CD Review: Triumph – Greatest Hits Remixed

Triumph Greatest HitsTriumph are one of the few Canadian rock legends that bring back fond memories of grander times. Just the mention of Triumph conjures up images of massive light shows, lasers and huge arena tours. The band was meant for arenas and stadiums and has stayed in them for the duration of their career. Now, 17 years after the release of their last studio album, the band has returned with a collection of remixed and remastered hits.

One always has to wonder if something still has merit 20 years later, but after the first listen, none of the tracks sound old or “classic”. The music is crisp, clean and sounds fresh. If Triumph Greatest Hits Remixed doesn’t get you the minute you hear the opening licks of Allied Forces, you are not a rock music fan.

The 14 track CD only suffers from wanting more than what is there. It easily could have been a double CD with missing tracks such as A World Of Fantasy and All The Way or even something from Edge Of Excess (with Phil X on guitar), but the meat and potatoes of the band’s history are there.

Allied Forces, Follow Your Heart, Hold On, Spellbound and Rock N’ Roll Machine sound as fresh and exciting as they did when they were initially released and the band’s two main voices (Rik Emmett and Gil Moore) sound clean and domineering throughout. Triumph has always been magical for the three parts working so well together and Rik, Gil and bassist/keyboardist Mike Levine remind us why we rocked out with them in the first place.

The only oddities on the CD are the remixed version of the stellar ballad Just One Night, which now lacks the big background vocals which were dominant in the original. However, the new Just One Night does have an improved clarity and sharpness that the original didn’t. Additionally, the cover version of Love Hurts (made famous by Nazareth) was an interesting choice of bonus cut and actually dates back to a compilation released outside of North America in 2005. It’s unclear if Rik Emmett or Phil X appear in the song, recorded back in 1991, but the Greatest Hits Remixed packaging does mention that this was recorded by Triumph v2.0 with Phil X and Mladen under the bonus video for the song. Although the band takes an exciting approach to Love Hurts, we’re all craving to hear something new rather than a cover – but beggars can’t be choosers.

The biggest and most exciting part of Greatest Hits Remixed is the inclusion of a DVD, which features several of the band’s music videos and some live performances showing the blinding light show the band made famous. The videos show a band having fun and enjoying what they do. As a bonus, the band included some Hall Of Fame footage, a rare music video for Child Of The City with Phil X on guitar (which I had never seen before) and a couple fan videos including a handheld video from a concert and a YouTube video compilation.

The original greatest hits package called Classics, released back in 1988, is something to be kept for posterity sakes, while Greatest Hits Remixed is something to be purchased, treasured and played for the love of music, the love of rock n’ roll and the love of Triumph. It’s a must have.