Stream Dream: Triumph- Surveillance(1987)

Triumph was a big deal in the 80s as they had a great run of albums that I would call a Classic-3- Pack.

“Allied Forces(1981)-Never Surrender(1983)-Thunder7(1984)” were stellar releases from Toronto’s Rock N Roll Machine but than something happened in 1986 when “The Sport of Kings” came out.

Was it record company pressure or internal squabbling or maybe a bit of both but Triumph released from “Sport of Kings” the first single which was “Somebody’s Out There” which is a good Triumph song not a great Triumph song.

I bought “Sport of Kings” on cassette tape and it was a tough listen. It just did not click with me as the songs sounded light weight almost hard pop rock.  Tracks like “Tears In The Rain” and “Take A Stand” were good but “Just One Night” lacked anything. 

The Rock N Roll Machine’s tires had come off..

So when “Surveillance” was released in 87 I passed on buying it. Over the years though I thought about giving it another shot and basically that shot came now in 2021! 

Tracklist

1. Prolouge: Into the Forever (1:01)
2. Never Say Never (3:37)
3. Headed for Nowhere (6:09)
4. All the King’s Horses (1:47)
5. Carry on the Flame (5:16)
6. Let the Light (Shine on Me) (5:34)
7. Long Time Gone (5:12)
8. Rock You Down (3:58)
9. Prelude: The Waking Dream (1:13)
10. On and On (3:48)
11. All Over Again (3:59)
12. Running in the Night (3:48)

Total Time: 45:28

I remember MuchMusic back in the day playing the video for “Never Say Never” which I actually liked but I still didn’t take the Triumph bait.

The next track is I would say the best tune on here as “Headed For Nowhere” and its 6 plus minutes is a guitar smorgasbord between Rik Emmett and Steve Morse who trade off solos and what a duel. Who wins you ask! No one and we will call it a draw between Rik and Steve.

“Carry On The Flame” has JD Roberts and his new voice guest on this track reading the news. 

Triumph succeeds for the most part on the rock tracks of the album but as I listen to the album some of the songs begin to tail off and the drums sound weird. What happened here man?

Actually the last three songs have Triumph headed into Journey like rock. “On And On” is an attempt at getting on the radio and didn’t Gil learn his lesson with the balled like stuff like the “Just One Night” from “Sport of Kings”. Yet here is Gil crooning “All Over You” which has a mid tempo AOR vibe.

“Running In The Night” has Gil trying to have Triumph ramp up the pace after  the ball  was dropped in the end zone song “All Over You”.

Triumph in 87 was going for the comeback. It did not work as both the album and singles did not catch on. 

By 1988 Rik split for about two decades and it is good to see them getting along but back then in 87 Triumph blew an engine and never recovered.

deKe’s Stream-A-Rater- 5.5/10

 

 

 

 

22 thoughts on “Stream Dream: Triumph- Surveillance(1987)”

  1. I saw them open up for someone…who I cannot remember who (I think Bad Company) but Rik Emmett was incredible on guitar. They were really tight…like a 3 piece band has to be.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Like yourself SOK’s was my last Triumph purchase until 93s Edge of Success releases which I bought at the time.
      If I found this album for a few bucks I would grab it but yeah there creative tank ran dry at the time.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Absolutely nailed it Deke. I remember that I had Sport of Kings and liked it. I was into that pop rock side. So I bought Surveillance assuming it was continuing that sound. It really did not! Sounds like they had trouble writing the songs, and just couldn’t stand to spend any more time working on them and making them better. A few standouts. I like On and On it goes.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Both albums kinda start out good, but side 2 of each is pretty forgettable. Heck, just look at the credits on Sport of kings — a pile of guest keyboard players, outside writers, backing singers…. yeesh

    Liked by 1 person

    1. SOK was a tough listen as all the guitar firepower got buried on that release KJ. I was concerned when I seen Jon Cain’s name on Just One Night. I knew the band was in trouble. lol

      Liked by 1 person

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