Triumph: Greatest Hits-Remixed (CD/DVD)
On paper and first appearance, this new 'Greatest Hits' from Canadian arena rock favorites Triumph seems like something to get excited about. After all, this lavish looking digipack set includes all the old favorites, remixed, plus a DVD of music videos and live footage, and a neat booklet with a complete history of the band and plenty of photos. So why does this totally not live up to the billing?
First of all, the remix job by Rich Chycki (who has previously worked with Aerosmith and Rush) changes the essence of some of these tunes. If you are a fan of the band and know these songs like the back of your hand, you'll notice instantly the differences here. Sure, there's a brightness and crispness here that wasn't present on the original recordings or the remasters from a few years ago, but in spots there's almost 'too' much added. You'll hear backing vocals in spots they were never meant to be, tweaked lead vocal passages, additional rhythm guitar and keyboard parts, and just an overall change of tone to some of these classic tunes that, quite frankly, I'm not sure needed to be done. On top of that, the band included their version of the Nazareth classic "Love Hurts"...sorry guys, but your take on this one doesn't come close to the lads from Scotland.
All that being said, if you never really paid much attention to the music of Triumph, but have always wanted to, this might not be a bad place to start. Most of their essential numbers are here, like "Lay It On the Line", "Fight the Good Fight", "Rock and Roll Machine", "Allied Forces", "Magic Power", and "Follow Your Heart", among many others, are all included. However, there's plenty of deep album cuts that are missing, and in all honesty the remastered editions of all the Triumph albums released a few years ago were quite good, so if you really want to find out what this band is all about, it's almost a better idea to go that route.
The bonus DVD contains the bands music videos, some footage from their acceptance speech at the recent Canadian Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and a spectacular bootleg live version of "Blinding Light Show" from 1980, which is worth the price of admission alone. Most of the material here loyal fans have seen before, but again, for a newbie, this is a solid start.
So, Greatest Hits-Remixed is probably going to be a 'mixed bag' for the die-hard Triumph fan, but seeing as the band has recently started playing some live dates for the first time in many years, they did need to get something out.
Disc: 1 (CD)
1. Allied Forces
2. Lay it on the Line
3. Follow Your Heart
4. Magic Power
5. I Live For the Weekend
6. Hold On
7. Just One Night
8. Fight the Good Fight
10. Never Surrender
11. When the Lights Go Down
12. Somebody s Out There
13. Rock and Roll Machine
14. Love Hurts
Disc: 2 (DVD)
1. Follow Your Heart
2. Lay It on the line
4. Magic Power
5. Lights Go Down
6. Hold On
7. Just One Night
8. Somebody s Out There
9. Allied Forces
10. Never Surrender
11. Never Say Never
12. Child of the City (Bonus Video)
13. Blinding Light Show (Bonus Bootleg Video: Filmed on Fan Cam)
14. Love Hurts (Bonus Video)
15. Canadian Hall of Fame induction footage
Added: November 7th 2010
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
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|Triumph: Greatest Hits-Remixed (CD/DVD)
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2010-11-07 09:07:27
Join me on quest back in time to when the term "Arena Rock" ruled the roost and actually held a lot more potency than it seems to do today. It was a time when bands like Foreigner, Styx and of course our artist of discussion Triumph, were clear leaders in the field of battle upon this realm. I'm scrolling backward a couple of decades here because there was just something intense about an arena Rock show, and the overall "big" feeling that one got during it. It was a feeling that seemed to last you throughout the entire week after you saw it but I guess you would have had to experience this to best understand where I am coming from. The music geography has changed dramatically since this time I speak of and while bands like the aforementioned Styx and Foreigner are still touring, they hardly sell out arenas on their own and are forced to play mid-sized venues in pairs or in threes with other legendary acts. Triumph was one of the greats in my musical upbringing and I loved quite a few of their songs but one day they just ceased to be and there was no farewell tour or official goodbye to be enjoyed by their fans. It was just "over". The special nature of their material made this release something interesting to take a look at based on the tunes that it presented and what was done with them. Ladies and Gentlemen allow me to present to you "Triumph's Greatest Hits Remixed".
The title alone might cause some level of concern in the legacy Triumph fans eyes and ears because to these listeners the tunes needed no such reworking or tweaking outside of perhaps some additional brightness with some guitar or clearer, more resonant drums every now and again. That being said, the albums body of work was remixed by Rich Chyki who perhaps went a little too far in his remixing. The common view with this release is that while it features 95% incredible tunes, that they have had too much "touching up" and work on areas that really didn't need to be tampered with. Vocally the band was always capable and did the job well on both main and chorus verses and now with the remixing we hear more backing vocals and in my humble opinion some of them just didn't fit in. I also felt that some of the crescendo brought on by Gil Moore's drumming was downplayed and as I played my air drum kit in the apartment as I listened there were some segments that didn't pack the punch that made me love the tune in the first place. Personally, I would have just remastered the tunes and delivered them to their fans because as I already said there is 95% or so amazing numbers being dished out here. For new fans who have only heard the name of the band and wondered what the fuss was all about this is a great launching off point but for those fans who already own the complete remastered catalog that came out a couple of years ago there is really not too much to make you open up your wallet. The bands strongest tunes are here of course in "Fight The Good Fight", "Follow Your Heart" and "Never Surrender" among many others but they also feature a little of their weakest stuff like "Just One Night". That tune hails from the same release that gave us "Somebody's Out There" which I liked, but this particular song found the band moving in a very lame direction that I don't think was received well at all. To add insult to injury the guys give us a new tune but instead of a rocking original have decided to give us a tepid version of Nazareth's "Love Hurts". I'm sorry boys, but you can surely do better than this so I will not be giving it the nod of approval and instead request that you think a little more before trying something like that one again. In their defense maybe it sounds incredible live but we shall need reunion shows to find that out.
DVD: Follow Your Heart, Lay It On The Line, Spellbound, Magic Power, When The Lights Go Down, Hold On, Just One Night, Somebody's Out There, Allied Forces, Never Surrender, Never Say Never, Child Of The City, Blinding Light Show, Love Hurts, Hall Of Fame Introduction.
*** Those who own the couple of official videos that the band has issued already have most of this content and the live stuff we get swaps between the famous US Festival and the footage we see from the tour for "Sport Of Kings". A couple of the bands videos are also featured but it's not the sum whole of what the band ever released so its just one of those nice touches kind of things. An appealing piece of footage is the bands induction into the Canadian Hall Of Fame where they now join their countrymen Rush with this honor. It was nice to see this happening because lets face it, I think I will have grand children before Triumph ever finds induction into the "official" Rock and Roll Hall of Shame, oops, I mean fame. Maybe you disagree with me here, but if KISS and Rush are not in there yet do you think Triumph is even on their radar? I hardly think so.
That being said I still enjoyed this collection to a certain degree but I would not have messed with the formula that has worked on these tunes for so long. I personally have issue when a band realizes many years later that their material "needed to sound this way" as opposed to the way we first heard it. At least they didn't opt to re-record these tunes like Twisted Sister did with "Still Hungry", an album that many a Metal head found to be garbage. An amazing booklet comes with this release and spans twenty pages. It features a ton of historic photos of the band over the years and lyrics to all of the songs we get on the collection along with some liner notes that discuss their accomplishments in music. Like I have said this is worthy of owning if you don't have the re-masters or are one of the newbie's to their sound. It will help you scream louder the bands glories as their reunion plans hopefully come to fruition.
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