Canada’s Triumph may have been the ‘white knights’ of the 80’s hard rock world, known for their more positive lyrics and relatively clean cut lifestyle. Along with two other Canadian bands Rush and April Wine the three groups got more than their share of airplay in the early years of MTV. Partially for their music, but also partially due to their forward thinking that included making music videos long before other bands.
Triumph also used some unusual business practices to get early exposure. They brought their own sound and light rigs and asked promoters to only cover the cost of their crew. With little at risk, promoters were more willing to book the band.
The power trio had their peak record on the US and Canadian charts in 1981 and followed with two more successful records before the wheels started to come off in the mid 80’s.
Triumph’s record label was demanding hits from the band and they tried to provide them by altering their style for a more pop album in 1986 and this led to disharmony in the band over direction and musical style. By ‘88 original guitarist Rik Emmert had left the band and the original trio would not play together again for years.
One last album would appear in 1992 before Triumph disbanded before returning for the inevitable reunion shows celebrating the anniversaries of their earlier work.