Cheryl Lynn

11th January 2016

CD Title: Cheryl Lynn

Label: Soul Music

I’m always suspicious – as are many true fans of music – of singers who pop up on talent shows and, as a result of one or more appearances on that show, are then thrust into stardom. Lynn was one of those, appearing on America’s The Gong Show. Yet, incredibly enough, she managed to rise above that mass market programme and retain her artistic credibility. In fact, she did so with an amazing, fierce and intense voice that showed itself brilliantly on the superb single, Got To Be Real, the first track on this excellent reissue of the original 1978 debut on Columbia (dig that bass line).

This LP was easily her best full-length work, full of solid album cuts that act as support for the key singles. This is an important point and should be emphasised. Many disco and soul LPs of that time suffered as larger projects. Yes, they would feature top quality hit singles but then promptly fell over, revealing a dearth of any new or additional ideas by, rather irritatingly, trying to match their single cuts by duplicating a hook or bass line or, even worse, shoe horning a hook into an album cut where it patently should not be in a ham-fisted attempt to provide a varied listen. Not this LP.  Witness the track You Saved My Day which is arguably just as good as the hits that populate the album itself. In fact, the legendary DJ, Frankie Knuckles, played this particular album cut a lot while he was at Chicago’s infamous Warehouse.

It’s often forgotten that Lynn wrote many of the songs on this album, “I was fortunate to write five of the nine songs on my first album,” Lynn said. “Got To Be Real has done quite well for me. I consider it a compliment when anyone uses or samples my song.”

The reissue of this album is extended by four bonus tracks including the US single version of Got To Be Real, the US single and 12” of the single, Star Love and the 12” version of You Saved My Day.