Greatest Hits Remixed
Triumph, that other hard rockin' Canadian trio, have unleashed their double CD/DVD, Greatest Hits Remixed that is…a triumph. You might recall drummer and vocalist Gil Moore behind that massive drum kit, Mike Levine on bass and keys (and producer of a lot of the band's earlier recordings), and jumpsuit-wearing guitarist, singer and songwriter Rik Emmett, blistering across North America stages in the late 70s and 80s with their amazing playing and stage show. Mastering the ability to merge heavy rock with positive lyrics and commercial appeal, Triumph came down from Canada, built a solid rep in the States (starting in Texas), and became a regular fixture on MTV and arena stages around the world.
Fourteen of the band's best are featured on the CD, beginning with the infamous "Allied Forces." Moore shares his strong lead vocal duties on this one with an equally strong counter vocal by Emmett. This is the heaviest Triumph gets (at least on this collection), with a good singable chorus, blazing guitars and a straight-ahead rhythm. "Lay It On Line" follows with its big poppy sound, chunkin' chorus and excellent backing vocals. This one benefits especially from the remix applied to the CD. The big snare hits are fantastic and Emmett's lead guitar work is expressive. "Follow Your Heart" features Moore on vocals again, while the fantastic “Magic Power” benefits nicely from the remix.
"I Live For the Weekend" has some fantastic Moore drumming and teeters that line between heavy metal and pop, making it more than just a goodtime party song. "Hold On" has some sweet acoustic guitar, though not the best lyric. "Just One Night" might sound a little too much like Whitesnake. Things pick up again though with "Fight The Good Fight," which showcases Emmett over the band's staccato tightness. Levine's single notes over the verses, along with the heaviness during the lead break, makes for some flesh-rising stuff. "Never Surrender" is a bit funkier than usual. When the drums kick in, Triumph could almost be Rush — dare I say the "R" word in a Triumph review. It's a great song despite the most cursory of comparisons.
The DVD is a wonder as well. There are 11 videos that were in heavy rotation on MTV back in the 80s, such as "Follow Your Heart," "Lay It On The Line" and "Hold On." There are also the videos for "Child Of The City" and "Love Hurts," which feature Emmett’s late 80s replacement Phil X, a cool 'bootleg “Fan Cam” video of "Blinding Light Show," and some really touching footage of the band's induction into the Canadian Hall of Fame. The package includes an informative booklet with a history of the band and their music.
Moore and Levine claim the 14 songs on the CD were really what the fans have been asking for all these years. It's good to see Triumph go back as far as their third album for material, and spread the selections out from over six of their 10 albums. Triumph's Greatest Hits Remixed is essential for fans and a nice collection for anyone with a casual interest in this unique band.
~ Ralph Greco, Jr.