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Lynch, Susan - 1981 Big Reward
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on February 10 2013, In 1981 Articles , 2 Comments , 4185 Reads , Print

ARTIST: Lynch, Susan
ALBUM: Big Reward
LABEL: Johnson/CBS Records
YEAR: 1981


LINEUP: Susan Lynch - lead vocals, keyboards * Roger McGuinn - 12 string guitar * Ruben DeFuentes - guitar, slide guitar * Larry Whitman - guitar, percussion, piano * Eric Nelson - bass * Nelson Williams - drums, percussion * Susan Lynch, Steve Huff, Paul Collins, Gordon Rael, Harry Rickenbacker, Heather Rickenbacker, Susan Rickenbacker - handclapping, backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 That Love * 02 Laugh * 03 Office Love * 04 Drive Me * 05 Street Kids * 06 My Big Reward * 07 Hurt By Love * 08 Lover Boy * 09 How Bad (D'Ya Want It) * 10 Everytime I'm Next To You

She was touted as being the next Pat Benatar during the late 1981 early 1982 period. Susan Lynch sure looked great, and though the comparison wasn't quite on the money, Lynch's one and only album 'Big Reward' still has a load of redeeming qualities, making it a collectible from a GLORYDAZE perspective at least. Lynch signed to Johnston Records, which was the label of Beach Boys member Bruce Johnston. The producer of the album was Terry Melcher who is a long time friend of Johnston's. Joining the project was Lynch's boyfriend Larry Whitman and former Blue Cheer guitarist Rueben De Fuentes, The Byrds guiatrs Roger McGuinn, plus Kim Carnes bassist Eric Nelson. Vocally, Lynch is more in keeping with the likes of Karla Bonoff and Louise Goffin than the supposed Benatar influence. Mostly, it's pop rock with a nod in the direction of 80's new wave/pop rock exponents Spider and their ilk.

The Songs
Some songs work, some don't. Opener 'That Love' has a flowing quality, with Lynch's voice quite melodic nad lilting. 'Laugh' is definitely the album highlight for me. I only wish the rest of the LP was in this vein, the chorus is fantastic, the entire song pumps along in a purists AOR direction. From here, the album tends to go through a jekyll/hyde personality face-change. The percussion heavy 'Office Love' is a jungle/tribal stomp which is best described as a poor-woman's Dalbello offshoot, while 'Drive Me' is a weak pop-rocker that didn't do anything for me unfortunately. 'Street Kids' sounds as if it was recorded live in the studio, the emphasis on handclaps and a live backing entourage providing hoop-la's and excitable screams tells it all. 'My Big Reward' comes closest to Pat Benatar, the tight pop rock sounds pretty good actually, while the power-pop flavoured 'Hurt By Love' with its stomping drums and angst-filled vocals is a creation of that early 80's era. 'Lover Boy'is a blues-filled rant in the style of the Rolling Stones, the sassy 'How Bad (Do Ya Want It)', is where Susan get an opportunity to let her tonsils fly, plus the guitar solo from De Fuentes is a killer! The finale 'Everytime I'm Next To You' gives an indication as to Lynch's promise, this is a really rockin' number with some great vocals and stinging guitar work.

In Summary
The album sank at the box-office, but that's not to say the lady had talent, because she did. I'm not quite convinced that the album featured a great set of songs (with the exception of 'Laugh') which is a shame as this is the only album she ever released. During the mid 80's, Lynch continued to play on with Whitman, Nelson and drummer Dennis Conway. Later in the 80's decade, Lynch turned up in a short-liced band called Renegade, which featured her guitar co-horts Larry Whitman, Rueben De Fuentes, former Sabu bassist Rick Bozzo and former Survivor drummer Marc Droubay. A pity that project never got off the ground, it looked like it had the makings of something special.

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#1 | gdazegod on February 10 2013 12:05:13
Here's a 1982 Billboard spread for Susan, promoting the album..

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#2 | super80boy on February 24 2013 07:51:40
Being a big fan of female fronted AOR/melodic rock, I enjoyed this one. The clear standouts are 'Laugh', 'Drive Me' and the title song.
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