"I'm young now, I'm wild now, I want to be free, I got the Magic Power of the music in me..."
Remember that FM Rock radio staple from 1981's hit album Allied Forces by Canada's Triumph? "Magic Power" seemingly brought the hard rock trio into the world of arena rock, and started a string of top selling albums, singles, and MTV videos that brought them worldwide acclaim throughout the 80's. The Triumph catalog has recently been remastered, and their albums have never sounded better. Allied Forces, containing better songwriting, heavier riffs, and catchier melodies than their previous offerings, produced a slew of memorable and classic cuts.
Who can forget the intense title track, complete with muscular guitar riffs and a blazing solo from axe man Rik Emmett, as well as wailing vocals from drummer Gil Moore? More headbanging riffs can he heard on the album opener "Fool For Your Love", again sung by Moore, while the party track "Hot Time(In This City Tonight) sees the band having fun with some heavy 50's style rock, blues, and boogie. This tune is sung by Emmett, who also delivers some amazing and nimble solos that are like a cross between Chuck Berry and Ted Nugent.
The real highlights though (besides the catchy and enchanting "Magic Power" of course)are the final few tunes, all sung by Emmett. "Fight the Good Fight" is a wonderful tune that mixes prog and hard rock, led by bassist Mike Levine's synths, Emmett's 12-string electric and crunchy 6-string power chords. Rik's vocals on this track are very much like fellow Canadian Geddy Lee, and his guitar solo is a work of wonder, fluid, flashy, and ultra melodic, the work of a real pro. More progressive tinged hard rock can be heard on "Ordinary Man", which hints a little at early Foreigner as well as late 70's Rush, with lush acoustic guitars, synths, and the emotional vocals of Emmett, before the mid section brings in crushing down-picked power chords and Moore's bombastic drum fills. After the lovely acoustic guitar instrumental "Petite Etude" (Emmett is an amazing classical player) comes the bluesy hard rock & pop of "Say Goodbye", a real catchy tune with Emmett hitting the high notes, Levine's rootsy organ, and the great mixing of electric and acoustic guitar chords.
Allied Forces is perhaps the best place to start for any newbie who is looking to check out the band. There are plenty of classic tunes here, plus the remaster sounds great, and a full booklet with lyrics is included.
1) Fool For Your Love
2) Magic Power
3) Air Raid
4) Allied Forces
5) Hot Time (In This City Tonight)
6) Fight the Good Fight
7) Ordinary Man
8) Petite Etude
9) Say Goodbye