Classics: Luther Vandross – It’s Over Now (Epic)
Turning things in life / feelings into an artform is something not many have achieved the way Luther Vandross did. A singer with a rare voice, but also a songwriter and an incredible producer along with Marcus Miller… No wonder how he managed to dominate the R&B scene for more than two decades.
Vandross displays here the conclusion of a love affair which has come to an end. And most likely that specific moment when you realize you’ve been fooled. That moment when you feel like you gotta make a step forward. ‘It’s Over Now’ is not only a statement, but also a self encouraging message. And for that, he obviously felt like he needed a (groovy) beat.
‘It’s Over Now’ is definitely one of the highlights of his 1985 ‘The Night I Fell In Love’ album. Along with the soothing ‘My Sensitivity (Gets In The Way)’ and its title track. Therefore makin’ of it a quintessential investment.
Gifted with a velvet tenor voice, NYC native Luther Vandross appeared in the first series of ‘Sesame Street’ back in 1969. A performer, but also a songwriter, he collaborated with countless artists and bands. From Quincy Jones to Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway, Chic, Chaka Khan or Diana Ross. But also Charme with whom he did a cover version of Toto‘s ‘Georgy Porgy’. Not to mention Jocelyn Brown Sharon Redd and David Bowie. And I’m not even talkin’ about his activities as producer along with bassist Marcus Miller and sound engineer Ray Bardani. The latter leading him to craft Cheryl Lynn‘s ‘Instant Love’ then Aretha Franklin‘s ‘Jump To It’ and ‘Get It Right’ albums in 1982 and 1983.
Despite a couple of album releases as simply Luther, Vandross would get his breakthrough as the lead singer of various tracks on Change‘s ‘The Glow Of Love’ debut-album back in 1980. He refused contributing to its follow-up though because of a financial disagreement with its executive producer, Jacques Fred Petrus. Although he would sing backing vocals on The BB&Q Band‘s eponymous debut album from the same management team. From then on, he signed a solo record deal with Epic. Going straight to the position #1 in the charts with the title cut from his ‘Never Too Much’ debut-album the year after.
‘Never Too Much’ opened an impressive list of successes which established Vandross as the #1 R&B singer for two decades. The man varying the pleasures upon different moods. From ballads to R&B grooves and eventually hybrids such as ‘Give Me The Reason’ back in 1986.
Among his masterpieces, ‘The Night I Fell In Love’, ‘My Sensitivity (Gets In The Way)’, ‘I Wanted Your Love’, ‘It’s Over Now’ and ‘Power Of Love’. Not to mention ‘The Rush’ which David Morales remixed it an outstanding way and ‘Always And Forever’ to name a few. Vandross also happened to share the duties back in 1992 with Janet Jackson, Bell, Biv, DeVoe and Ralph Tresvant. Delivering the boiling ‘The Best Things In Life Are Free’. A cut which got extra exposure as a part of the ‘Mo’ Money OST’ with production work courtesy of Jam & Lewis. Meanwhile, some of you might also remember his collaboration with Masters At Work on ‘Are You Using Me’ back in 1998. A track which, for some reason, only saw the light as a Promo 12″ on Virgin.
Luther Vandross has sold more than 35 million records worldwide and received 8 Grammy Awards.
He sadly died from diabetes and hypertension at the JFK Medical Center in Edison, NJ on Ju. 01, 2005, at the age of 54.