Sunday, March 29, 2009

Re-Upped: Trooper - Trooper (1975)

Trooper's roots trace back to 1965 in the fair city of Vancouver, BC, where Ra McGuire (vocals) and Brian Smith (guitar) honed their chops as the creative force behind eccentric rockers, Winter's Green. Though the band enjoyed success on a marginal level in their native region, it wasn't until 1974 that the duo's new group, Applejack, drew the attention of Randy Bachman. Bachman, having been a pivotal player in the success of numerous bands like The Guess Who, Brave Belt and BTO, was instrumental in giving the band its first taste of national exposure and also their subsequent record contract with his own label, Legend Records. That album was released in 1975, under the band's new guise, Trooper. Immediately the band were placed on high profile tours of the US with BTO, Aerosmith, ZZ Top, Fleetwood Mac, AC/DC and the Doobie Brothers, which did little to bring crossover success for the band in the states. North of the border, however, was an entirely different matter as the band enjoyed two high charting singles and a Juno award that same year.

This success prompted MCA Records to step into the picture and for the next five years, the band issued numerous gold and platinum albums and singles, sold out venues from coast to coast and recieved multiple Juno nominations. It wasn't until 1980 that their success began to wane, which resulted in a revolving door of label deals, sporadic releases and lower profile tours over the next eleven years. Trooper, though in a largely different lineup, continue to tour sporadically in their homeland to this day with McGuire and Smith still at the helm.

This album, their eponymously titled debut, is an excellent introduction to the band. With a perfect musical balance of muscle and levity, "Trooper" is chock full of tasteful classic hard rock. With crunchy workouts in the majority here, the album reigns in the energy only a few times to allow the listener a glimpse at the band's subtle interplay. Highlights include rockers like "Roller Rink", "Eddy Take It Easy", "Baby Wontcha Please Come Home" and "Don't Stop Now", while "General Hand Grenade" serves as an interesting diversion in the proceedings. Of Trooper's recorded output, I consider this to be among the best work the band's ever done. Though there's nothing here that reinvents the wheel, McGuire's articulate raspy vocals and sublime melodies elevate this from plain to exceptional.

Newly ripped by me from an excellent quality copy of the LP. Considering the iffy production of the album, this is a fantastic and clear transfer. All the more reason for you to download and get hip to one of Canada's most beloved classic rock acts.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Trooper isn't as well-known as their fellow Canadians RUSH or The GUESS WHO but thanks for bringing them to our attention.

--D.Moose

Anonymous said...

Hello Ronnie
I`m a great fan of your blog. Many albums you post here i have in my vinyl collection.
Trooper is such a band i collected in the 70`s/80`s.
Other albums by Trooper i got is:
Trooper - Flying Colors
Trooper - Thick as Thieves
Some other great albums:
Lavender Hill Mob
Harlequin - Love Crimes

I`ve got Baby - Where did all the money go?
I will upload the album for you in the weekend,Ok?

Thanks for your great work on this blog!

From Norway

Ludvig

the KIDD said...

You have a great site!!! Trooper is a great Can. band! I have never heard this so thanks!!!

Anonymous said...

godaman, i didnt know trooper could rock like this wow great debut lp

Higginz said...

I like this one!. As mentioned, nothing new under the sun, but I really like this no frill hard rock'n roll. Bits and pieces reminds a bit of Bachman-Turner Overdrive.

Thanks !

lkrushel said...

Many, many, thanks. I have been looking for a vinyl transfer of this LP for a long time.
Thanks again!!!

Mr Pinkwhistle said...

Continued thanks for all your hard work and the depth, enthusiasm but also honesty of your reviews. These help to make your posts a great area to (re)investigate.

kayugak said...

thanks for another selection from up North. I listened to them as well but don't think I heard this album. Can't wait to check it out. Thanks..

Dr.Progenstein Ph.P said...

Hey Ronnie...great blog man! Great name too...taken from 'Robots For Ronnie' by Crack The Sky! As an avid vinyl collector, I own most of these albums...but I love to see people such as yourself sharing all this great music with others who are new to the many lesser known bands.
The Trooper LP you've posted here is their best in my opinion. But I couldn't help but notice that the speed in which you've ripped it is way too fast. You may want to adjust your turntable settings, pitch etc. Having grown up with the album, and played it to death over the last 33 years, not to mention hearing it's songs blasted over the Canadian airwaves through the 70's & 80's, I found it difficult listening to your rip, knowing how this album is supposed to sound.
Just thought I'd point that out.
And being a Canadian, I'd like to point out to 'Anonymous', that 'Trooper' were just a popular as 'Rush' back in the 70's early 80's. Maybe more so, and appealing to a much larger demographic. I guess it all depends on where you were living.

Anonymous said...

I know some people knock a band like Trooper, maybe comparing them to Rush (we know rush is a better band and a far more serious one). but seeing Trooper in concert about 20 years ago in a bar..it still was a good time..and that's what it's all about. Rush is the steak but nothing wrong with enjoying icecream after. That's my view on music anyway.

Anonymous said...

tanxs for you site... i back... and back again... and again and find always gret music... reggards from mexico...

McKagan said...

if anybody need other TROOPER's albums then check board http://80s.takemetal.com/viewtopic.php?f=125&t=1758

MB said...

One of the great Trooper songs is included in our film - Leave Them Laughing World Premiere at Hot Docs in 18 days. "Guess the Trooper Song" contest in full swing. Enter for your chance to win VIP meet and greet the band. www.leavethemlaughingfilm.com for details and to enter.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I'd love to be able to get Trooper's first album again but it seems I keep getting sent to all these annoying sites when I click on the link. What's the trick?

P.S. Every hear of Hammersmith? I would love to get a copy of their album "It's For You".

Thx

Anonymous said...

thanks a lot
Their best album i think