I Paralyze, the seventeenth studio album from the one and only Cher, had all of the earmarks of a hit album. Her first and only LP for Columbia Records, it boasted a line-up of heavy hitters including producer-songwriters John Farrar (a string of Olivia Newton-John’s most beloved hits including “Magic,” “Have You Never Been Mellow,” and “Hopelessly Devoted to You”) and David Wolfert (whose credits include Melissa Manchester, Dolly Parton, Barbra Streisand and Dusty Springfield), songwriter Desmond Child (Bon Jovi, Meat Loaf) and musicians including Toto’s Steve Lukather, Utopia’s Ralph Schuckett and others. Despite strong material including the pop throwback “Rudy” and the contemporary new wave-tinged “I Paralyze,” the album failed to chart upon its original release in May 1982. Now, the reissue specialists at Vibe On Records are giving fans another chance to hear what they missed the first time around with a remastered and expanded edition due on September 23!
When Cher was asked by Rolling Stone in 1999 to name a favorite single of her own, she responded, “There are two, and neither of them were hits. One was ‘I Paralyze.'” The killer track was the album’s lone composition from John Farrar, co-written with Steve Kipner (Newton-John’s “Physical”). The second single to be released, it was preceded on 45 by “Rudy.” Among the catchy pop confection’s co-writers were Jacques Morali and Henri Belolo of The Village People fame. “Rudy” put a modern spin on the girl-group sound that Cher knew well from her 1960s days singing backgrounds for Phil Spector. Desmond Child would later collaborate with Cher on such hits as “We All Sleep Alone” and “Just Like Jesse James,” but he contributed three songs to I Paralyze first, including the power ballad “When the Love is Gone,” “Walk with Me” (with its own Spectorian overtones) and the tough rocker “The Book of Love.” Michael Smotherman, a favorite writer of Glen Campbell’s, penned the beautiful, country-flavored ballad “Do I Ever Cross Your Mind.” The Babys’ “Back on My Feet Again” was covered by Cher, retitled “Back on the Street Again.” I Paralyze, with its diverse collection of modern sounds that still honored Cher’s signature style, should have catapulted her into the new decade on a high note but was largely overlooked by fans and critics alike.
Now, the time couldn’t be better for a new look. Vibe On’s new, deluxe reissue of the long out-of-print I Paralyze features ten previously unreleased bonus tracks: two alternate vocal mixes of “Rudy” as well as instrumental versions of the David Wolfert-produced material (all tracks other than the Farrar-helmed title song). The booklet features a new interview with Wolfert conducted by journalist and Quentin Harrison, along with previously unpublished photos from Cher’s shoot with the legendary Harry Langdon. Vibe On promises that input from Cher, executive producer Charles Koppelman, and John Farrar is expected. The album has been remastered by Sean Brennan at Sony’s Battery Studios in New York.
Pre-orders are now live at VibeOnRecords.com, and those who pre-order early will receive a limited 5×5″ art card that will serve as an alternate album cover. Pre-order pricing is in place until the September 23 ship date. The album will be available to purchase from Amazon.com from September 23 onward. You can also visit Vibe On for information on the label’s other recent releases, including a trio of titles from LaToya Jackson! The label’s deluxe expanded edition of I Paralyze can be pre-ordered at the link below!
Cher, I Paralyze (Columbia CK 38096, 1982 – reissued Vibe On Records, 2016)
- I Paralyze
- When the Love is Gone
- Say What’s On Your Mind
- Back on the Street Again
- Walk with Me
- The Book of Love
- Do I Ever Cross Your Mind
- Rudy (Long Version)
- Rudy (Short Version)
- Rudy (Instrumental)
- Games (Instrumental)
- When the Love is Gone (Instrumental)
- Say What’s On Your Mind (Instrumental)
- Back on the Street Again (Instrumental)
- Walk with Me (Instrumental)
- The Book of Love (Instrumental)
- Do I Ever Cross Your Mind (Instrumental)
Tracks 10-19 previously unreleased