Ask the average classic rock fan about Canadian rockers Triumph and their opinions tend to vary drastically – all the way from worshipful devotion to utter indifference, from extensive knowledge to total ignorance of their songs and achievements. All of it proving the band's standing in rock history remains subject to debate.

Yet, despite inevitable and recurring comparisons to that other Cannuck power trio, Rush, Triumph did carve out their own furrow across the progressive heavy rock landscape, rising from unheralded upstarts over the border to U.S. arena headliners within just a few years.

Triumph formed in Toronto in 1975, when singing drummer Gil Moore and bassist and keyboardist Mike Levine headhunted singer and guitarist Rik Emmett until he agreed to join their ranks, signing to the local Attic Records a short time later. The group’s eponymous debut (aka In the Beginning) arrived the following year, but it was their second record, Rock and Roll Machine, that got the band some much needed airplay below the 49th parallel, as well as an international deal with RCA (which reissued the LP with a revised track listing combining the best material from both releases).

Triumph’s third album, 1979's Just a Game, was their real breakthrough, though, containing the group’s first hits and paving the way for their ascension to the big leagues, backed by platinum-selling follow-ups like Progressions of Power (1980), Allied Forces (1981) and Never Surrender (1983). In 1983, Triumph were one of the featured acts at the Us Festival, proof that they had arrived.

But the rest of the decade was marked by a steep commercial decline, as records like Thunder Seven (1984), The Sport of Kings (1986) and Surveillance (1987) failed to connect with younger fans as their mainstream concessions cost Triumph some of their older supporters. By 1988, the trio’s relationships were frayed beyond salvation and Emmett split for a solo career, leaving Moore and Levine to recruit guitarist Phil “X” Xenidis for one final Triumph LP in 1993’s Edge of Excess.

For the most part, Canada’s rock 'n' roll machine has been silent ever since, but sporadic live reunions have occurred and the band's catalog and legacy remain widely respected by the hard rock, prog and metal communities. In 2007, Triumph were even inducted into the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame. The following list of of Triumph Albums Ranked Worst to Best proves why.

More From Ultimate Classic Rock