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.
320kbps @ http://lix.in/-411538