Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Champion - Champion (1978)

Champion is a name most probably are not familiar with, though their bloodline is littered with acts that have scaled various heights of success both before and after the band's short existence. When David Byron was unceremoniously ousted from Uriah Heep in 1976, he quickly assembled a new band called Rough Diamond. That band featured ace guitarist Clem Clempson, who had previously been with acts like Bakerloo, Colosseum, Humble Pie and Strange Brew. Alongside Clempson was Geoff Britton, who had worked for several years in East of Eden and Wings. Though the band possessed enough talent and drive to take them to new heights, their sole effort on Island Records in 1977 failed to ignite the charts and Byron promptly exited the band later that year. With Byron now pursuing a solo career, the band brought in replacement vocalist Garry Bell and were soon snapped up by Epic Records. In 1978, the band released their self-titled album under their new moniker, Champion.

Essentially, Champion were a studio project and the band did not tour to support the album. The option to tour was left open to the band and label, providing that album sales demanded such...but sales were disappointing and both the band and label agreed to part ways. Clempson and Bell would later issue a double sided single in 1980, and Clempson would continue onward working with Jack Bruce, Jon Anderson and a reunited Colosseum in subsequent years. Britton later joined Keys in the early 80's.

"Champion" is a groovy soul/blues styled album that follows suit with much of what Grand Funk were also doing in the late 70's. With a sound that falls more into MOR territory and less heavy rock, the album is a bit pedestrian in delivery but with its share of hooks. "Sha-La-La", "You Knock Me Out" and "Say Goodnight" are all exceptional tracks, while the remainder of the album is a little more faceless. Despite the blandness here, this is a decent album that deserves at least a spin or two, if anything, because of the band's star studded lineage. Thanks to 'orchman' for this contribution. Check it and see what you think...


Sadness said...

good to c lots of aussie bands here..also some great Canadian rock also..have most og these albums already..all mate

'orchman' said...

Ronnie, i'm amazed how much info you can gather up to each and every album, are you an walking encyclopedia !?!?!

Ok my 'daily' 3 links, i think i will hold back for a few days now as i don't want to take over your show my friend.

Union - On Strike.

Trigger - Same.

And as a 'special' Sweet Pain - Same, i just love the 1st tune. Upside-Down, Inside Out Woman.

Enjoy !

aor66 said...

Hi Ronnie, still looking for Airbridge, Grand Hotel, Morningstar (Venus) and Whiteface (S/T)?

Let me know, please.
Thanks for your efforts!

Ronnie (aka J) said...

aor66...YES! Is that your way of saying you just MIGHT have them? :) I'd love to share them here for everyone. Let me know!

aor66 said...

I have those albums (mostly ripped by friends).
I'll upload and give you the links, I only have low upload speed so I might take time to put them all up.

Thanks again!

Residentevil2 said...

Cool stuff 'ORCHMAN' you have any
Both Can.

Anonymous said...

Looking for the Tilt album still? Here ya go!.



And last but not least, awesome blog. keep up the good work!.

Nils Tibor said...

Orchman, many thanks for the 2 Ironhorse albums and now for the Union LP.

You're a star as Ronnie.

Thanks again.