Archive for Triumph

Great Metal Albums of 1984: Triumph- Thunder Seven

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 7, 2018 by 80smetalman

Just when I thought that 1984 was becoming all metaled out towards the very end of the year, along comes a great album from Canadian greats, Triumph, to continue the metal mayhem that was that year. By then, both commercial radio and MTV was starting to suck, so when the first single, “Spellbound” came blasting over the airwaves on Thanksgiving Day, I was truly psyched. I was already a Triumph convert by then thanks to their previous albums, “Never Surrender” and “Allied Forces” so I welcomed the new “Thunder Seven” album with open arms and ears.

“Spellbound” is my second favourite Triumph song of all time. I just love how Rik Emmett uses his guitar on the song and the harmonizing on the chorus, just great. There are keyboards but unlike the trend in the 1980s, they simply support and not take over the song. Full marks to Mike Levine, he does a good job with them. With the keyboards in that great song, one might be tempted to think that Triumph had gone the same way as their fellow Canadians, Rush, had done earlier in this year. Trust me, they don’t.

Not many songs do what they say in the title but the second song does “Rock Out and Rock On!” Not really much more I can say about it than that, except it’s a cool track. Then, I really do like the cowboy type vibe on “Cool Down.” I don’t know if the song really is about cowboys but what I do know and like is how Rik lays down some really cool guitar work on it. “Follow Your Heart” was the second single from “Thunder Seven” and everything about the song says “single.” It’s a slightly lighter than the other songs but you can still feel Triumph’s energy with it.

The rockingest song and my vote for hidden gem is definitely “Time Goes By.” While this song is harder than “Spellbound,” there is some great harmonizing vocals on it as well. Another song that has Triumph being at their best, especially Emmett’s guitar solo. Following “Time Goes By” are two songs which are less than two minutes, the first one being an acoustic instrumental, done well. The second, sounds like a church choir but it does show the vocal ability of Rik Emmett and Gil Moore in a different light. Their vocal abilities also come through very well on the next track, the ballad, “Killing Time.” However, things pick up with the penultimate rocker, “Stranger in a Strange Land” before going out an a mega high with the blues based instrumental, “Little Boy Blues,” where once again, Rik shows his guitar prowess.

Track Listing

  1. Spellbound
  2. Rock on Rock Out
  3. Cool Down
  4. Follow Your Heart
  5. Time Goes By
  6. Midsummer’s Daydream
  7. Time Cannon
  8. Killing Time
  9. Stranger in a Strange Land
  10. Little Boy Blues

Triumph

Rik Emmett- guitar, vocals, synthesizers, bass pedals

Gil Moore- drums, vocals, percussion,

Mike Levine- bass, keyboards, synthesizers, bass pedals, organ, clavinet

It was great to see that when people thought that metal was fizzling out in 1984, Triumph kept things going with this great album.

Next post: Hanoi Rocks: Two Steps From the Move

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Great Metal Albums of 1983: Lee Aaron’s First LP

Posted in 1980s, Death, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 8, 2017 by 80smetalman

220px-lee_aaron_-_1984_-_lee_aaron_reissue

Before I launch into the debut album from one of Canada’s best heavy metal exports in the 1980s, I have to confess that my brain hasn’t been in gear this past week. I can’t believe that when I compiled my compilation album of music stars who died in 2016, that I left out Rick Parfitt from Status Quo. Therefore, to rectify this major screw up, I would add two Status Quo songs on it. One from the “1+9+8+2” album I posted about, the song being “Want the Whole World to Know.” The other, the one I consider the better of the two songs a corporate record producer would use: “Rocking All Over the World.” Rest in Peace, Rick Parfitt.

Rick Parfitt

Rick Parfitt

Status Quo

Status Quo

 

Onto the debut album from Canada’s own Lee Aaron. Now, something else that the music websites say I got wrong. It seems that this album didn’t come out in 1983. Originally it was released in 1982 and re-issued in 1984. However, I got this on cassette as part of a double album set with Lee’s next album, “Metal Queen.” Anyway, I thought for sure that it said on the cassette that the “Lee Aaron’s First LP” was copyrighted in 1983 and have had it in my noggin for over thirty years that it came out in said year. Since it’s too much trouble to go up into my attic and dig out the cassette to check, I must ask for clemency on any misrepresentation of this album.

