The Sons of Champlin's "Ariola years," 1975-1977, might be thought of as the third phase of the band, at least in recording terms, following their "Capitol years," 1969-1971, which resulted in three albums, and their "Columbia year," 1973, marked by the LP Welcome to the Dance. That album suffered from record company politics (Clive Davis, who signed the Sons to Columbia, was fired just after the album was released), and the Sons regrouped on their own mail-order label, Gold Mine Records, which released a self-titled LP (CD2 of this collection) in 1975. It found the Sons, who had always been one of the jazzier and funkier of the '60s San Francisco bands, moving in a distinct blue-eyed soul/white funk direction with a punchy horn section that included a young Mark Isham. Startup label Ariola America picked up the album for national distribution, and the Sons then produced a commercial-sounding follow-up in A Circle Filled with Love (CD1, Tracks 1-12) that almost resulted in a Top 40 hit in "Hold On" at a time when the Average White Band and Boz Scaggs were playing similar-sounding music. Loving Is Why (CD1, Tracks 13-22) was slightly less impressive, though there were some pretty ballads, and then lead singer Bill Champlin, dissatisfied by the band's lack of success, decamped, ending the Ariola years and, not long after, the group itself. Gathering the three albums together, Acadia presents a time capsule of mid-'70s pop music that is slicker than what the Sons played in the '60s, but still musically effective, particularly through the singing of Champlin, who has gone on to solo work and to singing hits with Chicago.