Forty years ago, Gloria Lynne released her classic "I Wish You Love" album, which, on the strength of the title song, vaulted onto the jazz, pop and R&B charts.
The groundbreaking album has now been re-released in an anniversary edition, reminding us of the transcendent power of one singer and one record. Others had recorded "I Wish You Love," but it was Lynne’s version that connected with audiences. Lynne embraced the drama of the song, wrapping her velvet voice around each word and becoming part of the lush arrangement.
The song leads off the album and serves as a good indicator of what’s ahead. The rest of the 12-song set follows the same course as the title track, with Lynne serving up sugary pop tune after sugary pop tune. She brings to the music not only a deep, rich voice, but precise diction and timing. Her style that’s well suited for fronting an orchestra, and that’s what listeners get here.
Key tracks in the set include "I Know Love" and "This Is My Beloved." Lynne, who began singing in vocal groups, also delivers a fine performance of "Wouldn’t It Be Loverly." She gives the song from "My Fair Lady" a breezy, jazz treatment. She isn’t an improviser like Ella or Sarah, but Lynne is a master at drawing out some notes and clipping others in order to enhance melodies and bring out lyrics.
This anniversary edition of the album, which has been digitally remastered, comes with the liner notes from the original Everest recording as well as some brief new commentary. It is, however, disappointing in that it lacks extras such as interviews, photos or alternate versions of songs. Also, be warned that the songs are not in the order listed on the back cover, which leads to some confusion.
Still, this no-frills edition of the 1965 album, delivers great, classic pop music from an outstanding singer. It’s easy to understand why "I Wish You Love" had such universal appeal.