Triumph's overlooked and underrated fourth album gets sonic
Terrence J. Reardon | Lake Worth (a west Palm Beach suburb), FL | 03/28/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Canadian hard rock trio Triumph released its fourth album Progressions of Power in the spring of 1980.
A year earlier, the band released its US breakthrough album Just a Game which was spurned by the hits "Lay it On the Line" and "Hold On". Just a Game made singer/guitarist Rik Emmett, bass player Mike Levine and singer/drummer Gil Moore Canada's other biggest rock band aside fellow Toronto natives Rush.
When Progressions of Power was released was the album just as good as its predecessor or did they take a major backstep. Read ahead and find out, as I did when I acquired the album on CD originally in November of 1999.
We begin Progressions of Power with the great rocker "I Live For The Weekend". This track, sung by drummer Moore, became the album's most popular track. Also, the track would be a concert staple for the next couple of years. "I Can Survive" follows and starts out to be a melodic number before turning into a full throttle rocker sung by Moore. The track was the album's single but peaked at a dismal #92 on the charts. Next is the album's best track "In The Night". This track has Emmett on vocals and is an epic which goes from quiet to loud and back and then has one of Emmett's best lead vocal performances pre-1981. "Nature's Child" ends the first half and is a killer rocker. Moore (who sings it) and Emmett are on fire here and the track would rightfully be a concert staple.
The album's second half kicks off with another hard rocker sung by Moore called "Woman In Love" which sounds like a cross between hard rock and arena rock. Next is the slow and acoustic ballad "Take My Heart" which was sung by Emmett and is an excellent ballad. Next is "Tear The Roof Off" which was a killer hard rocker sung by Moore and would serve as the opening song on this album and the next two tours (Emmett would share lead vocals on live versions of the track). Next is the acoustic piece "Fingertalkin'" which shows Mr Emmett's superb classical guitar playing. We end the album with the majestic "Hard Road" which is a mid-tempo melodic hard rocker with Emmett on vocals and just a superb track.
Progressions of Power was initially released on RCA Records and peaked at #32 on the Billboard album charts in 1980. Then the album was re-released in 1985 on MCA then again in 1995 on TRC and then again in 2005 as a new remaster on the band's own TML label and trumps the 1980s CD version by a longshot.