Michael Jackson – Triumph

More Michael Jackson

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  • Triumph finally returns to the site with a Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) side two mated with an outstanding Double Plus (A++) side one – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • If you’ve heard one of our amazing Hot Stamper pressings of Off the Wall – the best sounding record Michael Jackson ever made – then you know exactly the Tubey Magical sound of the best copies of Triumph
  • 4 stars: “Released during the summer of 1980, just as the hits from Michael’s Off the Wall were sliding off the charts, Triumph became the Jacksons’ first Top Ten pop album since 1972’s Lookin’ Through the Windows…”

*NOTE: On side two, two bubbles make 4 moderate pops at the end of Track 2, Time Waits For No One, and 3 soft thumps near the middle of Track 3, Walk Right Now.

This vintage Epic pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records can barely BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn’t showing signs of coming back. If you love hearing INTO a recording, actually being able to “see” the performers, and feeling as if you are sitting in the studio with the band, this is the record for you. It’s what vintage all analog recordings are known for — this sound.

If you exclusively play modern repressings of vintage recordings, I can say without fear of contradiction that you have never heard this kind of sound on vinyl. Old records have it — not often, and certainly not always — but maybe one out of a hundred new records do, and those are some pretty long odds.

What the Best Sides of Triumph Have to Offer Is Not Hard to Hear

  • The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
  • The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes even as late as 1980
  • Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
  • Natural tonality in the midrange — with all the instruments having the correct timbre
  • Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional studio space

No doubt there’s more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the qualities we discuss above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does.

What We’re Listening For on Triumph

  • Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
  • Then: presence and immediacy. The vocals aren’t “back there” somewhere, lost in the mix. They’re front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt would put them.
  • The Big Sound comes next — wall to wall, lots of depth, huge space, three-dimensionality, all that sort of thing.
  • Then transient information — fast, clear, sharp attacks, not the smear and thickness so common to these LPs.
  • Tight punchy bass — which ties in with good transient information, also the issue of frequency extension further down.
  • Next: transparency — the quality that allows you to hear deep into the soundfield, showing you the space and air around all the instruments.
  • Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing — an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Can You Feel It
Lovely One
Your Ways
Everybody

Side Two

Heartbreak Hotel
Time Waits For No One
Walk Right Now
Give It Up
Wondering Who

AMG 4 Star Review

Released during the summer of 1980, just as the hits from Michael’s Off the Wall were sliding off the charts, Triumph became the Jacksons’ first Top Ten pop album since 1972’s Lookin’ Through the Windows.

As on 1978’s Destiny, the Jacksons wrote and produced the material, this time with keyboardist Greg Phillinganes bumped up to associate producer, and with an uptick in star backing — including but not limited to Ronnie Foster, Phil Upchurch, Webster Lewis, Michael Boddicker, and Ollie Brown, as well as Triumph holdovers Michael Sembello, Thomas Washington, and Nathan Watts. The other singles, including “Lovely One” (very nearly “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” reheated) and “This Place Hotel” (an elaborate six-minute affair, written and arranged by Michael, that could have easily swollen to greater length) propelled the album into sales greater than that of Destiny, and it’s equally durable (and markedly slicker) all around.

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