Luther – 1976 – Luther (Vandross)

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I think we all agree that Luther Vandross was one of the greatest singers in the area for the last 30 years with his smooth, versatile tenor voice. He was one of the most successful R&B artists of the 1980s and ’90s. But he was in the business from early 70’s and he gained  recognition as a background singer working for David Bowie, Stephanie Mills, Bette Midler, Judy Collins, Ben E. King, Average White Band, Chic, Carly Simon, Quincy Jones, Cat Stevens, Roberta Flack, Chaka Khan, The Spinners among many others, before he became an R&B star for the next two decades.

Before his breakthrough, Vandross was part of a singing quintet in the late ’70s, consisting former Shades of Jade members Anthony Hinton and Diane Sumler, Theresa V. Reed, and Christine Wiltshire, also called Luther, signed to Cotillion Records. Although the singles “It’s Good for the Soul”, “Funky Music (Is a Part of Me)”, and “The Second Time Around” were relatively successful, their two albums, the self-titled Luther (1976) and This Close to You (1977), didn’t sell enough to make the charts. Vandross bought back the rights to these albums after the record label dropped the group, preventing their later re-release.

This is a @320 vinyl rip of the original Cotillion Records LP including covers.

A1 Funky Music (Is A Part Of Me) 5:29
A2 The 2nd Time Around 6:25
A3 I’ll Get Along Fine 4:07
A4 Everybody Rejoice 3:02
B1 Emotion Eyes 5:58
B2 This Strange Feeling 4:44
B3 It’s Good For The Soul (Parts I And II) 8:42

This is an excellent album. Some of Luther’s best work. It didn’t receive the attention that it should have because of the Funk era being at an all time high and ballads being less listened too. In my opinion three songs on this album should have scored high on the R&B charts.

His first LP was released in June 1976 The eponymously titled LP,  “Luther” featured his first R&B chartings, “It’s Good For The Soul (#28), “Funky Music”/”The Second Time Around” (#34). In fact, David Bowie originally heard Luther working on “Funky Music” a few years prior & with Luther, restructured it into “Fascination”. Carlos Alomar, who had become David Bowie’s guitarist, invited him to attend a Bowie recording session at Sigma Sound Studios in Philadelphia. He quickly became more than an observer, singing background vocals, serving as a vocal arranger, and co-writing the song“Fascination” with Bowie. The session resulted in the album Young Americans, released in March 1975, and Vandross also went on tour with Bowie in September 1974 as both backup singer and opening act. For their live shows, they were backed by a group that included Bernard Edwards & Nile Rodgers, who later became the architects of Chic.

Overall this debut album by the band led by the late soul legend Luther Vandross, is mid seventies style funky soul containing the very funky ‘It’s good for the soul‘, ‘Emotion Eyes‘ and ‘Funky Music is a part of me‘. A very rare chance to hear the roots of the master of smooth soul.


Everything you have to know about legendary Luther Vandross here, including biography, singles – albums discography and awards.

It is very interesting to read an in person interview here,  conducted by David Nathan in New York City, in June1976, about the group, the album and much more.

Finally listen the killer “Funky Music” and check on Youtube David Bowie’s “Fascination”. You’ll see why..

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Conversation for album: Luther – 1976 – Luther (Vandross)

  • JTF
    Posted at 18:08h, 02 February 2010 Reply

    Another great one!

  • rich
    Posted at 22:42h, 02 February 2010 Reply

    thank u nikos and a special thank u for using zshare.rapidshare takes long to grab.

  • Trakbuv
    Posted at 22:57h, 02 February 2010 Reply

    For me, this and the follow-up Cotillion LP (my favourite of his) are the essence of the man and his live power – so much passion and sincerity that was somehow diluted with many of his later LPs. Easily one of the greatest soul singers of all-time. ‘Emotion eyes’ and the original version of ‘Second time around’ are gut-wrenchingly phenomenal. Simply awesome.

  • Gabriel
    Posted at 13:28h, 03 February 2010 Reply

    His voice was magical and the music brilliant. He will be so sorely missed.

  • D.
    Posted at 15:15h, 03 February 2010 Reply

    Thanks you great one again

  • Klow
    Posted at 15:56h, 03 February 2010 Reply

    Thanks for adding Zshare! We talked about the Rapidshare issue before; actually it seems that access is now denied to non premium account members.

  • Zer0
    Posted at 16:43h, 03 February 2010 Reply

    Thsnks Nikos!!! I’ve been wanting to hear some Luther Vandross 70’s jams.

  • nikos1109
    Posted at 01:32h, 04 February 2010 Reply

    I adore Luther. I still remember when he arranged the background vocals for Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer’s duet “No More Tears (Enough Is Enough),” which became a number one pop hit in November 1979. The album is great. I still play “Funky Music” loud!!!

  • jos
    Posted at 01:39h, 04 February 2010 Reply


  • Bell
    Posted at 11:28h, 04 February 2010 Reply

    Wow! Thanks for sharing this great find!

  • hooch
    Posted at 14:01h, 04 February 2010 Reply

    Superb Lp – one of my favourites, thank you as always!

