "Carry On the Flame," a number that reminds me of some of Whitesnake's overproduced schlock but that's actually giving this band too much credit. All in all it's a poor imitation. "Let the Light (Shine on Me)" employs one of those synthesized symphonic fog backgrounds to open the track, teasing that it might turn into a proggy deal but it soon belies its true crassly commercial colors by going down an all-too-familiar road to mediocrity.

The second half of the album starts with "Long Time Gone." I guess they ran out of song titles and had to resort to stealing one from Crosby, Stills and Nash's debut LP. I apologize to my readers in advance for my repetitiveness but the fact is I'm getting low on derogatory adjectives to accurately describe something as pitifully pedestrian as this. The odd monks-in-a-monastery chant they toss in at the middle is so misplaced as to be hilarious. "Rock You Down" may be one of the worst rock & roll compositions I've ever heard. This "anthem" is presented with an astounding dearth of enthusiasm. I've heard more excitement at a chess tournament. I'll sum it up in one word: Barf. "Prelude - The Walking Dream" may be puny and anemic yet an audible expulsion of intestinal gas would sound decent in comparison to the previous track. This short instrumental interlude is a lot like the curtain raiser. "On and On" is frightfully predictable and the name conveys the sense of weariness that overcame me at this juncture. I half expected Bonnie Tyler to start singing the lead vocal on this one but I reckon that observation says volumes about the mindless demographic they were aiming to please. It occurs to me that maybe we should be thankful that pieces of feces like this flourished in that doomed decade so that brave artists like Peter Gabriel would stand out from the herd even more. "All Over Again" is a sappy, saccharine power ballad that shouldn't be listened to until your sushi dinner has fully digested else you'll be seeing it "all over again" in your lap. Ugh. They mercifully end the torture with "Running in the Night." The best thing about it is that it's the caboose on this nondescript train of empty muzak. It's awful.

Honest to God, I really did go into this one with an open mind, hoping it would turn out to be different (in a good way) from their other stuff. Once again, they disappointed. In their defense it must be noted that the airwaves were saturated with this slick brand of pop rock in 1987. So much so that it would often make a progger like me listen to talk radio to and from work to avoid being made to feel nauseated. Maybe sampling this trash will help future generations understand why the grunge movement was able to conquer the music world with such ease in the early 90s. The public was sick of this junk. "Surveillance" turned out to be the last go-round for Rik Emmett and it's just as well. Triumph was defeated. While their fellow Canadians in Rush retained their non- conformist attitude throughout their career and reaped the benefits of their tenacity by becoming one of the planet's most respected musical entities ever I have serious doubts as to whether these boys ever had a rebellious (much less progressive) gene in their collective DNA.

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 The Sport of Kings by TRIUMPH album cover Studio Album, 1985
1.86 | 24 ratings

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The Sport of Kings
Triumph Prog Related

Review by Chicapah
Prog Reviewer

1 stars Call me a glutton for aural punishment but I assure you that I'm not a masochist. I've found that in Progland there are not only glorious peaks to admire but shadowy valleys and a lot of in-between plateaus to navigate and explore so, as a reviewer, I must honestly rate the product manufactured by its inhabitants accordingly. A few years back an assortment of albums by Triumph came into my possession and I finally got around to giving the group a listen in hopes of discovering some savory prog rock to chew on. Unfortunately I'm finding that instead of steak and lobster I'm being presented with unseasoned cauliflower and beets. I started with their '81 release, "Allied Forces," and by the final cut I thought it should've been called "Let's do what those other guys are doing" instead because rarely have I heard anything so imitative and mimicking in my life. However, being the forgiving sort that's ever willing to give artists another chance to redeem themselves (even the best lay a rotten egg from time to time) I gave their "Sport of Kings" from '86 an unbiased spin. The good news is that it's not quite as despicable as the aforementioned turd. The bad news is that the improvement is negligible.