Now that’s over, let’s move on. I remember reading an interview of Lee Aaron in 1987 where she said she laughs when she hears this, her first album. I can see where she is coming from. Back then she was brand new to the industry and rather naive and listening to the album, one can probably say that if she had more say on the album, it might have sounded different. She only wrote on four of the songs. Lee, I hope it wouldn’t have sounded too much different because this first LP really rocks!

While she might slightly blush over the lyrics of the tracks, “I Like My Rock My Hard” and “Should Have Known,” hell, I blush for her but they are still good sounding metal songs. In fact, I have to take my hat off to Rik Emmett of Triumph who produced the album. I always thought he did a good job of taking Lee under his wing because I can’t fault any of the tracks on here. Her vocals are just phenomenal and there are some good musician work to accompany those vocals. Though I can’t ascertain why Rik only played on one song, the opener, “Under Your Spell.” Stand out tracks for me are “Night Riders” and “Took My Heart Away” to begin with. Her cover of the famous Willie Dixon blues classic, “I Just Want to Make Love to You,” which has been covered by so many bands is one of the best. Before, I heard her version, it was Foghat’s version I liked but now there’s a power struggle in my brain. However, my favourite tracks on the album are definitely “Texas Outlaw,” where she doubles with Buzz Sherman and the closing track and even though it’s only on the 1984 re-issue, I’m going to include it here, “Under the Stars.” This track is recorded live and makes me regret never seeing Lee Aaron live. So, while she might laugh at this album, I really like it.

Track Listing:

  1. Under Your Spell
  2. Lonely For Your Love
  3. Night Riders
  4. Texas Outlaw
  5. I Like My Rock Hard
  6. I Just Want to Make Love to You
  7. Runnin’ From His Love
  8. Should Have Known
  9. Took My Heart Away
  10. Under the Stars

Lee Aaron

Lee Aaron- lead vocals

Rik Emmett- guitar, track 1

Dave Alpin- guitar, tracks 1 and 7

Rick Santers- guitar, tracks 2-4, 6, 8, 9

Earl Johnson- guitar, tracks 4,6,8

Frank Soda- track 5

John Albani- guitar, track 10

George Bernhardt- guitar, track 10

Buzz Sherman- co-lead vocals tracks 4 and 8, backing vocals track 8

Bill Wade- drums- tracks 1 and 7

Mark Santers- drums, tracks 2-4, 6, 8, 9

Gen Gratto- drums, track 5

Randy Infuso- drums, track 10

Gene Stout- bass, track 1 and 7

Rick Lazaroff- bass, tracks 2-4, 6, 8, 9

Peter Crolly- bass, track 5

Jack Meli- bass, track 10

Like I said, Lee Aaron might have been embarrassed about her first album but I’m sure not. It is a good rocking album even if the lyrics of some of the songs on it do sound a bit childish. Still, you can’t fault her fabulous vocals and the musicians Rik Emmett put together to make this fine album. One of these guitarists will stay with Lee but you’ll have to wait to her future albums before I sing his praises. In the meantime, enjoy this one.

Next post: Mercyful Fate- Melissa

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1983- Triumphs and Tragedies

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 27, 2016 by 80smetalman
The Alamo

The Alamo

The only tragedy I remember from 1983 actually happened the year before. Due to my military service, I didn’t find out about it until 83 when I read about all the fallout from it. I’m talking about when Ozzy Osbourne pissed on the Alamo. He claims he was drunk as a skunk, (I’ve never seen a drunk skunk so I have nothing to compare it to.) Ozzy also said he didn’t know it was such a national shrine, well it is in Texas. The result of his action got him banned from the city of San Antonio for ten years, although that was lifted a few years later when he made a large donation to the Alamo charity.

Ozzy Osbourne

Ozzy Osbourne

Ozzy was already getting himself a reputation outside the heavy metal world for the wrong reasons. His infamous biting the head off a bat was making its rounds. Of course, the religious element in America embellished things further. There were rumours he blew up goats on stage and at one show, he supposedly threw a puppy into the crowd and said he wouldn’t sing anymore until the audience killed the puppy. While this was all untrue hype, it didn’t help Ozzy when he actually did something for real. So for Ozzy and somewhat in the metal world, this was a bit of a tragedy because it overshadowed the two albums he released in the year. I’ll be covering those soon enough.

