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Luther Vandross / ‘Luther’ reissues

Early albums where Luther Vandross writes and produces as ‘Luther’

Before Luther Vandross’ solo career started in 1981 with the magnificent Never Too Much, he headed a group called ‘Luther’ who released two albums: their self titled 1976 debut and the 1977 follow-up This Close To You. Both records were released on Cotillion Records at the time and have never been issued on CD, or reissued at all come to that. This will change in June as both albums are re-released on CD and vinyl formats.

Luther were a quintet and in addition to Vandross, the band members were Anthony Hinton, Diane Sumler, Theresa V. Reed and Christine Wiltshire. The first album, Luther, features seven songs, all written and produced by Luther Vandross including the hit ‘Funky Music (Is A Part of Me)’, which Vandross and David Bowie reimagined into ‘Fascination’ for Bowie’s Young Americans album (before ‘Funky Music’ had been officially released).

‘Funky Music (Is A Part of Me)’ from the Luther album

It also includes ‘Everybody Rejoice (A Brand New Day)’ from the musical ‘The Wiz’, marking the only recording of Vandross’s rendition of the song. The CD version of the reissue features a bonus instrumental version of the album track ‘The 2nd Time Around’, although disappointingly, ‘At Christmas Time’, the group’s 1976 single with two festive tracks penned by Vandross (‘At Christmas Time’ and ‘May Christmas Bring You Happiness’) is nowhere to be found.

Luther is released on CD for the first time in June

This Close To You features another nine Luther Vandross songs, which he again self-produced and it’s notable that a certain Nile Rodgers plays guitar on every song. The CD reissue features three bonus tracks. Both Luther albums are reissued on vinyl with the standard album-only tracklistings.

Luther will be reissued on 19 April while This Close To You follows on 7 June 2024, both via Sony’s Legacy Recordings.

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Luther

This Close To You - CD reissue

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Tracklisting

Luther Luther /

      1. Funky Music (Is A Part Of Me)
      2. The 2nd Time Around
      3. I’ll Get Along Fine
      4. Everybody Rejoice (From the Tony Award Winning Musical, “THE WIZ”)
      5. Emotion Eyes
      6. This Strange Feeling
      7. It’s Good For The Soul (Parts I And II)
      CD-only bonus track
      1. The 2nd Time Around (Instrumental)

Tracklisting

This Close to You Luther /

      1. This Is For Real
      2. A Lover’s Change
      3. Don’t Take The Time
      4. Jealousy Is In Me
      5. I’m Not Satisfied
      6. This Close To You
      7. Don’t Wanna Be A Fool
      8. Come Back To Love
      9. Follow My Love
      CD-only bonus tracks
      1. Can’t Get Enough Good Loving
      2. Come Back To Love (Instrumental)
      3. Don’t Wanna Be A Fool (Instrumental

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