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Friday, June 18, 2010

Triumph Greatest Hit's - Remixed CD/DVD review

Triumph Greatest Hits Remixed CD/DVD
(Released on TML- USA/ Canada and Frontiers – Europe)
Released May 2010

OK, this is a big set to cover, so I’m going to get straight to the music here folks, with the one exception to say, that this release was brought together by the reunion of the 3 guys in Triumph. Since they’ve reunited though, just 2 live dates have happened, so here’s hoping that, that’s not it!

Opening the CD disc with ‘Allied Forces,’ the title track of the album of the same name, sung with such passion by Gil Moore. This just gets in your face after building up from the start and I have to say its sound here is huge! Love it, brings back many happy memories!

Then ‘Lay It On The Line’ from ‘Just a Game,’ which was the first Triumph album I ever got into and this song really captures all elements that are Triumph, great song, vocals, music and it’s just …, wow!

‘Follow Your Heart’ was made to be a big video and chart hit, as the lyrics just sum up the whole dream of rock and rock and with a great song, big guitar solo and everything else to the fore! It sounds fresh even today.

OK, who can say they really don’t LOVE ‘Magic Power?!’ It draws you in with a beautifully sung quiet intro from Rik Emmett before growing into a monster smash hit! Again, these guys had everything in a song, to perfection!

‘I Live for The Weekend’ was the title of Triumph’s first and only UK tour and I recall seeing them on the opening night. A great song to kick off your Friday night on any given week. Rock and Roll big time!

Probably my first true ‘favourite’ Triumph song was ‘Hold On’ with Rik Emmett’s soaring vocals from the start, with some beautiful acoustic guitar before the band joins in on the tail end of Rik’s held high note.
What great melody and strength in a song, big drums fills and more.

‘Just One Night’ – From Sport of Kings - it says here was a hit but I don’t recall it charting here in the US or the UK. I can see it’s potential as it’s actually a typical 80’s ballad, written in fact by Neal Schon (Journey), Eric Martin (Mr. Big) and Tony Fanucchi.
With ‘Fight The Good Fight’ it’s back to classic more traditional Triumph and likewise with ‘Spellbound,’ great more of what we came to expect of the band. Great songs in depth, written by their own fair hand and remixed here!

You know, don’t get me wrong but I never really thought ‘Never Surrender’ was a worthy title track, being a Triumph fan of course I love the song but it starts like it wants to be a Led Zeppelin song. I personally thought ‘World of Fantasy’ would’ve been the better choice of title track and was my favorite song off the album at the time. Sadly ‘World of Fantasy’ is not included here, yet it hit # 3 on the Billboard rock chart at the time.

Next up the double barreled attack of ‘When the Lights Go Down,’ this starts with some slide guitar and then the more commercial touch of ‘Somebody’s Out There,’ that gave the band chart success in 1986.

The Triumph classic ‘Rock & Roll Machine,’ is saved until now before it shows its face. It includes some harmonics that bring Eddie Van Halen to mind, but that it was released in 1977 and 'Van Halen' was in 1978 … Is it just me or were the band wanting to be Deep Purple here? A re-written 'Speed King' anyone? I still love it!

Surprise at the end is the closer, a cover song made famous by Scottish rockers Nazareth
‘Love Hurts’ was recorded after Rik Emmett left with Phil X briefly stepping into those huge shoes
It’s OK and I guess its inclusion is to get something that was previously unreleased on here.
I just wanted to add at this point that nowhere in my review, before now, have I mentioned the man that made up the classic trio. Without Mike Levine's bass, keyboards and spot on backing vocals, the band wouldn't have been what they were. It's clear that Mike was totally into the whole Triumph live gig and was always an integral part of this great act.

To the DVD then … Which is full of the various promo videos that accompanied the bands single releases and opens with ‘Follow Your Heart’ and a great fun ‘live’ – I’d say overdubbed – video, but it totally shows what the band were all about in a live settings. Great stage show and performance!
‘Lay it on the Line’ next comes across as one of those, fake live show video’s with crowd screams overlayed, still fun to see though.

Ah, time for a little cheesy 80’s video with ‘Spellbound,’ very nice young lady in the video though!
Love the song!

A truly live version of ‘Magic Power’ next with Rick Santers joining the band live as the 4th band member, in a clip that I believe was from the live ‘A Night of Triumph’ DVD set. Great stuff! It’s really great to see the guys in a live set.

Video of ‘When the Lights go Down’ is next with the band in a live setting, but with a studio track and just before the guitar solo and during, the crowd screams are filtered in. It’s kind of like, it’s either live or it’s a promo video, but why do one against the back track / image of the other and next track ‘Hold On’ is exactly the same, with the crowd filtered in at certain times.

‘Just One Night’ promo video is next, with Gil Moore as the main character throughout the video scene and various ladies scattered throughout the scenes and Mike and Rik playing in windows across the screen.

Rik Emmett is made the main character in next video, ‘Somebody’s Out There’ and it must’ve been shot in sequence with ‘Just One Night,’ as besides the band shots, the video is on a similar track as ‘Just One Night.’ Great song still and fun to watch too!

‘Allied Forces’ is footage from the bands performance at the US Festival from 1983 and even with it being daylight, the guys showed, who needs lights?! The music speaks for itself and it’s great and the crowd clearly loves it!

Next is ‘Never Surrender’ from the same live setting as ‘When the Lights Go Down,’ and the crowd seemed to lap it up!
‘Never Say Never’ was from last studio album Rik Emmett did with the band before he was replaced by Phil X.
In my books it’s actually still a good song, but certainly not a hit. Typical studio promo video footage, rare too I’d guess!

So now it’s the ‘Bonus’ footage of the DVD first off with ‘Child of the City’ featuring Phil Xenidis, best known as Phil X and I guess this promo video was trying to put Triumph across with a new raw angle, based on the style of video, shot through red/black lens.

Next is the ‘bootleg’ fan filmed, ‘Blinding Light Show’ where due to the quality you wonder whether Rik’s voice was a little off or it’s just the video microphone quality or therein lack of quality. Kind of a surprise inclusion if you ask me? Would’ve thought something else would’ve been a better choice, but ….?
Still it takes up ten and half minutes of footage here …

Next is the ‘strange’ video put together to accompany ‘Love Hurts,’ that featured Phil X, although all the video compilation footage features various live clips with Rik on guitar, hence why I say strange.

Finally is the footage from both the Juno and Canada’s Music Week awards in both the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Music Industry and Broadcast Hall of Fame. Both great pieces of footage and totally well deserved awards for the band, including various accolades from those in the business that that have been with the band throughout and musician friends too!

This is a great double set for any fan of the band and even for any mildly interested fan, but to be honest, if you ever liked any Triumph material at all, do yourself a favour a get this set, It’s great!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 all round good deal and package! If only they’d do one more tour!

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