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Articles Home » 1978 Articles » Triumvirat - 1978 A La Carte
Triumvirat - 1978 A La Carte

ARTIST: Triumvirat
ALBUM: A La Carte
LABEL: EMI/Harvest
SERIAL: 1 C 064-45 184
YEAR: 1978
CD REISSUE: 2002, Harvest, 7243 5 35171 1 0


LINEUP: Jurgen Fritz - keyboards * Matthias Holtman - drums * Werner Kopal - bass * David Hasselmann, Barry Palmer - vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Waterfall * 02 (Oh I'm) Late Again * 03 Jo Ann Walker * 04 For You * 05 I Don't Even Know Your Name * 06 A Bavarian In New York * 07 Original Soundtrack From The Movie 'O.C.S.I.D.' * 08 Darlin' * 09 Good Bye


Heavily patterned off the Emerson Lake & Palmer model to the point of near plagiarism, Cologne, Germany's Triumvirat's early albums are lauded with praise from progressive rock fans near and far. 'Mediterranean Tales', 'Illusions On A Double Dimple' and 'Spartacus' are all worthy albums but I've never been able to shake off the nagging feeling that Triumvirat were cashing in on a sound that was already overblown and overplayed. For my money, the group's last four albums where Triumvirat, or more to the point group leader Jurgen Fritz actually made an effort to break free of the 'ELP clone' tag are far more interesting, including 'A La Carte' which is a must own for fans of Supertramp and late 70's classic rock.

The Songs
A different line-up for this album, most notably with the addition of vocalist David Hasselmann formerly of German hard rockers Message, Triumvirat was poised for commercial success that never materialized. Former lead vocalist Barry Palmer was still involved with the project including the lead track and single 'Waterfall' where Palmer handles vocal chores with aplomb. A haunting track very similar to Lake as well as Supertramp this tune was radio ready and should have been a hit on both sides of the ocean. '(Oh, I'm) Late Again' follows a similar path and again listening to the piano, keyboards and chorus on this spirited track, Supertramp were a huge influence on the direction of this album 'Jo Ann Walker' is a bouncy and nicely done ballad which appeared on the flip of the 'Waterfall' single. Should have been a 'Double A' side single if you ask me! 'For You' is a little over the top in a Queen-ish style while 'A Bavarian In New York' takes us back to Triumvirat of old with a forgettable ELP styled number. To quote the title of the group's fourth album 'old habits die hard'. I guess! Finally special mention should be made of their cover of Brian Wilson's Darlin'. Like 'Waterfall' the vocal chores are handled by Barry Palmer who does a marvelous job with this classic and again, this should have been a giant hit single and shame on the label for not pushing it hard enough.

In Summary
'A La Carte' tanked in the record shops and again, I hold the label accountable since the record fit in with everything that was happening at the time especially in America, disco be damned. Jurgen Fritz would resurrect the Triumvirat name one more time with 1980's 'Russian Roulette'. Ignore the slash and cut reviews you'll read about this album (and 'A La Carte' for that matter) on the progressive rock web sites, it was a fine pop album although a sad end to one of Germany's finest exports.

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#1 | dangerzone on March 01 2008 21:11:34
Didn;t these guys make an album based on Pompeii? That was one I was going to review many moons ago.
#2 | Eric on March 01 2008 21:16:40
Yes Alun as 'New Triumvrat' and I hope you review it! Thumbs Up
#3 | rkbluez on March 06 2008 01:16:09
This is the album that killed my intrest in the once great Triumvirat...gone was the great classic prog rock style of their earlier albums...and what we have here is a boring lame attempt at a pop rock record.
#4 | Eric on March 06 2008 13:24:43
I don't know how you can say that Steve. I would rather hear this than the 'ELP -lite' of the early stuff any day of the week.Thumbs Up
#5 | rkbluez on March 06 2008 21:01:30
Just a matter of taste me a band that changes their style will either gain fans or loss them. I love Illusions On A Double Dimple & can A La Carte's pop even have a prayer of being as good...or as classic...I think I'm not alone on this opinion my friend.
#6 | Eric on March 07 2008 13:47:52
I am always partial to that transitional period between the golden age of prog and the then coming AOR movement between 1975 and 1978 and this record is a good example as any of that period to my tastes. Supertramp, early City Boy, 10cc, ELO- love it all!
#7 | swazi on May 31 2012 23:35:22
I always had a fancy for their "Russian Roulette" release and I still spin it every now and then. Also worth a review, me thinks.
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