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Triumph - Rock And Roll Machine CD (album) cover




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3.47 | 55 ratings

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Symphonic Team
2 stars Triumph II - some further confusion

In my review of Triumph's self-titled debut album I tried to sort out some of the confusion concerning all the different versions of that and the present album in existence. As I said there, some versions of the debut album features some tracks from this second album mixed in with some of those from the first. Some versions of that "mixed" album are called In The Beginning and yet others are called Rock 'N' Roll Machine (that's right, the same title as the present album but with only partial overlap in terms of tracks!). The point of compiling tracks from the first two albums like this was probably to make songs from the debut album more widely available outside the band's native Canada. From a Prog point of view this was something of a lost opportunity, however, as some of the more progressive tracks from Triumph's first two albums were left off it. Had they put both Blinding Light Show/Moonchild from the debut as well as the three part The City from this second album on the same disc, they would have diminished any need for all but the completionists to get hold of the two original albums.

While I have had the In The Beginning album for years, I only recently searched out the two original albums as they are listed here on Prog Archives. Since I already had In The Beginning, I previously knew the songs Takes Time, Bringing It On Home, Rocky Mountain Way and Rock 'N' Roll Machine and as I commented on these songs in my review of the debut album, I will concentrate on the other tracks here. Little Texas Shaker is bluesy hard rocker that vocally reminds me of Captain Beyond's debut album (with ex-Deep Purple singer Rod Evans). But it is a rather mundane song, I'm afraid, with cheesy lyrics including the phrase "shake your money maker"! Part one of New York City Streets is a rather funky number with some Jazz influences. The female backing vocals going "down in New York" are hard to tolerate! Part two is a more conventional Triumph hard Rock number.

The centrepiece of the album, and the only good reason for the Prog fan to invest in this album, is the nine and a half minute, three part The City. While not as great and memorable as Blinding Light Show/Moonchild, this is still a great song with flashy Flamenco style guitar play and King Crimson-esque Mellotron. For those who know me, you know that I have a very soft spot for Flamenco style guitars in a Rock setting. Once again Triumph here prove to us that they can make really good progressive music when they want to. Sadly they preferred to concentrate on trite Hard Rock and Rock 'N' Roll numbers for most of their career.

As I said, only completionists need all the different versions of Triumph's first two albums. But The City makes this album worth while.

SouthSideoftheSky | 2/5 |


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