They open with "Tears in the Rain," a pop rock song indistinguishable from the lame offerings of a thousand other groups that swarmed like flies on a week-old wildebeest carcass in the mid 80s. Think Jefferson Starship mating with Toto and you'll have a pretty good idea of what this track sounds like especially since drummer Gil Moore could've been the shrill vocalist Mickey Thomas' stand-in. "Somebody's Out There" is next and it would've fit into the soundtracks for "Footloose" or "Flashdance" perfectly. It's slick as a quart of Quaker State, formulaic to the nth degree and contains incredibly vapid lyrics that were probably jotted down on a coffee-stained Denny's napkin at the eleventh hour. Scorpions come to mind on "What Rules My Heart" and I don't mean that to be a compliment. This is a prime example of faux metal and it's so blatantly derivative as to be a disgrace. My guess is the answer to the tune's title is "an insatiable yearning for a Top 40 hit single." "If Only" follows and to that I'd add in parentheses "we had an atom of originality." I'll concede that singer/guitarist Rik Emmett owns an impressively strong set of lungs and if there'd been an American Idol competition in those days he might've made the judges drool all over themselves but maybe he was just born too soon for such a fate. As for this particular number I find no redeeming qualities to report. "Hooked on You" is as banal as its moniker suggests and even though I hate to keep making comparisons this is an obvious rip off of the "rawk" hairballs Billy Squier was repeatedly coughing up in that era. The trio tosses in a few audio tricks to try to fool us into thinking they're clever but they're woefully ineffective.

Their mutual Canadian upbringing notwithstanding, "Take a Stand" is most likely what Rush would've sounded like if they'd decided to abandon their inventive muse and chase the almighty dollar. (May we all pause for a moment and thank the prog gods they didn't.) I deem this track pathetic schlock. Moore steps back up to the mike to croon "Just One Night," a ditty that may've been written with Michael Bolton in mind. It's a pedestrian power ballad signifying nothing. Next comes a short instrumental, "Embujo," and wow, that detour into Tijuana really paid off for you guys, huh? I will grant them this, though. At least they display a modicum of inspiration even if it's only for a few minutes. "Play With the Fire" sports the tired boogie rock beat that I so despise because it unfailingly wears out its welcome in a nanosecond and then you're stuck with it for the duration. The song's words must've been assembled from a dollar store rhyming dictionary with no regard for content whatsoever. Emmett does get to show off his fretboard tapping technique at one point but it comes off cheesy and patronizing. The name they stuck on "Don't Love Anybody But Me" is as insipid as their designation as a prog-related band. This tune is so commercial that it should have a price tag hanging off it.

In their defense putting out this brand of rock & roll is the trap that a great number of their peers stepped into during that dismal decade so perhaps they simply fell victim to a fatal strain of the MTV virus that sapped them of all progressive tendencies. I have no doubt they were giving it all they had but it's like trying to make a cake without flour. A vital ingredient was missing. As I said before, they could've been leaning in a prog direction in their early years but nothing I've heard so far convinces me that they should be given the time of day by any serious progger. 0.7 stars.

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 Allied Forces by TRIUMPH album cover Studio Album, 1981
2.45 | 53 ratings

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Allied Forces
Triumph Prog Related

Review by Chicapah
Prog Reviewer

1 stars There's a talented, daring trio hailing from Canada that's been around since forever commenced, consistently making high-quality progressive rock & roll throughout their long career while accumulating a legion of die-hard fans along the way. And then there's Triumph. If you're an admirer of theirs and consider them to be a literal bastion of prog music then you might want to stop reading right now because you aren't going to like what I have to say about this album. I know very little about Triumph other than being vaguely familiar with one of their songs that garnered some FM airplay back in the 70s, "Lay It On the Line," and coming across their various LPs while rummaging around between Traffic and The Tubes in the record store bins of that era. No one I knew was into them or ever said anything pro or con about them so they flew under my radar. When I noticed that they were listed as qualifiers for this esteemed site it occurred to me that perhaps I missed out on hearing some decent prog by never paying them any attention. They wouldn't be the first band I've overlooked and even though the aforementioned radio tune never struck me as particularly proggy it didn't mean it wasn't an unrepresentative anomaly. I mean, it wouldn't be fair to judge Genesis' catalog of work by "Follow You, Follow Me" would it? I picked "Allied Forces" because I figured that by the time they recorded their fifth record they'd most likely have honed their craft to the point where they felt very comfortable in the studio environment and should be making some of their best music accordingly. To say I was disappointed is putting it way too mildly. There's absolutely no prog to be found on this disc. Not a speck. In fact, listening to it turned out to be like playing some kind of parlor game titled "Guess The Band They're Trying To Sound Like On This Cut!"

