Triumph's first album In the Beginning was released in 1976, now finally seeing the remaster treatment it has long deserved. This one might be the album that has been least heard here in the US, but it's one that every fan of 70's hard rock needs to check out. This is raw, ballsy rock and roll, much like what bands like Aerosmith, The James Gang, Ted Nugent, and to an extent what early Rush were doing. Heavy tracks like "Be My Lover", complete with Rik Emmet's lethal guitar licks and powerful vocals, or the prog-meets-Grand Funk Railroad party rock of "24 Hours a Day" just churn with youthful vigor, showing a side of Triumph that is not really evident on any of their subsequent albums. On "Don't Take My Life", Emmit's guitar snarls and spews nasty & heavy effects laden licks, while Gil Moore's drums pound and his vocals screech. During Emmit's solo, you can even hear bits and pieces of licks that would wind up on songs they would record later on.
The two part "Street Fighter" is another heavy rocker, and although it is a tad dated sounding, it still has a certain charm to it, especially the reprise section with Emmet's melodic vocals backed by some nice atmospheric keyboards. More gritty and nasty hard rock can he heard on 'What's Another Day of Rock n Roll" and "Let Me Get Next to You", both pieces decent but nothing to write home about, and "Easy Life" is a melodic yet forgettable piece that has little personality. It's the closing piece that steals the show however, and reason enough to own this CD. "Blinding Light Show/Moonchild" is a near 9-minute epic that perfectly mixed hard rock and prog, and shows that perhaps Triumph were looking to put together an extended and adventurous piece much like their fellow Canadians Rush were doing at the same time. With haunting synths, melodic bass lines from Mike Levine, layers of chilling acoustic guitars, hypnotic vocals from Emmet, and thunderous passages of searing electric guitar work, this one has it all. There's even a slight feel of early Styx on this track as well.
With enhanced sound and a full booklet of lyrics, the time is now to get a taste of one of Canada's best ever hard rock acts in their infant stage. It may not be perfect, but it good rockin' fun nontheless.
1. 24 Hours a Day
2. Be My Lover
3. Don't Take My Life
4. Street Fighter
5. Street Fighter (Reprise)
6. What's Another Day of Rock & Roll
7. Easy Life
8. Let Me Get Next to You
9. Blinding Light Show/Moonchild