Triumph's roots go back to Toronto, Canada, when they were formed by Emmett, together with drummer/vocalist Gil Moore and bassist/keyboard player/vocalist Mike Levine, in 1975. They released their self-titled debut album in 1976 and immediately established themselves as one of Canada's premier groups, alongside Saga, Rush and April Wine. Further albums were released, but it was only after the release of their 4th album, "Progressions of Power" in 1980, that a breakthrough was made. Their much deserved respect and fame continued with the release of "Allied Forces" in 1981 and the awesome "Never Surrender" in 1983. Emmett's stunning axe work, coupled with their energetic stage act and brilliant contributions from both Moore and Levine, made Triumph one of the best live acts around. The mid eighties saw the addition of guitarist Rick Santers (from his own band, Santers), who joined the band on stage in order to overcome the limitations of a trio. Some felt that later releases such as "Thunder Seven" in 1984, "The Sport of Kings" in 1986, as well as our featured album, were disappointing efforts from this much missed band (a sentiment we do not agree with - each of those albums had some really good and classy moments). A double live album, "Stages", which captured the band at their best, was released in 1985. When Emmett left to embark on his solo career, Moore and Levine continued recording, enlisting the services of guitarist Phil X (Xenides). A final album, "Edge of Excess", was released in 1993, but without Emmett, and without taking anything away from Moore and Levine, it has to be said that Triumph had lost their magic. Rumours suggesting that Triumph are to reform have been circulating for years, but recent information received is that there's very little chance of that ever happening. A great pity - they were one of the finest rock bands in the world. Emmett, in the meantime, has released a number of brilliant solo albums - you can read up on this ridiculously talented musician elsewhere in these pages.  
Triumph - Never say Never, from "Surveillance" in 1987, their 11th album. This was the last album to feature co-founder, guitarist and vocalist Rik Emmett, who would go on to embark on a fairly successful solo career as one of the world's most accomplished guitarists. Triumph's roots go back to Toronto, Canada, when they were formed by Emmett, together with drummer/vocalist Gil Moore and bassist/keyboard player/vocalist Mike Levine, in 1975. They released their self-titled debut album in 1976 and immediately established themselves as one of Canada's premier groups, alongside Saga, Rush and April Wine. Further albums were released, but it was only after the release of their 4th album, "Progressions of Power" in 1980, that a breakthrough was made. Their much deserved respect and fame continued with the release of "Allied Forces" in 1981 and the awesome "Never Surrender" in 1983. Emmett's stunning axe work, coupled with their energetic stage act and brilliant contributions from both Moore and Levine, made Triumph one of the best live acts around. The mid eighties saw the addition of guitarist Rick Santers (from his own band, Santers), who joined the band on stage in order to overcome the limitations of a trio. Some felt that later releases such as "Thunder Seven" in 1984, "The Sport of Kings" in 1986, as well as our featured album, were disappointing efforts from this much missed band (a sentiment we do not agree with - each of those albums had some really good and classy moments). A double live album, "Stages", which captured the band at their best, was released in 1985. When Emmett left to embark on his solo career, Moore and Levine continued recording, enlisting the services of guitarist Phil X (Xenides). A final album, "Edge of Excess", was released in 1993, but without Emmett, and without taking anything away from Moore and Levine, it has to be said that Triumph had lost their magic. Rumours suggesting that Triumph are to reform have been circulating for years, but recent information received is that there's very little chance of that ever happening. A great pity - they were one of the finest rock bands in the world. Emmett, in the meantime, has released a number of brilliant solo albums - you can read up on this ridiculously talented musician elsewhere in these pages.

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Biography by Greg Prato
Late-'70s/early-'80s prog metallists Triumph endured countless comparisons to Rush throughout their career, and with good reason; they were both quite similar musically and lyrically, comprised of three members each, and hailed from Canada (although it must be said that Rush was the originator, and were much more commercially successful). Formed in Toronto during 1975, the trio consisted of guitarist/singer Rik Emmett, drummer/singer Gil Moore, and bassist/keyboardist Mike Levine, and issued their self-titled debut a year later via the independent Attic label. Although the album was largely ignored, it became a favorite of a radio DJ in San Antonio, TX, which led to a regional following solidified by a tour of the state. The exposure also gave way to a deal with RCA Records, who reissued the debut as well as Triumph's sophomore effort, 1977's Rock & Roll Machine, which spawned the group's first semi-hit single, a cover of Joe Walsh's "Rocky Mountain Way." It was also around this time that the group became known for its concerts, which relied heavily on pyrotechnics and an intricate light show (just in case their following couldn't figure this out themselves, the trio penned a track called "Blinding Light Show").

With their stock rising among hard rock fans, Triumph inked a new recording contract with MCA, which led to their most successful period both artistically and commercially. Such resulting albums as 1979's Just a Game and 1980's Progressions of Power inched the group closer to breakthrough success, which was obtained by a pair of back-to-back gold-certified albums: 1981's Allied Forces (often considered the group's best album, which spawned the hit anthem "Fight the Good Fight") and 1982's Never Surrender. Such further albums as 1984's Thunder Seven, 1985's Stages, 1985's The Sport of Kings, and 1987's Surveillance failed to meet the expectations set by their earlier releases, yet the group was able to retain its following. Come 1988, Emmett opted to leave the group to pursue a solo career, but instead of calling it a day, Moore and Levine decided to carry on with a new frontman/guitarist, while an 11-track best-of set, Classics, was issued a year after Emmett's exit.

Their first choice, ex-Thin Lizzy/Whitesnake member John Sykes, was too busy getting his project Blue Murder off the ground at the time, so the gig ultimately went to former Frozen Ghost/Aldo Nova associate Phil X (it was also around this time that the group built their own recording studio in Mississauga, Ontario, called Metalworks). The Phil X-led version of the group only managed to issue a single release however, 1993's Edge of Excess, before Triumph split up for good. In the wake of their breakup, several archival releases popped up in record stores, such as 1995's In the Beginning and 1996's King Biscuit Flower Hour (the latter of which chronicled a 1981 concert), while Rik Emmett continued on with his solo career, issuing albums on a regular basis throughout the '90s. 

 

Rik Emmett
Michael Levine
G.L. Moore
Phil X.
Rick Santers

Max Webster
Styx
Rush
Rik Emmett
Lillian Axe

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Triumph - 1976 - Triumph - 3/5

Triumph - 1977 - Rock & Roll Machine - 2/5

Triumph - 1979 - Just a Game - 3/5

Triumph - 1980 - Progressions of Power - 2.5/5

Triumph - 1981 - Allied Forces - 4/5

Triumph - 1982 - Never Surrender - 2/5

Triumph - 1984 - Thunder Seven - 1.5/5

Triumph - 1985 - Stages Live - 2/5

Triumph - 1985 - The Sport of Kings - 1.5/5

Triumph - 1989 - Surveillance - 2/5

Triumph - 1993 - Edge of Excess - 3/5

Triumph - 1995 - In the Beginning - 3/5

Triumph - 1996 - In Concert (King Biscuit Flower Hour)(Live) - 3/5

Triumph - 2003 - Live at the US Festival - 3/5

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