Any tune that sports the unimaginative, pedantic moniker of "Fool For Your Love" is hinting that it's not going to be something along the lines of a complex King Crimson number. This opening song is a case of bad Bad Company and my immediate reaction was that it was probably written on the road in a Podunk, Iowa motel room in about ten minutes tops. It's pedestrian, middle-of-the-road fare akin to what you've heard a thousand times before from as many groups. "Magic Power" is next and it's a blatant Journey imitation. It's about as authentic as a gold Rolex watch purchased on a street corner. I find nothing original whatsoever to report and I'm kinda surprised that they weren't sued for plagiarism. The short segue item that is "Air Raid" follows and it's so predictably patronizing as to be humorous. As the title implies, it comes complete with sirens wailing atop some general mayhem sound effects and ends with a metallic thud. "Allied Forces" mimics Deep Purple semi-accurately sans the intensity. By this juncture I can't help but think of those fancy golf courses they're building these days where every hole is intentionally designed to be a replica of one of the more famous ones on the PGA tour so that a middle-of-the-road player can get a second-rate taste of the real thing. Don't get me wrong, the musicianship I'm hearing is passable but it's nothing that you can't hear on any given Saturday night at your local biker bar. "Hot Time (In This City Tonight)" is as boring and unimaginative as the name implies. I guess they added the parentheses' because it looked cool or something. Here they ape any one of a half dozen Southern-styled boogie outfits that flourished in that timeframe by cranking their amps up to eleven and bellowing out some rhyming lines about how much crazy fun they're going to have while getting wasted with their bubbas. Holy crap this is so lame!

"Fight the Good Fight" proves that even Led Zeppelin wasn't immune from being ripped off by these desperate dudes. By the way, fellas, using a synthesizer doesn't make you progressive. On this cut it appears that singer Rik Emmett is trying to out-screech his northern territory rival, Geddy Lee. Ugh. "Ordinary Man" is counterfeit Styx, complete with big stacked vocal harmonies and a lot of low-brow political posturing crammed into the lyrics. This is so contrived and amateurish that it's embarrassing to listen to. Next is "Petite Etude." If there's a bright spot in this morass of mediocrity it's this little acoustic guitar piece that's the equivalent of a colorful toadstool growing out of a cow pie. It succeeds mainly due to bassist Mike Levino and drummer Gil Moore taking the day off and not being in the studio to screw it up. That's my guess, anyway. "Say Goodbye" is the last tune and I couldn't have put my sentiments more succinctly than the title does. The number is so generic that it defies identification as to whom they're trying to copy this time around. I'll put it this way. If you were to combine all the hair bands that were yet to come along in the 80s into a musical melting pot and have a song appear this is what it'd taste like. Bland to the point of being nausea-inducing. Considering that this record was released in 1981 it might be reasonable to blame Triumph for all the banal power ballads that inundated the industry for the rest of the decade. That might be stepping over the line of decency, though. That's a brutal accusation on my part so I take it back. You can decide for yourself as to who started that ball rolling.

Giving them the benefit of the doubt, it could be that they started out as a progressive band in '75 but abandoned it long before they got around to recording "Allied Forces." In their defense they sold over a million copies of this album and it reached #23 on the LP chart so they no doubt filled a few arena seats because of it and, according to what I found on the web, they're still a working entity with a loyal following traipsing the state fair circuits. I have no beef with these boys per se but when they're put up on the Progarchives dartboard and labeled worthy of inclusion then they're also qualified to be shot at. My only goal is to warn proggers who, like me, might be tempted to check this disc out in hopes of discovering something intriguing that they should spend their time looking elsewhere. To think that a group can manufacture a hit song simply by imitating what others have achieved is folly but it sounds like Triumph was trying to do just that. This is as intentionally derivative as anything I've ever come across and I hope I never have to sit through it again. 0.5 stars.

