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Just a Game

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iTunes Review

After building a devoted fanbase with their relentless touring schedule, Triumph finally earned their first big hit with “Lay It on the Line” from 1979’s Just a Game. It was sung by guitarist Rik Emmett—whose urgent, forward-pitched voice bore a striking resemblance to that of Geddy Lee of Rush, one of Triumph’s biggest influences. The song boasted a heaving, no-nonsense groove that had become the band’s stock in trade. The band’s earthy rhythms complemented the sky-high vocals and guitar solos, a symbiosis that recurs throughout this album, from “Lay It on the Line” and “Young Enough to Cry” to “Just a Game.” While the band would soon be adopted by the rapidly coalescing metal culture of the '80s, they were more attuned to the classic rock of the late '60s and early '70s, especially Alice Cooper, Free, and Cream. Their taste in brooding blues-rock was balanced with a talent for the rollicking fantasy of “Hold On,” which is one of those '70s-era hits that just begs for its own laser light show. For all its muscle, the album closes with the laconic but lovely “Suitcase Blues,” which could pass for a lost Paul McCartney gem.

Customer Reviews

Lay It On The Line, Don't Waste My Time

Very underrated album and band, Just A Game Is pack full of classic tunes. From the 2 semi hits Hold On and Lay It On The Line to American Girls and the title track if you like prog rock than you will love this album and band.

"I don't ask for much, the truth will do just fine, won't you Lay It On The Line..."

Triumph's finest album. June 1, 1979. I was a senior at Moses Lake High School in Washington state. It's Friday night and my buddy Doug and I are driving my 1971 Torino 500 to Spokane to see Triumph. We've got game 5 of the NBA finals, Sonics vs. Bullets, on the radio. Just before we reach Spokane, the Sonics beat the Bullets and take the NBA finals, 4 -1. We went crazy! We got to the arena and watched Bighorn open the show. Then Triumph came out and blew the place away! They acknowledged the fact that the Sonics had just become the NBA World Champions and the place went crazy! Great night, awesome concert. The album is Triumph's finest. As for the iTunes album review above I can only speculate where they've got their head stuck and it ain't where the sun is shining. Gil Moore's contributions take a nosedive? Irritating musical clichés? "Young Enough To Cry", monotonous? Cheesy lyrics of "American Girls?" This is ROCK & ROLL! What do you expect? "Young Enough To Cry" is one of my favorite power blues tunes of all time, great guitar work here. "American Girls" flat out ROCKS! The lyrics aren't any cheesier than David Lee Roth's Beautiful Girl on Van Halen II, which came out around the same time. The iTunes reviewer obviously doesn't know Rock and Roll to well and probably wasn't even a dirty thought when this album came out so they have absolutely nothing to base their review on. The bottom line is...If you only buy 1 Triumph album this is it.

Not Bad

Brings back a lot of memories and it is a good classic. :D


Formed: 1975 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Late-'70s/early-'80s prog metallists Triumph endured countless comparisons to Rush throughout their career, and with good reason; they were both quite similar musically and lyrically, comprised of three members each, and hailed from Canada (although it must be said that Rush were the originator, and were much more commercially successful). Formed in Toronto during 1975, the trio consisted of guitarist/singer Rik Emmett, drummer/singer Gil Moore, and bassist/keyboardist Mike Levine, and issued its...
Full Bio
Just a Game, Triumph
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