Long-standing, mega-successful Canadian rock institution Triumph reformed in 2008 after an acrimonious break-up way back in the early ‘90s. When guitarist/vocalist Rik Emmett returned to the power-trio he helped make famous, fans were ecstatic and much touring has followed. For 2010, Frontiers Records has released yet another greatest hits album for the band, with the added bonus that all of the songs have been remixed to punch up their old recording values.
Besides the age-old debate about the worth of greatest hits albums, you cannot deny that a band like Triumph has had enough hits and classic songs to easily provide enough material to fill one. So as you’d expect, the track list is essentially flawless, containing all of the band’s well-known songs like “Lay It on the Line”, “Magic Power”, and “Fight the Good Fight”. Long-time fans might not be excited by hearing them again, but casual or new fans will get a great introduction into what Triumph is all about. As for the songs themselves, well, let’s just say I’ve never been a huge Triumph fan. I think “Lay It on the Line” is a fantastic song, forged in the still relatively new days of metal (1979) where rock and metal often mixed freely. However, I’ve never quite cottoned to the rest of the band’s discography, despite multiple tries (hey, I’m Canadian; it’s required that I at least TRY to like Triumph). Thus, smaller hits like “Just One Night”, “Hold On”, and “Lights Go Down” come off wimpy and toothless.
But whatever man, Triumph has always been a band impervious to critics, and there’s no reason for that to not continue. The band is a fantastic live experience, and in fact their albums have never done them justice when compared to their stage show. Still the songs on GREATEST HITS REMIXED do sound great, and as a collection piece or introduction to the band it certainly serves its purpose. Me, I’ll still keep this everyman’s band at arm’s length, but it’s good and somehow comforting to have Triumph back and playing.
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