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 Allied Forces by TRIUMPH album cover Studio Album, 1981
2.45 | 53 ratings

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Allied Forces
Triumph Prog Related

Review by jude111

3 stars I just don't get people who balk at the comparisons to Rush. This album broke the same time as Rush's Moving Pictures, and there's a startling similarity between "Fight the Good Fight" and Rush tracks like "Freewill" and "Limelight." I mean that in the best possible sense.

Just as many thought Red Rider's song "Lunatic Fringe" was a new Floyd song and sounded like something from The Wall, I well remember my friends at the time thought "Fight the Good Fight" was the newest Rush song - and let's face it, that track is probably better than some of the Side B songs on Moving Pictures. (That statement's sure to rankle Rush fans, haha.) The song "Magic Power" got a lot of airplay on US radios as well, and it's not a great leap to imagine Geddy Lee singing this one either.

It's not the closest Rush impression I've heard - that would belong to the Christian rock band The Daniel Band (also from Toronto, Canada), whose albums On Rock (1982), Straight Ahead (1983), and Run from the Darkness (1984) are recommended, if you can take the Christian lyrics (they're all on Spotify, I believe; check out their song "You're All I Need," which slots right in with Rush and Triumph's "Fight the Good Fight"). If you're a Rush fan you'll want this in your collection, especially for the two tracks mentioned above.

Until we can do half-ratings: 2.5, rounded up to 3. Two killer tracks, but the rest I've never felt the need to re-visit.

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 Allied Forces by TRIUMPH album cover Studio Album, 1981
2.45 | 53 ratings

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Allied Forces
Triumph Prog Related

Review by Kingsnake

5 stars Perhaps, this prog-site is no the place for Triumph albums. Triumph are an excellent heavy/melodic rock band, somewht similar to Night Ranger, Led Zeppelin and Van Halen.

A perfct balance between partyrock and progressive rock, as shn on this album. Gil Moore and Rik Emmett switch vocals and Mike Levine does keyboards.

As always people compare it to Rush. Why? Because they're both trios? It's just stupid to compare both. I think it's a shame an excellent album wich delivers such beautiful and progressive tracks like Ordinairy Man and Fight the Good Fight has such a low score.

Even the heavy rockers are musically interesting and have some awesome drumming and guitaring.

For me, this album is the peak of the career of Triumph, and deserves much better than a score of 2,5*, wich is just silly. Maybe a site, where users aren't stubborn progheads, will be more of a warm home for these canadians.

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 Thunder Seven by TRIUMPH album cover Studio Album, 1984
2.40 | 38 ratings

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Thunder Seven
Triumph Prog Related

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

2 stars It's a pity to see Triumph on this esteemed site, a pity because for all the talent in the band and greatness in the music there is hardly a shred of progressive music to be found in their catalogue, aside from Rik Emmett's classical guitar compositions and a few other musical tricks here and there. Triumph are mostly a commercial hard rock band. That they were ever compared to Rush or considered to be competition to Rush is sillier than the Judas Priest/Iron Maiden fiasco of the early 80's. The two bands are quite distinct and Rush clearly followed the more progressive path while Triumph built their style on their strengths as a hard rock band.

"Thunder Seven" was released around the time I was first considering giving Triumph a listen and I remember a review in a rock magazine describing the guitar at the beginning of the opening track, "Spellbound" as "having all the subtleties of a rusty chainsaw". Indeed, "Spellbound" aimed at hitting the listener with a very typical but exciting hard rock song that by all expectations was to go down well with concert audiences. All of side one, in fact, comes across very much as a classic commercial hard rock album, as if Triumph had taken all they had learned from their past composing and recording experiences and tried to make it work for the big money and a bigger fan base. The album was a huge success for the band, and the inspire-the-teens rocker, "Follow Your Heart" was the monster single that propelled the band into Pepsi commercials after Michael Jackson got his 'fro toasted.

