Let There Be Sun

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In 1982, Sun leader Byron Byrd must have been feeling quite frustrated. The band had been recording for Capitol since 1976, and only two of its songs had been hits: 1976's "Wanna Make Love" and 1978's "Sun Is Here." Sun enjoyed a small following, although it never achieved the level of stardom that Rick James, Cameo, Parliament/Funkadelic, the Bar-Kays, or the Gap Band enjoyed. Nonetheless, Sun gave it one more shot with its seventh album, Let There Be Sun, which Byrd produced with Beau Ray Fleming. If you weren't already a Sun fan in 1982, there was no reason why this LP would convert you. Let There Be Sun isn't a terrible record, but it's definitely a formulaic and unimaginative one. Tunes like "Super Duper Super Star" and "I Wanna Be With You" rely heavily on funk/dance clichés, which makes for very predictable listening. "Slamm Dunk the Ffunk" incorporates Cameo's sound, but minus Cameo's sense of adventure. If you played Let There Be Sun alongside some of the more imaginative funk albums of the early '80s -- Cameo's Cameosis, Rick James' Street Songs, and the Gap Band's Gap Band III are among the classics that come to mind -- you would hear the difference between risk-taking funk and cliché-ridden, pedestrian funk. Again, Let There Be Sun isn't terrible, but Sun was capable of a lot more.

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