Now for the triumphs. It seems that 1983 was a cool year for festivals. I got to go to two of them. The first one, I mentioned when I posted about the Nantucket and Doc Holliday albums a few months ago. Those two bands topped the bill at the Mayfair Festival at Jacksonville, North Carolina. The other five bands remain pretty much unheard of with the bottom three being cover bands. So, I thought I’d include them in this little piece of history. They were Skeet Kelly, Roxy, Avalanche- who did a great cover of Sammy Hagar’s “Heavy Metal,” Peer Pressure- who did a reasonably decent cover of John Cougar’s “Hurt So Good” and Eraxle- who closed their set with a fantastic cover of Van Halen’s “Ice Cream Man.” I consumed loads of alcohol and there were some interesting events between the bands like a wet t-shirt and a men’s ugly legs competition. A fine day from what I remember.

Nantucket

Nantucket

Military commitments kept me from attending this festival but my sister went. I tried to pick her brains but she didn’t remember much. In the June, Journey headlined in Philadelphia and with them were John Cougar, Sammy Hagar, The Tubes and Bryan Adams. From what she can remember, my sister says that Journey sounded great and had a fantastic light show. John Cougar and Bryan Adams were both very good as was Sammy Hagar despite his red spandex. Unfortunately, The Tubes weren’t up to the rest of those who played that day. If this line up played in more cities than Philly, I would love to hear your account of the day.

Journey Live

Journey Live

It didn’t matter that I was in the military for this one, I couldn’t have gone to the US Festival because it was 3000 miles away in California. The US Festival was a three day festival where the first day consisted of new wave bands, the second day’s line up was heavy metal and the third day’s was a rock line up. From what I heard, all three days were fantastic although I do recall an interview with a local sheriff saying that he was going to try to ban such events following the festival. I didn’t think about it then, but that was the first salvo fired at music in the 1980s. I think the best thing to do is just to let you look at the line up for the three days and I’m sure you will be just as awestruck as I was.

Us Festival Showbill

Us Festival Showbill

I did get to the final festival in 1983. This was my first Donington Festival as I happened to be in England at the time. From my memory, I can recall that Diamond Head were all right and Dio were very good. I didn’t twig on who the lead singer was until they played “Heaven and Hell” but that was okay. They were brilliant. Then came Twisted Sister. I can still remember Dee Snider’s quip: “We’re not Culture Club or any of those gay boys or Duran Duran nor any of those other wimps. We’re Twisted Sister and we play heavy metal rock and roll!” Of course I knew there must of been something about them when they were introduced as Twisted Fuckin’ Sister. Their music was great too.

For me, ZZ Top took the concert. They played a magnificent combination of old and new material during their time on stage. Of course it helped that they played my two favourite ZZ Top tunes, “Jesus Just Left Chicago” and “La Grange.” They also played quite a few songs off their new “Eliminator” album so they basically rocked. The big let down after ZZ Top was Meatloaf. I was not impressed, he just sounded terrible that day. Worse, my friend’s English girlfriend didn’t realize that they ran a special train after the concert so out of fear of getting stuck, we left early and missed headliners, Whitesnake. I remain gutted but overall, Donington 1983 was a kick ass day and proved that Great Britain could rock.

donfest83

 

That was 1983 in a nutshell. The only real tragedy was Ozzy pissing on a national shrine but all the great concert festivals more than compensated for it. Just posting about it has me psyched for Bloodstock in two weeks. It was no wonder I was super excited when I got out of the marines that year.

Next post: Great Soundtracks

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Great Metal Albums of 1982: Triumph- Never Surrender

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2015 by 80smetalman

TRIUMPH10

Just learned something. Different internet sites can provide different information about the same thing. Heavy Harmonies states that this classic album, “Never Surrender” from Triumph came out in 1982, while Wikapedia states that it was released in January, 1983. I can’t say because I never had to buy it at the time, my sister’s then boyfriend had it and let me borrow it. Needless to say, it got played to death.

I must also confess that I lied last year. I said that “Allied Forces” was my favourite Triumph album. Actually, “Never Surrender” is, although there isn’t much between the two and knowing me, I could listen to the other one again and things would revert back. That’s just how good both albums are.

It just so happens that “Never Surrender” contains my definite all time favourite Triumph song, “World of Fantasy.” The acoustic intro followed by the thundering guitar and supplemented with a catchy chorus and a great guitar solo from Emmett, make for an all time great. Full marks should be given to the band for creating such a masterpiece. It is always the first song to come to mind when someone says Triumph and that catchy chorus is playing through my head as I write.

