Cheryl Lynn ‘Cheryl Lynn’ (expanded edition) (BBR) 4/5

cheryl-lynnSoulstress Cheryl Lynn first came to international prominence with the hit single from 1978, ‘Got to be real’, and this is the album from which it is taken. Top sessions musicians were deployed and included a fabulous trio of drummers in James Gadson, Harvey Mason and Bernard Purdie while Ray Parker Jr. took care of guitar and song writing duties and the album was co-produced by brothers David and Marty Paich (who collectively produced the classic blue-eyed soul album ‘Silk Degrees’ for Boz Scaggs). The first single ‘Got to be real’ has become a disco classic and rightly so, and has regularly featured on countless television adverts and soundtracks, and the only real surprise is that it is in fact relatively short and has never received an extended version. It is simply crying out for a contemporary DJ re-edit and little wonder, then, that the song actually managed to knock Chic’s ‘Le Freak’ off the top spot in the US R & B charts. However, it was not the only dance-oriented track on the album and the instantly catchy piano-led vamp on ‘You saved my day’ is a worthy follow-up and does have an extended 12″ version contained here as a bonus. Even though disco was officially in disrepute due to the racist ‘Disco sucks’ campaign, this number oozes class. Cheryl Lynn was never simply a disco diva, however, and the superior ballad, You’re the one’ hints at the talent that would come to fruition on the duet with Luther Vandross just a few years later with ‘If this world were mine’. Moreover, the mid-tempo ‘Come in from heaven’ is a left-field song that should not be overlooked, especially since it features some sumptuous percussive accompaniment by one Bobbye Hall who has graced many a classic 1970s album. Another dance number in ‘Star Love’ became a top twenty R & B hit and just narrowly missed out on the top ten of the dance chart. An extended version is featured as a bonus cut.

Tim Stenhouse