So last night I was digging through my crates for a Luther Vandross song I know my man sampled. And I have 6 Luther albums, and for the first time looked at the years. Luther really ran the eighties as far as R&B go. I know the only black artists that get love from that decade is Michael, Prince, Rick James and Tina Turner, they are pop icons for no other reason than they were the only ones who got a steady stream of rotation on MTV back then. One reason being they had a rock vibe to them, and be honest Mike has always had a rock thing going on. But Luther was killing it in the urban music field, you have to really remember the eighties and black artists to feel me. That was when the synth sound was big, no real instruments were played other then the piano and singers couldn’t sing, sound formilure anyone? I think other than those names I just said and New Edition and Janet Jackson no one else even made it to the 90’s.
Back to Luther though, the guy was a singers singer, he had older artist loving him and was admired by his peers. He had an Isaac Hayes, Barry White type vibe to him as far as arranging his music goes and holding a brand of sexy with it. He did a gang of remakes and you know you’re the man when you make people forget other versions. “Superstar” is the best example of this, to this day who sings that song different than what Luther did? I love the Carpenters version, the horns are still the sickest shit to me today, but Luther knocked it out and made is obsolete. He did this with a lot of songs that he remade during his career. His catalog is flawless by all measures for any artist of any genre. You get any older greatest hits collections and the songs on there will come from “Never Too Much.” (first solo album) to “Power Of Love”(1991). That’s 7 albums in 10 years. Sometimes you get a greatest set with hold albums on it, saves money really, but it proves how great his GENIUS was. Didn’t really ride with Luther on his later stuff, the vibe didn’t whole as much weight to me and the fact it seemed like they paired him with a lack of talent at times. But in any case if that’s falling off and you survived from falling for 20 years, you are a legend.