Next came the whispered pillow talk persuasion of “You’ll Never Know A Lover,” co-penned by Baldwin with original Atlantic Starr writer/producer Porter Carroll III. It was one of several songs Bob had given her. Brenda fell in love with it and holed up in her bathroom for the sympathetic acoustics to buff her leads and backgrounds to perfection. She even added the line, “She’s not the one you need” to the backgrounds in a moment of fervent inspiration in the studio.
“The lyrics and the storyline were so real to me,” Brenda confesses. “Singing them was like telling my own story. We’ve all been there – when someone is about to walk out and you didn’t want them to give up so soon. Let’s face it, we all make mistakes. I was so focused that I sang most of that song in one take. The song challenged me and showed me I could step up my game. I’m very proud of it.”
Because Brenda has waited so long for this time to come – watching other entities make money on her legacy while she was left out of the earnings - she has also turned her laser attention to a remake of the song that brought her sparkling voice to radio stations throughout the US and abroad, back in 1979 – a groovin’ and enduring club anthem entitled “We Got The Funk” that she originally recorded with the band Positive Force for the Turbo/All Platinum label which soon after changed its name to Sugarhill Records. Today, Brenda is serving it in a U.K. club single of FOUR brand new mixes: Bob Baldwin’s Master Mix, Dennis Jonson’s “Uppa Room Mix,” a rap mix (featuring Antonio Hinton) and an instrumental version featuring Bob on keys, and Phil Hamilton on guitar. The quartet of mixes will also be banded with the bonus b-side “Only Baby,” Brenda’s effervescent stab at international club pop.
As the world is about to find out, there is little to nothing that Brenda Reynolds can’t do with the engaging all-natural instrument that is her voice.
Brenda Reynolds was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania always loving to sing. Her vocal heroines were Chaka Khan (for her bold sexiness and fire), Minnie Riperton (for her heavenly effortless high notes), Phyllis Hyman (for her strong, sultry sound), and Sharon Bryant (for her declarative and sensual voice) As a teenager, she became part of a local band called Positive Force. Musician Nate Edmonds, who had left Harrisburg and become entrenched in the Stang Records label of Joe & Sylvia Robinson (best known for launching male vocal trio The Moments) brought the band to their company. In full effect, Positive Force was the first R&B/Funk band signed to what became Sugarhill Records just before it exploded into the label that launched Rap and Hip Hop worldwide. The first single they dropped was “We Got The Funk.”
“I thought I had made it,” Brenda reflects. “Sylvia was dancing around Joe in their beautiful home in Englewood, New Jersey to ‘We Got The Funk’, and we charted for 12 weeks over in Europe. I just wanted to sing. We came out just before “Rappers Delight.” As the rap 12” single started to build, we found ourselves selling copies out of our cars, and hitting up club DJs… all in vain.”
Following one month promoting the record on a tour in Africa, Positive Force returned home and shortly after disbanded. It was a shame because beyond the single, Brenda had been featured as the singer and primary lyricist on highlights of the full album such as “Tell Me What You See” (a sweet guitar bossa) and “Today it Snowed” (a dreamy ballad). Joe Robinson and Nate Edmonds tried to get her to leave the band and go solo – a typical record executive then and now – but apprehension and loyalty kept her from going that route.
Now it’s time for good fortune to shine on Brenda Reynolds as she works with husband Jachin James and Bob Baldwin to reclaim what’s rightfully hers. “I would like the opportunity to realize what I believe in my heart, that I was put here to do,” Brenda concludes. “To bring a nice sound to an appreciative audience, and put some of my friends to work. It’s not just about me. I want to help other musicians do what we all love to do.”
And with that. Brenda Reynolds Returns - with sheen, sparkle and sophistication.