So side one is pretty much Triumph at their commercial hard rock best, and there is nothing here that would please anyone looking for that special musical twist that opens the doors to the progressive realm. Not even Emmett's acoustic slide guitar solo in the much derided Zeppelin-esque tune "Cool Down" can save this album on this site.

But side two looks more promising. Here's where the band quite likely came the closest to doing anything visionary. Consider the mini pseudo-suite of the time-themed songs: "Time Goes By," "Time Canon," and "Killing Time" with what is possibly Emmett's best classical composition ever, "Midsummer's Daydream" nestled in there. Most reviewers here agree that either "Time Goes By" or "Killing Time" are at least decent hard rock songs, and I think "Time Canon" shows the band attempting to exploit their vocal harmony capacity. Is it a rip off of Queen or Gentle Giant? Maybe the inspiration came from there but I don't think Triumph were out to take any credit for mimicking. In an interview at the time, Rik Emmett (who has an extensive musical background) said he suggested the idea to the other two members and was met with dubious looks and cocked eyebrows. I think it was a wonderful touch to an otherwise commercially oriented album.

"Stranger in a Strange Land" takes us out of the time pseudo-suite and back to the hard rock feel of the album but with a little more attention to the vocal and instrumentation atmosphere. In other words, they are looking away from the top of the hard rock pops approach that dominated side one.

The album closer is a carefully composed electric blues instrumental, "Little Boy Blues", for which some reviewers (bless them for their opinions) have offered little appreciation. I personally love this piece. There is mood, mood change, emotion and soul in the guitar playing, and the rest of the band do well to make this a wonderful and intelligent instrumental (I always listen for the drum solo break!). It seems that while Triumph were aiming to capture the commercial hard rock market with this album, they were also attempting to stretch out a little more than previously. Perhaps if they had continued to explore more progressive ideas they may have eventually become a real heavy-prog band. Instead they went for the more commercial approach on their next album, "The Sport of Kings".

I once laughed at a friend for buying the same cassette twice because he loved it so much, but there are now several albums in my collection that I have bought three times, first on cassette in the 80's, then on CD in the 90's, and then on remastered CD in the 00's and 10's. "Thunder Seven" by Triumph is one of those albums. It has always remained a favourite of mine (even though I don't listen to it often) because this was where I felt Triumph were making an effort to go beyond the standard commercial hard rock format. I give it 4.5 stars as a rock album. But as for a prog rock album I agree that more than 2 stars is pushing it. I am, however, glad to see a couple of people have rated it higher. Bless them for their opinions!

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 Allied Forces by TRIUMPH album cover Studio Album, 1981
2.45 | 53 ratings

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Allied Forces
Triumph Prog Related

Review by MrMan2000

4 stars Wow. Laughing at all the haughty reviews on here; "pleasant listen for those times when we can't take anything too complex and demanding". I guess something as...easily digestible as a Triumph record is going to get a cold response on a progressive sight.

Because, really, there's very little progressive about Triumph, and almost nothing by this point in their career. Still, from a hard / melodic rock aspect, this is an above average album. From beginning to end you have outstanding guitar work, and a number of fun to sing-along-with tunes.

Ordinary Man is clear standout here....with the only hint of prog to it (and just a hint, at that, as only the arrangement warrants the term). The title track is the other noteworthy track as it simply rocks from beginning to end and appropriately showcases Rik Emmett's otherworldly guitar skills.

Magic Power and Fight the Good Fight are your typical early 80's radio fodder, signaling the coming onslaught of hair metal. The remaining songs range from straight-ahead rocker (Fool For Your Love, Hot Time in the City) to the obligatory acoustic guitar solo to filler (Air Raid).

Yes, the lyrics are cheesy and often juvenile. Yes, the singing from both Emmett and Gil Moore rarely rates above mediocre. Still, for a hard rock album, it does quite fine, far outclassing most offerings from this category. If you like Triumph or had rock, a recommended album.

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Thanks to Tony R for the artist addition.

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