Title - 'Love, Luther' (Epic/Legacy)
Artist - Luther Vandross
Luther was the King from the moment of his first ALBUM (remember those) release. Many artists have tried to and none of them has even come close to the magic Luther could do with a song. There are a lot of babies and marriages in this world thanks to Luther and I know for one, I'm going to miss him.
This retrospective of the King, his first career-spanning collection features 56 stunning songs on 4 CDs ... and yes, that means there is over 4 hours of music in this wonderful, nay complete box set! Breathtaking ballads, funky favorites, demos and all the #1 hits he brought into our hearts and homes, 'Love, Luther' even features some rare intimate moments with the great man during rehearsals and such.
Luther's debut solo album, 'Never Too Much' (1981), was the first of many successes, and during the 1980s and '90s he was the dominant male vocalist on the R&B charts, with hits that included the duets "How Many Times Can We Say Goodbye" (1983,with Warwick) and "Endless Love" (1994, with Mariah Carey).
In April 2003 Vandross suffered a stroke and lapsed into a coma; he had recently completed the album 'Dance With My Father,' which included collaborations with Queen Latifah, Beyoncé Knowles, Foxy Brown and Busta Rhymes. Vandross came out of the coma in June and the album went on to win four Grammys in 2004. It didn't last long and his early death at the age of 54 robbed American popular music of one of its more consistent and compelling voices; and (in truth) it is only a partial comfort that he left behind such a substantial body of work wrapped up in this 'Love, Luther' box set we have before us today.
Coming complete with a deluxe 60-page book which includes rare photos and memories from the Vandross family album, not to mention a powerful essay plus a beautiful poem from Luther's mother, the set also includes the exclusive new single "There's Only You."
While the box set shines brightly, there are a couple of disadvantages to the collection. The first disadvantage is that the collection doesn't list the songs in chronologial order, which does confuse new listeners, as well as keeps things a little bit misorganized for die hard fans unlike other box sets. Another disadvantage to the album is that while the collection includes a lot of great songs, there are a few great tracks that were overlooked like his rendidtions of Heatwave's "Always & Forever," and "Going In Circles," - as well as "Think About You."
Despite those few flaws, 'Love, Luther' works great in price and value as a noble re-introduction to Luther Vandross, that works well for die hard fans and anyone who hasn't yet heard a Luther Vandross song on the radio.