TRIUMPH (1975–93; 2007–PRESENT). Rik Emmett (guitar/vocals), Mike Levine (bass), Gil Moore (drums/vocals).
While the Canadian power trio Triumph were often compared to their fellow Canadians Rush, due to their three-person format and high-pitched vocal range that singer-guitarist Rik Emmett and Rush’s Geddy Lee shared, Triumph was a much more mainstream hard rock/metal band with far fewer prog-rock tendencies. Their melodic songwriting helped them to become one of the few Canadian hard rock outfits to make significant commercial headway outside of their own country.
Coming together in Toronto in 1975, the band got their start with a self-titled album on the smaller Attic label. Although the album wasn’t a commercial success, it did get some airplay, particularly in Texas, where the band began to build a regional fan base. The album also got the attention of RCA Records, who signed the band, re-releasing the debut. The band’s second album, Rock & Roll Machine, released in 1977, gave the band its first hit in their cover of Joe Walsh’s “Rocky Mountain Way.” They hit the road, earning a reputation as a strong live act and augmenting their trio-format with a massive light show and pyrotechnics.
Subsequent albums did progressively better commercially, and with 1981’s Allied Forces, the band scored its first breakout hit with the single “Fight the Good Fight.” Triumph would go on to release a string of moderately successful albums with most going gold, until 1988 when guitarist/vocalist Rik Emmett decided to leave the band for a solo career.
Levine and Moore attempted to carry on, recruiting new vocalist/guitarist Phil X and releasing the 1993 album Edge of Excess, but the band broke up shortly afterward. In 2007, nearly twenty years after Emmett had left the band, Triumph were reunited when they were inducted into the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame.
Discography: Rock & Roll Machine (RCA Victor, 1977); Just a Game (MCA, 1979); Progressions of Power (MCA, 1980); Allied Forces (MCA, 1981); Never Surrender (MCA, 1982); Thunder Seven (MCA, 1984); Stages [live] (MCA, 1985); The Sport of Kings (MCA, 1985); Surveillance (MCA, 1989); Edge of Excess (Victory Music, 1993); In the Beginning (RCA, 1995); Cleveland 1981 (King Biscuit Flower Hour, 1996); King Biscuit Flower Hour (In Concert) (King Biscuit Flower, 1996); Live at the US Festival (TML, 2003); Live: A Night of Triumph (Rare, 2008).