After the commercial flop of their Follow Your Heart album in 1971, the Sons of Champlin took some time off, re-grouped, and re-assembled with a new rhythm section. Dave Schallock and James Preston (on bass and drums respectively) were brought in to replace Al Strong and Bill Bowen.
Incidentally the nucleus of this line-up: Bill Champlin on vocals, keyboards, and guitars, Geoff Palmer on vibes, Dave Schallock on bass, and James Preston on drums remains intact to this day with new guitarits Tal Morris and a revamped horn section.
Welcome to the Dance features the band's strongest material since their 1969 debut, Loosen Up Naturally. While the album lacks the psychadelic-infused lyrics of their earlier works in favor of a more R&B/blue-eyed soul flavored sound, Terry Haggerty was still able to infuse some of his more psychadelic flavored guitar licks into this "new" sound.
This album marks an interesting stage in this vastly underrated band's evolution. Some of these tracks even found themselves rearranged and performed by the current line-up on the band's 2005 Hip Li'l Dreams release (Swim and For Joy). The addition of Dave Schallock and Jim Preston was just the change the band had needed apparently as the band sounds much tighter and more cohesive than they had on Follow Your Heart or The Sons.
Champlin's Jimmy Smith inspired organ theatrics and Lou Rawls inspired vocals are present on all tracks. The Mark Isham/Phil Woods horn section augments a handful of the tracks and help pull together the musical stew which made up the Sons of Champlin.
This excellent album had remained out of print for years and was only released on CD in 2001. It remains available today. Whether you're just discovering the Sons of Champlin or re-discovering them for the second, third, or fourth time this is a must-have album to add to your collection. So make sure to pick up this gem while the getting is still good!