'Triumph' was The Jacksons platinum follow-up to their 1978 album, 'Destiny', Lead singer Michael Jackson handled most of the lead vocals himself, and also contributed to the wroting of the albums biggest hits, including 'Lovely One', 'Can You Feel It' and 'Heartbreak Hotel' (which was renamed 'This Place Hotel' to avoid confusion with the Elvis song of the same name- Wikipedia). 'Triumph' also came after Michaels hugely sucessful solo album 1979s 'Off The Wall'.
1. Can You Feel It- A perfect opener and probably 'Triumph's most famous hit (the tune would later be famously used by Mya and The Temperer in the late 90s). A really upbeat and very original tune, the song instantly draws you in with its insanely catchy rythme, add to that some socially concerned lyrics and you get one of the best R'n'B/Funk pop songs of the era and certainly the only The Jacksons song to rank alongside 'Destiny's 'Blame It On The Boogie' and 'Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground)'. It was also a hugely influential song, its echoes can certainly be heard on recent hits such as Madonnas 'Hung Up' for example. Perfect- 5/5
2. Lovely One- Another one of the big hits and a regular in Michaels solo setlist way into 1988s 'Bad' Tour. Its got the familiar Jackson sound of funky guitars, catchy bass beats as well as more classical big band background instrumentation- trumpets, violins etc. Again Michael takes lead and excells as per. Definetly among the albums best tracks, a real pleasure to listen to- 4.5/5
3. Your Ways- The band opt for quite a different sound here, and one that would, like 'This Place Hotel', obviously influence Michaels later solo work on 'Thriller'. The verses have a very eerie quality with Michaels high pitched vocals over some oddly unnerving, almost ghostly, calls. The choruses are back in familiar territory, however, and although this is one track that could have fallen flat, somehow it works and is another highlight. The subtle jazzy instrumentation is a nice touch towards the end also- 4/5
4. Everybody- Another polished disco song, which sound alot like Michaels 'Off The Wall', and 'Get Down On The Floor' not that this is bad thing at all, its just seems abit too generic of their output during this era. Its still a very acomplished song, however, with the familiar 'get down on the floor' vibe to it. Nothing really wrong here, a nice song really its just way too similar to 'Get Down On The Floor'- 3.5/5
5. This Place Hotel (AKA Heartbreak Hotel)- Arguably the albums best track, certainly a contender at least. Like 'Your Ways' the songs eerie effects (eg screams) and subject matter are obviously a forerunner for 'Thriller' (The song). Dont think its some kind of camp horror song like 'Thriller', its a great funky, R'n'B song of the highest order, it just has certain scary quality to it. Like the opener, this is another perfect- 5/5
6. Time Waits For No One- Time for a ballad after the high energy of the first 5. Its definetly nice to have a different edge to the albumm, however it doesnt hit as high as say 'Off The Walls's 'Shes Out Of My Life' and threatens to fall into bland territory at times. However Jacksons vocals and some appropriate orchestration make it a decent listen, a grower- 3/5
7. Walk Right Now- The band launch back into the fast pace funk of the opening tracks, the verses sound similar to the bassy 'Lovely One', but chorus is something else- very catchy, yet bears repeated listens without getting on your nerves which is often a pitfall for pop music, one which thankfully The Jacksons sidestepped on this album and 'Destiny', aswell as their many other great singles from the 70s. Great track- 4.2/5
8. Give It Up- A change of tack again with this piano driven, very 70s/80s, pop track. Perhaps not as strong as alot of the other songs here but still a nice addition, and another dimension to what is primarily a R'n'B/funk album. Think standard Lionel Richie, only faster, more catchy and less embarrassing- 3/5
9. Wondering Who- Not as well remembered as alot of the tracks here but actually a pretty respectable r'n'b track. It has a 80s futuristic vibe to it with synthesised background vocals, though at heart its a standard Jacksons disco/ funk track. Not outstanding but definetly worth a look- 3.8/5
From start to finish this is really a great album, with 5 real classic songs on it. I would rate this as The Jacksons finest album and among the best r'n'b/funk pop albums around. As well as buying a comprehensive hits collection, 'Triumph' and 'Destiny' are the only orginal albums you'll need to have a complete collection of one of the biggest bands of the 1970s/early 80s.
Can You Feel It
This Place Hotel
Walk This Way
In many ways this sound like a Michael Jackson solo album, with Michael taking on almost all of the lead vocals and contributing to most of the big songs. Its not quite as strong as 'Off The Wall' but its close. The Jackson 5 were more of the singles band, however The Jacksons really flourished with the creative freedom they were allowed particularly with 1978s 'Destiny' and here with 1980s 'Triumph'. 1984s follow up 'Victory' had some songs of note such as 'Torture' and 'State Of Shock' (A great duet with Mick Jagger of all people), however Destiny was really the last classic Jacksons album, before Michael took off with megahit 'Thriller'.
The Jackson 5/ The Jacksons career from 'ABC' and 'I Want You Back' to 'Blame It On The Boogie' is probably best summed up on their hits collection- 'The Very Best Of The Jacksons', however along with this the only original albums worth which are essential are- 'Destiny', 'Triumph' (and 'The Jacksons- Live) which are real classics. 'Triumph', though it may not contain the memortable hits 'Destiny' did, is in my opinion their best original album and demands its place in your collection, especially if you are a fan of Michaels solo early work such as 'Off The Wall'.