Every great band seems to have that one album that defines them and for Triumph this is that album. I also have the ‘Classics’ album from Triumph, but this is the one I usually listen too and if you are going to get just one album from Rick and the boys this is the one to get.
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ALLIED FORCES put Triumph on the map for good. Released in 1981, it was rock/hard rock at its best. The album is so balanced, with a little of everything, from acoustic instrumentals to poppy ballads. Songs like MAGIC POWER and FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT are very radio-friendly songs that garnered a lot of airtime, and thus, this is their highest-selling album to date. If you’re just getting into this band, then this album is a good starting point, followed by JUST A GAME and THUNDER SEVEN. I must point out that the song, ORDINARY MAN has an awesome solo, and would be the perfect song to play for someone who hasn’t heard this band before. This album deserves praise, and I give it 10/10.
Triumph first 3 albums/releases were excellent guitar driven hard rock. The songs all moved along nicely with hooks a plenty. This release received probably the most airplay that had gotten up until now. Stand out tunes like Allied Forces and Magic Power were huge hits north of the Boarder. Triumph had always had a hard time cracking the U.S. market but this release certainly brought them into the we’ve made it realm.
All the songs are very good with maybe the exception of Hot Time In This City Tonight. It’s not that it’s a bad song, it just doesn’t seem to fit the rest of the album. Overall though, this is indeed a very strong release by this band and was probably the last really solid effort. They seemed to slowly fade away that somewhat.
THE BAND: Ric Emmett (guitars, vocals), Gil Moore (drums & percussion), Michael Levine (bass).
THE DISC: (1981) 9 tracks clocking in at just under 39 minutes. Originally included with the disc is/was a 2-page foldout with next to no information (an illustration of a Flying-V guitar, and the statement that all songs written and produced by Triumph). The remastered version (1995) contains additional pictures and song lyrics. Label – MCA Records.
COMMENTS: Canada’s 2nd best rock trio (Rush being the 1st) hit the top of their career with “Allied Forces”… truly a rocking masterpiece. Ric Emmett sings all but two of the songs here, but it’s nice to see Moore’s songs up front in the album. Moore starts off with the rocking opener “Fool Your Love”. The title track, probably the heaviest song on the disc, is Moore’s as well. When I first got the vinyl album in the early 80’s, the title track was the one I kept going back to… that, and 6 minute “Fight The Good Fight” (#18 on Billboard’s pop charts) – arguably the band’s trademark swan song. “Fight The Good Fight” may be inspirational, but the melody of Emmett’s acoustic guitar and the shredding electric guitar solos are what makes it such a strong song – structurely in the same vein as Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven” with a soft slow start; the rest of the band joining in making the song heavier as it moves along; great guitar solo(s); lyrically strong; climactic ending. The big hit here is/was “Magic Power” (#8 on Billboard’s pop charts)… perhaps the song the band is best known for. If forced to choose my least favorite track here, it’d be “Hot Time (In This City Tonight)”… not a bad song, but this album is so full of strong tracks that this 50’s style rocker is simply pale in comparison. The deep album gem is “Ordinary Man” – starting off acoustic and slow, a heavy middle section and a mountainous ending. If there is one Triumph album I can listen to any time, all the way through, it’s Allied Forces”. Start your Triumph collection here. Classic disc (5 stars).
Reviewed by: Lynn Phillips
Category: Hard Rock / Classic Rock
Original Release: 1981 Remaster Release: 11/9/04
Label URL: http://www.triumphmusic.com
Artist URL: http://www.triumphmusic.com
Allied Forces was my first exposure to Triumph and, in regards to rock and roll, my life was changed forever. Prior to hearing this disc, I was a casual rock fan listening primarily to a handful of Kiss and AC/DC cassettes, but that was the extent of my interest in music. Then I purchased Allied Forces based on the airplay “Magic Power” was getting on rock radio. (Can you remember that era?) I was completely blown away by the band’s musicianship and the melodic quality of every song on the album. After seeing the band put on an amazing live concert in Binghamton’s Broome County Arena, I was hooked on all things rock and roll, especially Triumph. To this day, the band has a special place in my life, as they showed me how powerful good music can be. Now that I have acquired the re-mastered version of Allied Forces, the good memories of a by gone era of great rock n’ roll have come pouring back.
The songs on Allied Forces are all strong, if not incredibly diverse. Ranging from metal (the title track) to pop (“Magic Power”) to folk rock (“Ordinary Man”) to classical (“Petite Etude”), no two songs sound the same, yet all are of superb quality. The best part of the re-mastered versions is the renewed volume and clarity compared to the originals. By playing the discs side by side, the original version of Allied Forces sounds like it was recorded under water. Now, turning up the volume will net you noticeable results and you can actually hear little nuances in the music, especially on the acoustic segments and the “Air Raid” introduction of the title track.
The lyrics, which were missing in the barren insert of the original, are now included with the remaster. Some people may complain that there are no extra tracks on the disc but I wouldn’t want to water down the quality of the songs with live tracks or throw away extras. What you get is souped-up versions of the original songs, which are meant to be played loud and proud.
The Bloody Truth: Canada’s “other” three-piece band is, in my opinion, the best import to come from our northern neighbor. On Allied Forces all the songs are nothing short of spectacular, with no weak tracks to be found. Now that the songs have been digitally enhanced, the cd sounds better than ever, and that ought to make Triumph fans very happy indeed.
-LYNN PHILLIPS (www.metaldreams.go.to)