  • Adam L.
    Posted at 15:33h, 04 February 2010 Reply

    Never heard of those Cotillion LP’s. Vandross was one on my favorites, so i’ll like to check this out. That youtube song is really hot.

  • Grumpy
    Posted at 15:43h, 04 February 2010 Reply

    Thanks for the post Nikos, yet another great one!

  • Fondeus
    Posted at 10:52h, 05 February 2010 Reply

    Brilliant Niko!

  • Ricardo
    Posted at 11:45h, 05 February 2010 Reply

    Sadly missed, Luther was indeed one of the giants of the modern era. Work like this serves to keep both the great music and his memory alive. Thankyou so much for sharing this gem.

  • catacaldos
    Posted at 21:24h, 05 February 2010 Reply

    A special thanks for this special post.You made my day.

  • Alfredo
    Posted at 03:03h, 06 February 2010 Reply

    Many many thanks for the great stuff.

  • Nicolas
    Posted at 23:04h, 07 February 2010 Reply

    Thanks again for the amazing music.

    • Allayna
      Posted at 21:13h, 16 December 2011 Reply

      A really good answer, full of raitnoliaty!

  • Lanus
    Posted at 13:46h, 08 February 2010 Reply

    A great one. I love Luther Vandross.

  • jerome green
    Posted at 20:28h, 08 February 2010 Reply

    Hi Nikos.
    Beautiful and (as we all know) criminally underappreciated lp by the master himself (R.I.P. we are always thinking of you, Luther). I alredy have the record, but Thank You so much for selecting it; people need to feel the true power of this man (we think of him as an 80s artist, but he goes way back in the 70s! It is amazing how much he accomplished without much fanfare. I was just listening to ‘Glow Of Love’ from the first Change lp. Incredibly amazing and wondrous track. Peace, Love, and Thanks for all the uplifting music.

  • Desmond
    Posted at 23:21h, 08 February 2010 Reply

    big up big thnx

  • KillBill
    Posted at 23:25h, 08 February 2010 Reply

    Wonderful! Another top gem! Thanks

  • Frank
    Posted at 10:51h, 09 February 2010 Reply

    Many thanks, another quality posting.

  • Martini
    Posted at 19:59h, 10 February 2010 Reply

    Superb!!! Thanks!

  • onejazzyman
    Posted at 02:10h, 11 February 2010 Reply

    Great Luther album. Record company should release it!

  • matt glazier
    Posted at 04:22h, 14 February 2010 Reply

    found this and his second album ‘this close to you’ in a London record store today.. been collecting soul music for 25 years and had no idea these even existed… bliss

  • Fernando
    Posted at 10:27h, 17 February 2010 Reply

    Such a great artist! Thank u.

  • Leon
    Posted at 21:09h, 21 February 2010 Reply

    The sample track is super funky. Can’t wait to hear the rest. many thanks.

  • T.L.P
    Posted at 01:06h, 25 February 2010 Reply

    Such a great site, classic gems. thank you fam for the work that you do, much respect.

  • Diego
    Posted at 10:58h, 25 February 2010 Reply

    Thank you. Luther…just fabulous.

  • Danny
    Posted at 16:40h, 28 February 2010 Reply

    “Never too Much” with Luther Vandross. Such a great loss.

  • pedro
    Posted at 15:56h, 14 April 2010 Reply

    Thanks for this nikos havent got any of the luthers earlier work is it true to say that he did a fair bit of writing in his early days? thanks for this

  • Larry Bellard
    Posted at 22:50h, 05 July 2010 Reply

    I Was In The Military In 1976 When I Seen And Heard Luther In Concert With A Group Of Young College Kids From Howard University. THe Concert Was In The Summer Of 1976 In Louisville Ky.I Have Never Been To A Live Stage Proformance Like The Luther Show In Over 34 Years. Thank You Luther For The ” Second Time Around ” I Turn Lousianas On To Luther’s Musics A Magical Tenor. God Bless You Luther & I Know Your Voice Is Blessing The Angel’s

  • Tom
    Posted at 21:52h, 27 July 2010 Reply

    This is brilliant! I had never even heard of L.V. doing anything in the mid 70s and it’s ace! Thank you top stuff.

  • Leon Petrossian
    Posted at 23:08h, 29 August 2010 Reply

    I created a facebook page for Luther’s early years 1969-1980 check it out. His earliest vocals was a duet on Delores Hall 1973 Hall-Mark Lp.

  • streaming
    Posted at 16:55h, 16 December 2010 Reply

    You completed a number of fine points there. I did a search on the topic and found a good number of people will agree with your blog.

  • Eddie
    Posted at 22:48h, 13 March 2014 Reply

    Thanks for this one!

  • KA
    Posted at 01:18h, 22 June 2016 Reply

    Fantastic album from one of the great voices of late 1900’s. Seems to me Luther helped David Bowie to reach to his best level of soul music during recording sessions in 1974/75. From one soul to another, that is what people do when they are at their best. RIP both Luther and David. Somebody up there likes you. Too.

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