Friday, January 27, 2017

Triumvirat - 1980 - Russian Roulette

Russian Roulette

01. Party Life (3:28)
02. You Can't Catch Me (4:08)
03. Come with Me (3:59)
04. Games (4:14)
05. Cooler (4:20)
06. The Ballad of Rudy Törner (4:20)
07. We're Rich on What We Got (4:09)
08. Twice (2:45)
09. Rien Ne Vas Plus (4:34)
10. Roxy (6:33)
11. Russian Roulette (5:48)

- Jürgen Fritz / piano, moogs, organ, percussion, synthesizers
- Arno Steffen / lead vocals
- Jeff Porcaro / drums
- Steve Lukather / bass guitar, electric guitar
- Tim May / electric guitar, acoustic guitar
- Robert Greenidge / steel drums
- Neal Stubenhaus / bass
- Pete Christlieb / saxophone, clarinet
- Mike Gong / electric guitar
- David Hungate / bass
- Alan Estis / congas, maracas

From the start, Russian Roulette is nothing like the classic Triumvirat music period that fans knew and loved, and many felt it was a let down because of that. My appreciation and understanding of this record has grown over what was a pretty long span of time. I initially made an error in only judging this album by those the band made previously, and now, after years later, i finally fully realize how much of a mistake that really was.
For years, i refused to give Russian Roulette a second chance, but on re-evaluating this record totally as it's own entity, my view and perspective have changed-it doesn't deserve the bum rap given by so many. The songs are catchy, but not commercial to the point of irritatingly so, and there is diversity here, which creates different moods, and that is actually refreshing. "Party Life" is an infectious song that flirts with an almost new wave/punkish feel and is quite well done. There is the reggae tinged "The Ballad Of Rudy Torner", the upbeat rockers like "Cooler" and "Were Rich On What We've Got", and the more mellow "Rien ne vas Plus"

Different songs for different moods-it is obvious in this musical experiment straying so far from what was tried and true for the band, Triumvirat had no one track mind. And a couple of musical guests from the excellent group Toto, Steve Lukather and Jeff Porcaro, help to diversify and shake things up, creatively.

When guitar player/singer Helmut Koellen left the band after the "Spartacus" tour in 1975, things were never the same, never on the same quality level-they couldn't be, with Koellen absent.

But 1980 was not like 1975, for any band, musically. I have finally come to the conclusion that Russian Roulette should not be ignored because of that. For me, you might say it's uniqueness and diversity has enabled me to grow to like it.

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