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Luther Vandross has always been someone whose music I really loved .From the first time I heard him sing the glow of love. It was the spring approx 1981 that as a young 15 year old I was scanning the radio, looking for something different and discovered it .A local DJ Mike baker was counting down the top 10 dance tunes of the day .The number one song was the brilliant PARADISE by a group unknown to me, they where called CHANGE I was hooked and this band became one of my favourite bands throughout the 80, s.After buying there new release at the time. I decided to track down there1980 release THE GLOW OF LOVE ,this would be the first time I would here the singer I called (THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN VOICE).It would be in the summer of 1982 that NEVER TOO MUCH luthers first solo album release, that would launch him on what would prove to be a very successful career . The catalogue of songs he wrote here, are so blindingly great yet at the time he seemed to pass most people by, but those who loved soul music and the soul music great,s that had come before, soon latched on to his distinctive tones, that would romance us for the next 23years approx. With albums such as THE NIGHT I FELL IN LOVE, BUSY BODY (two of my favourite albums) also the commercial smash album of 1986 GIVE ME THE REASON. Luther had craved commercial success at the time ands it possible, like myself he felt he was not been shown the respect his music and craft deserved, but this also led to soul fans in some quarters believing he had sold out for this success.
NEVER TOO MUCH
Yet through 80,s Luther could do no wrong he and production /writing partner MARCUS MILLER. Would work with artist of whom Luther was a great fan of, ARETHA FRANKLIN, DIONNE WARWICK, DIANA ROSS, TEDDY PENDEGRAS and CHERYL LYNN. Luther was widely reported to be a perfectionist and this at times lead to conflicts with other acts. ANITA BAKER, ENVOGUE as some who suffered at Luther?s wrath, yet this wasn?t a man being awkward for the sake of being awkward he was simply dedicated to his craft and if it had to be done its should be done right
"I would describe myself as pretty levelheaded, but I know how to defend myself when problems come up or if I need to make my position clear," he asserts. As an employer, I am exacting, very demanding and I'm a perfectionist, but I'm paying money for people to be good."
Every year it was a pleasure to here new material from him, yet as the 80,s ended albums such as ANYLOVE and THE POWER OF LOVE did not meet with the same success, the music scene had changed and rap music was becoming the main stay of poplar music and R&B fans as is still the case. The 90,s would nit be easy for him he had personal problems that right from the beginning would still haunt him, yet he would battle with them. He indeed was very lonely man his songs seemed to reflect this and the need to be loved. Finding true love is hard for all of us, so would have been harder when you have fame. About his music Luther said
"My music is sensual and it deals with a lot of romantic things," he says. "But I'm never one to wear my shirt unbuttoned down to here," he adds, indicating the navel beneath his black and fuchsia shirt. That's not who I am. I don't talk about what goes on between the sheets. That's not how I express myself I'd rather imply something than blatantly state it. I don't talk about body parts.
"My songs deal with relationships, and whether they make you happy and whether you are happy with yourself They are introspective and deal with self-realization. They aren't just baby you-done-me-wrong songs."
I would see Luther for the last in 1991 when he came to the Birmingham NEC and gave what I thought was such an outstanding lesson in performance. My wife and I where expecting our first child Nesha and my wife was approx 7months pregnant as we both grooved the night away. In 2001 Luther released a new album called LUTHER I considered this to be some of his best work and played it to death, if you haven?t got this album do have a listen,it was true vintage stuff from the man. He release the album DANCE WITH MY FATHER IN 2003, and that same year he suffered a stroke to which he would never recover. In July 1, 2005 at John F. Kennedy Medical Center in Edison, New Jersey Luther Vandross (THE MAN WITH GOLDEN VOICE) died at the age of 54. The cause of his death was never publicly released. There have been many a talk about then mans sex life, yet I choose to let his music speak for itself and to that I say LUTHER, THANK YOU even before he became a star he was already a star. WHENEVER ITS SNOWS I ALWAYS FEEL THE GLOW OF LOVE Quotes courtesy of ebony BY CW
DANCE WITH MY FATHER
SUPERSTAR TILL YOU COME BACK TO ME