REVIEW: Triumph – Stages

 

TRIUMPH – Stages (1985)

 

“When The Lights Go Down”, Canada’s Triumph hits the stage. This album, recorded before their descent into mediocrity, is one of the first double live albums I ever got and is still one of my favourites. The band are tight, there’s a hot guitar solo and just about every hit the band ever had. The band are both singing and playing great, and as icing on the cake, they threw in two new studio tracks (one decent, the other bland).

The decent:  “Mind Games” — Gil sings, but does not play drums due to his “annual arm injury”. Gary McCracken, ex-Max Webster, on drums! Can’t get much better than that. This is a great song with a fantastic double-tracked guitar hook.

The bland: “Empty Inside” — pure filler with Rik on vocals. No drummer, as this is a drum machine.  Slow, slow, slow.  Terrible song, terrible way to end an otherwise fine album. Hints of what was to come.

Live highlights for me included “Never Surrender”, an explosive “Fight The Good Fight”, and the double-whammy of “Spellbound” and “Follow Your Heart” (both singles from Thunder Seven).   I think “Hold On” is a bit sappy, although here it is stripped down to a purely acoustic arrangement.

There’s a bonus track on the vinyl, not included on any CD edition of the album.  Therefore, buy the CD at your own discretion.  It’s “Allied Forces” – a wicked version, too.  Gil’s drum solo, “Druh Mer Selbo” (Get it?) is on the CD, but not listed — it’s tacked onto “A World of Fantasy”.  On the LP it was a separate track.  The annoying thing is that there is enough room on a CD for “Allied Forces”, it still comes in under 80 minutes.  I made a CD myself with the entire track list and it fit just fine.

This live album was culled from various shows ’81-’84, so you get a great cross section of key tracks and performances. Yet it is very even sounding, and you can’t really tell that the sources are years apart. It is well mixed and mastered, and it is the Triumph album I play the most.

4/5 stars.

Side 1 LP 1

  1. “When the Lights Go Down” (Gil Moore, Michael Levine, Rik Emmett) – 6:00
  2. “Never Surrender” (Rik Emmett, Michael Levine, Gil Moore) – 6:43
  3. “Allied Forces” (Gil Moore, Michael Levine, Rik Emmett) – 5:07
  4. “Hold On” (Rik Emmett) – 4:21

Side 2 LP 1 

  1. “Magic Power” (Rik Emmett, Michael Levine, Gil Moore) – 6:12
  2. “Rock & Roll Machine” (Gil Moore) – 10:20
  3. “Lay it on the Line” (Rik Emmett) – 5:03

Side 1 LP 2

  1. “A World of Fantasy” (Rik Emmett, Michael Levine, Gil Moore, Tam Patrick) – 4:18
  2. “Druh Mer Selbo” (Gil Moore) – 4:12
  3. “Midsummer’s Daydream” (Rik Emmett) – 2:42
  4. “Spellbound” (Gil Moore, Michael Levine, Rik Emmett) – 3:56
  5. “Follow Your Heart” (Gil Moore, Michael Levine, Rik Emmett) – 3:37

Side 2 LP 2

  1. “Fight the Good Fight” (Rik Emmett, Michael Levine, Gil Moore) – 7:36
  2. “Mind Games” (Gil Moore, Michael Levine, Rik Emmett) – 4:49
  3. “Empty Inside” (Rik Emmett, Michael Levine, Gil Moore) – 4:04

2 comments

  1. Thanks for the heads up about the missing Allied Forces on the CD version of this album. I’ll look for the vinyl now. Between this and the 1983 US Festival DVD, there is ample evidence that Triumph were arguably the best live rock band of the early Eighties…

    Liked by 1 person

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