Of course, there are other great songs on the album, otherwise the album wouldn’t be great. There are some great straight forward hard rock tunes starting with the opener, “Too Much Thinking,” which starts things off just right. Others include “All the Way” and “Writing on the Wall.” Then there’s the reggae sounding title track. Well not totally reggae because it does rock. Like my all time fave, “When the Lights Go Down” also starts with a cool acoustic intro, except this one sounds almost like it’s going to be a country or Southern rock song. It’s not, just typical hard rocking Triumph. Finally, while Emmett’s guitar skills are present throughout, I must say that his best effort is the instrumental closer, “Epilogue.” He really shines on this one. Putting all of these great tracks together, it’s easy to see why “Never Surrender” is such a stupendous album.

Track Listing:

  1. Too Much Thinking
  2. World of Fantasy
  3. Minor Prelude
  4. All the Way
  5. Battle Cry
  6. Overature (Procession)
  7. Never Surrender
  8. When the Lights Go Down
  9. Writing on the Wall
  10. Epilogue (Resolution)
Triumph

Triumph

Rik Emmett- lead vocals, guitar

Mike Levine- bass, organ, synthesizer, piano

Gil Moore- drums, percussion, backing vocals

It doesn’t matter whether or not “Never Surrender” was released in 1982 or 83. Whatever year, the album totally kicks ass as Triumph were at their prime. As I already said a number of times, 1982 was a famine year for me musically on account of my military commitments. I have come to regret missing many of those albums I have written about in that year but never got to listen to at the time. The sacrifices we make serving one’s country. However, 1983 would be different and I will be starting that pivotal year with albums that were released in 82 but brought my 83 in with such hard rocking style. But first, a break in the action.

Next post: Tribute to another great rock club

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Great Metal Albums of 1981: Triumph- Allied Forces

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on October 2, 2014 by 80smetalman

Triumph_Allied_Forces

For all the moaning I do about Canadian metal not getting the respect it deserves, Triumph are one band that my moaning certainly applies to. Sure, they have enjoyed lots of success in the USA where they have sold many albums and have given Yanks many a good concert memory but if you mention them here in the UK, there are a lot of British metalheads who would answer “Who?” Now before I get a load of responses from my British readers shouting from the roof tops how much they love this band, there are many out there, including some long established metalheads who haven’t heard of Triumph. Sacrilege, I know.

“Allied Forces” was the album that first introduced me to Triumph and for me, it was love at first listen. I was hooked from the very first notes of “Fool For You Love,” a great rocking track and a very appropriate opener. I really love the second track, “Magic Power” and how it starts with a guitar intro that hints at being a fantasy ballad and then hits you over the head with all out power. That song got a couple of extra listens on its own. Like a good baseball team, the album has a very good middle of the order. All four songs are just fantastic, so much so, I can’t pick one that stands out above the other. They’re just all good. Thinking about it, Rik Emmett does play a rather mean guitar solo “Hot Time in the City Tonight.” The two instrumentals on the album are both short and to the point and that’s not a bad thing. It all closes with a very suitable “Say Goodbye” and while you know the album is finishing, you can’t help wanting to go back and listen to it all over again. I know I did.

Track Listing:

1. Fool For Your Love

2. Magic Power

3. Air Raid

4. Allied Forces

5. Hot Time in the City

6. Fight the Good Fight

7. Ordinary Man

8. Petite Etude

9. Say Goodbye

Triumph

Triumph

Rik Emmett- all guitars, vocals

Gil Moore- drums, percussion, vocals

Mike Levine- bass, all keyboards

If there is any album that supports the notion that Triumph should be heralded as a great band, it’s “Allied Forces.” I made me believe and I’m sure I’m not the only one this album did that to. If you haven’t heard it, have a listen and it will have the same effect on you.

Next post: UFO- The Wild, the Willing and the Innocent

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Great Metal Albums of 1981: Anvil- Hard ‘N’ Heavy

Posted in 1980s, films, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 27, 2014 by 80smetalman

220px-Hardnheavy

After listening to “Hard ‘N’ Heavy,” the debut album from Canadian metal outfit, Anvil and thinking back to the documentary made about them four years ago, I find myself asking, “Why didn’t they make it into the big time?” This album alone should have catapulted them into the stratosphere of music, it’s that good. My gut reaction is my belief that Canadian metal was largely ignored back then with the exceptions of Rush and Triumph but was that really the case? My mind is still grappling with the question but in any case, whenever any of the great metal albums from 1981 are mentioned, “Hard ‘N’ Heavy” definitely deserves to be among them.

