Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Milk Crate Classic #4 - Triumph

Triumph had a series of great, and popular albums through the 1970's and 80's. It is the first Triumph album, Triumph, that I turn to when I want to listen to them. Recorded in 1976, Triumph is still a great sounding album that carries itself well 30 years on.

Starting with the marvellous 24 Hours a Day, this album stays strong throughout. 24 Hours a Day would define Triumph for years to my mind, starting soft, with a gentle sweet lyric about playing in a band, before getting hard and hot, becoming anthemic through the chorus: "Everybody Party, 24 hours a day"; Triumph was, throughout their career, a great party band, and the theme of rock and roll life weaved its way through all their music.

Even on this album, the other great track, Side two opener What's Another DayStreet Fighter covers the same theme. But ultimately the songs that bring this album to life are the side closers, and Street Fighter Reprise, on side one and Blinding Light Show/Moonchild on side two.

Blinding Light Show/Moonchild goes to all the places Triumph would dominate in their music, hard, heavy and melodic intro, soft guitar over pitch perfect vocals for the verse, and a Spanish guitar solo in the middle. Nobody stops a song,or an album, for a Spanish guitar solo these days, and it's a pity. Blinding Light Show/Moonchild is not just a good Rock song, it is a top fight piece of music that encompasses styles, shows true musicianship while still being a good song unto itself.

Blinding Light Show/Moonchild ends the album in the same vein it begins, Offering something else modern albums never do, completion. It is not just a collection of songs, but Triumph's Triumph is a complete thought unto itself, beginning with tech singer complaining he can't sleep because the music is running through his head, "and I can't tell if it's Carnegie Hall or just some local bar." It ends with him in the centre of the rock concert, the Blinding Light Show. In between, it's taken "a long time to make it this far."

A complete, and solid collection of songs that, 30 years on, still sound good and fresh, if not just a bit to musical to be made of modern stuff.

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