Triumph made a ton of headway in the United States with 1979’s Just A Game release. Why wouldn’t it as Just A Game comes across at times as a mashup of Styx and Boston sonically. No fault to Triumph though as you can only travel across Canada so many times without an overexposure of yourselves and besides I’m sure the U.S is where you gonna make your dough!
Gil Moore/Rik Emmett/Mike Levine basically cooked up a bunch of different styles of music on this album. From the dubbed in Arena Crowd opening of stellar track Movin On to end of the album closer Suitcase Blues Triumph displayed a knack of flexing a creative muscle.
The eight tracks on the album has Gil Moore penning 3 tracks while Emmett penned 5. Emmett though had the hand in crafting the singles as in Lay It On The Line as well as Hold On which you will still hear even today on rock radio! Rik though can flex his muscle on guitar in many different styles.
Case in point Rik can rip it up on guitar like the Gil Moore driven American Girls. (talk about making in roads into the U.S with that title) or chill out with a ton of nice jazzy riffs like album closer Suitcase Blues!
One of the coolest tunes on here features Rik playing some total blues is a Gil composition called Young Enough To Cry where Rik looks outside the box on rock playing. It truly has some epic playing.
Triumph can still prog out as well as the title track proves. Just A Game starts off as if its finishing if that makes any sense. The song is a Proggy Delight…
The production of this album today still sounds awesome. Has that late 70’s fuzzy warm like vibe and that’s due to Bassist Mike Levine being the producer as Triumph between the writing of this album/production/album concept kept everything in-house!
This is a great album in which Triumph would go on in a few short years to release two of my fav’s in the catalogue of the Rock N Roll Machine that being Allied Forces (1981) and Thunder 7(1984).
Full props as well for the single album being a gatefold as well!