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Articles Home » 1976 Articles » Dancer - 1976 Dancer
Dancer - 1976 Dancer

ARTIST: Dancer
ALBUM: Dancer
YEAR: 1976


LINEUP: Carl Dante - vocals, bass * Jonathan Douglas - vocals, keyboards, rhythm guitar * Ian Espinoza - vocals, guitars
Additional Musicians: Rick Shlosser - drums * Nick DeCaro - string arrangments

TRACK LISTING: 01 Magical Eyes * 02 Back Into Your Arms * 03 Here I Go Again * 04 A Million Ways To Cry * 05 This IS The Love * 06 Summersong * 07 Any Old Time * 08 A Game Called We're In Love * 09 The Last 80 Years * 10 Till Tomorrow

I would love to have been a fly on the wall in the boardroom at A&M when the label fat cats gave their approval for this album cover. What audience were they going for here? Early short britches, flat cap Gilbert O'Sullivan fans perhaps or was it followers of The Hudson Brothers TV variety show snooze fest. Our Grandmother's maybe? Hard to say, but even more perplexing is the back photo which shows the boys to be almost as pretty as the long lamented L.A. pop rockers Virgin. How did the sex aspect pass by normally savvy coke sniffing' leisure suited L.A. music marketers? Dancer's album was dead on arrival and I'm sure some of you passed over copies in cut-out bins at the time, but who could blame you.

The Songs
Musically this is very much a light-as-air pop album that's actually quite good in spots. Not a clue who sings lead, but these guys harmonize well and while they were no Crosby Stills & Nash, Dancer pull-off some nice sounds. The bouncy 'Magical Eyes' has a fun Pure Prairie League country pop vibe while 'Back into Your Arms' is comparable to Michael Johnson's early forays in AM pop. Hands down the best cut on the A-side is 'A Million Ways To Cry' with lead vocals similar to Terry Luttrell and harmonies and song structure reminiscent of Starcastle circa 'Real To Reel' although lacking in the power department. Really nice and before the needle leaves the vinyl I'm flipping over to the B-side which gives us the almost Queen - like 'Summersong' with a light nostalgia flavour and as cheesy as 'A Game Called We're In Love' is lyrically it's a great tune similar to The Rollers and Pilot. Still, nothing here really 'rocks' and producer Bill Schnee (Pablo Cruise, Huey Lewis & the News, Boz Scaggs) could have added some oomph here and there, but it is what it is.

In Summary
Where are they now? Carl Dante went on to compose Film music while guitarist Ian Espinoza ended up in The Coup for their only album and has since become a respected session player although I have no idea where keyboard player Jonathan Douglas is these days. There's little mention of Dancer on the net, although what I have read has been somewhat negative. Don't believe it. While Dancer won't shake the foundations of your house, it's a nice little record and worth picking up cheaply.

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#1 | dangerzone on October 04 2009 05:53:08
It's funny what you say about the cover. I looked at it and thought the same thing before I read the review!
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