If I still had one of those radio/cassette alarm clocks and had this album on cassette, then I would have would have woken up every morning to the opening track, “School Love” and not just because it starts with a school bell. I love what comes after, the killer sound of guitar, bass and drums that meld together to make the song. Of course, after “School Love” woke me up, I wouldn’t be able to do much else because I would have to head bang away through its entirety. What impresses me with many of the songs is that Steve ‘Lips’ Kudrow is a far better guitarist than what I have given him credit for. There are some killer solos on “Hard ‘N’ Heavy.” “AC/DC” (which is not a tribute to the band of the same name), “At the Apartment,” Oh Jane” and “Bondage” all immediately come to mind here.

There are a good many songs that would sound even better if metalized and there are a couple of Rolling Stones songs that qualify here. But what Anvil have done with “Paint It Black” on the album is something truly phenomenal. They just didn’t metalize the song, they ultra metalized it. Another aspect that the band has always done well in my mind is add a certain sense of humour to a lot of their songs. That humour is apparent in all of the songs here while all the time, taking nothing away from the style that makes Anvil a true metal band.

Track Listing:

1. School Bells

2. AC/DC

3. At the Apartment

4. I Want You Both (With Me)

5. Bedroom Game

6. Oooh Baby

7. Paint It Black

8. Oh Jane

9. Hot Child

10. Bondage

Anvil

Steve ‘Lips’ Kudrow- vocals, guitar

Dave Allison- guitar, vocals

Ian Dickson- bass

Robb Reiner- drums

Whoever first said that Anvil are the greatest band never to have had a break gets total agreement from me. I can only wonder why they didn’t make it to the great heights achieved by so many other bands in the 80s. “Hard ‘N’ Heavy” is a fantastic metal album and deserves its place among so many of the other great metal albums from 1981.

Next post: Girlschool- Hit and Run

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Great Metal Albums of 1980: Triumph- Progressions of Power

Posted in 1979, 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on November 13, 2013 by 80smetalman

220px-Triumph_PofP

In 1980, we had metal contributions from Great Britain, the USA and Australia, so it would only be natural that we had at least one from Canada. Of course in this year of great rock and metal albums, there was a brilliant album from Rush, which I have already posted on, but since even they don’t want to be called heavy metal, I decided to honour their wishes and not refer to them as such. I’m digressing again, what Canada did give the metal world that year was a brilliant album from Triumph.

When I visited their “Just a Game” album during my tour of 1979, I explained that because heavy metal was still in it’s infancy back then, Triumph was still looking for the sound that would stamp them firmly onto the metal monument. I can now safely say that after hearing “Progressions of Power” twice, that they definitely found the sound they were looking for. For me, this is yet another great metal album from the year. Not only did the opener “I Live for the Weekend” had me banging my head away, but that lasted through the second song “I Can Survive.” Even the more power ballad “In the Night” didn’t lessen my happy mood. Then there were two great back to back¬†rockers, “Nature’s Child” and “Women in Love” and I have to really sing the praises of “Tear the Roof Off.” That songs really gets me going even if it is followed by a total ballad in the form of “Take My Heart.” Finally “Hard Road” that takes the album to it’s conclusion in a very well done fashion.

The problem that has always plagued Triumph is that because they’re Canadian, the get compared to Rush. Shame on those who do that. They are noticeably different. While Rush likes to go more progressive, Triumph lets you know that they are a hard rocking band and should be seen as such. I’m even going to go out on a limb here and say that I prefer the guitar playing of Rik Emmet to Alex Liefson but that’s just me. The solos he performs on this album are just grand.

Track Listing:

1. I Live For the Weekend

2. I Can Survive

3. In the Night

4. Nature’s Child

5. Women in Love

6. Take My Heart

7. Tear the Roof Off

8. Finger Talkin’

9. Hard Road

Triumph

Triumph

Rik Emmet- guitars, prophet 5 synthesiser, vocals

Gil Moore- drums, percussion vocals

Mike Levine- bass, keyboards

Way back when I first began this blog nearly three years ago, I said that Canadian metal doesn’t get the respect it deserves. I hope that as people follow me through this journey of heavy metal history, they will begin to give that respect to them. If you want a good place to start, then I can wholeheartedly suggest this album.

Next post: Van Halen- Women and Children First

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