Lost but not least! Luther Vandross – The Night I Fell In Love (Epic)
“The night I fell in love…” There’s nothing like this, could have sung Omar, speakin’ of this. A feeling which those of us graced with what we feel like being an endless love Vandross has perfectly recaptured. Most likely delivering one of his most vibrant performances ever in a quiet storm groovy mood. This, with off the hook backing vocals courtesy of Cissy Houston, Lisa Fisher, Alfa Anderson, Fonzi Thornton and Phillip Ballou. Not to mention long time partner Marcus Miller slammin’ the bass over lush keys and string arrangements by the likes of Nat Adderley, Jr.
From the package that spanned the unmissable ‘It’s Over Now’ and ‘My Sensitivity (Gets In The Way)’… Now you tell me why Epic didn’t give it a single release…
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.