On January 10, 1979, "Triumph" released its third studio album "Just a Game".
It can be said that this is the album in which the band has formulated the sound and style that will characterize it in the future. The album that will define its DNA and the album that will bring them recognition in the Hard Rock community, even outside the borders of Canada.
The Canadian trio "Triumph" began as a blues-rock band in 1975. They were a four-member band: Fred Keeler on guitars, Peter Young on keyboards, Mike Levine on bass, and Gil Moore on drums and vocals. After the band released one single, Fred and Peter left the band and were replaced by guitarist Rik Emmett who also became the band's lead singer, along with Gil Moore.
Rik Emmett's arrival brought a change in the band's musical style, with influences of progressive and classical music. The band's eponymous debut album, released in October 1976 in Canada only (later renamed "In the Beginning"), included long and complex tracks, with progressive and classic motifs called "Blinding Light Show / Moonchild".
The band's second album, "Rock & Roll Machine", released in November 1977, was the first to be released outside of Canada. It also included one long musical piece by Rik Emmett - "The City: War March / El Duende Agonizante / Minstrel's Lament", which again included progressive and classic motifs. Although the sound and style of "Triumph" were unique, a comparison with another Canadian trio - "Rush", was simply inevitable. The combination of Hard Rock and Progressive and the fact that they are a Canadian trio, leaving them no chance to escape the reference to the biggest rock band to come out of Canada.
After two albums the band was ready to conquer new audiences outside of Canada. This in did happen with the album "Just a Game", which was produced by the band's bassist and keyboardist Mike Levine.
Two successful singles have been released from the album, both written and sung by guitarist Rik Emmett.
The first single - "Hold On" was written two years before the release of the album and was performed at the band's live shows as an acoustic song. But for the album, the band decided to rework it into a dynamic song that started acoustic and quiet and slowly developed. The single version cut the song in half, from a song over six minutes to just 2:59. This song is part of a larger concept piece that spreads on the entire second side of the vinyl and is called "The Twisted Maze".
The second single - "Lay It on the Line" is one of the band's most beautiful and favorite songs. It was also written about two years before the album's release. Rik Emmett noted that the song speaks of the sincerity and desire of the people closest to you to be open with you. The song was part of Adam Sandler's 2010 film "Grown Ups".
We have already mentioned that one of the strengths of this band is that it has two leading singers, who complement each other. Drummer Gil Moore also contributed his voice to some beautiful songs he also wrote for the album, including the rocking opening song "Movin' On" and the classic blues song "Young Enough to Cry".
Rik Emmett will reply with his own blues at the Bossanova pace, with "Suitcase Blues" and he will also wrote and sang the wonderful theme song "Just a Game".
This album will also begin an almost permanent tradition of the band, incorporating a short classical instrumental section by guitarist Rik Emmett, in which he showcases his incredible abilities. In this case, it is the magical instrumental "Fantasy Serenade".