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..