Archive | February, 2012

Luther’s Cotillion albums

28 Feb

I bought a book back in 1991 titled Rocks Movers & Shakers and it had a section on Luther Vandross which explained the history of Luther forming a vocal group in 1975 called LUTHER and were signed to Cotillion Records a subsidiary of Atlantic Records.  There were two albums from the group 1976 LUTHER and 1977 THIS CLOSE TO YOU which both albums flopped due to lack of promotion and as a result both albums did not sell well at all.  Luther bought back the rights to both albums and retained the master tapes which was why they were rare.  I knew I had to have both albums but I didn’t know where to look.  Where I live they didn’t have any record stores that had those albums so I kind of gave up.  My sister who was dating her soon to be husband lived in Ardmore PA and she was going up there on summer and winter breaks to work and spend time with him.  My sister had to drive there and wanted to know did I want to come up there to visit and see Philadelphia.  I said sure and we left after Christmas 1992.  I remember the last day New Years Eve I had to catch a 4 o’clock train back home so we decided to go to this record store in Ardmore my sister said had everything called Plastic Fantastic.  We go there and there were literally records all over the place all categorized.  I go to the Luther section and try on a hunch to see if the Cotillion album would be there.  To my disapointment there wasn’t any of his Cotillion albums there.  I picked a record and proceeded to go to the counter.  I noticed there were a lot of albums on the wall behind the clerk so I started scanning and noticed they were high dollar/rare records.  Then to the right of the clerk I saw a record that caught my eye the album cover had in big metalic letters LUTHER in a style lettering you might see on a heavy metal album.  I asked the clerk could I see that album and he said, “Do know who it is?” I said, “Luther Vandross I hope” and he said, “You’re right.”  As I was staring at the back of the album which showed a five member group and Luther in a blue suit wearing a gold chain was too much for me.  I said to the clerk “I don’t care how much this album is I AM BUYING IT” He laughed when I told him I was a fan and he told me a little bit about how when the album first came out potential buyers thought it was a heavy metal group because of the lettering and confused them seeing the back cover.  The cost of the album was 25.00 dollars which I knew was worth it after reading the history about the album.  I was so excited to get home and put the album on the turntable.  I remember my sister saying it was too high to pay for an album and I told her don’t worry about what I buy.  I remember the train ride back holding on to that album like I had a bag full of money.  I remember the lady I was siting next to to thought I was odd holding on that bag the way I did.  I just didn’t want a chance on it getting broke.  My dad picked me up at the train station and the anticipation was just too much.  I ran to my turntable and started listening to all the songs and that is how I spent my New Years Eve of 1992 listening to LUTHER on Cotillion when the ball dropped.

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The music of Luther Vandross

28 Feb

Luther first hit it big in late October and November till early December 1981 on TOP 40 radio with Never Too Much.  I was nine years old then and listened to Casey Kasem’s TOP 40 on Sundays.  I must have heard this song at that time but honestly don’t remember Luther making a huge impact on me until 1989/early 1990 when I heard Here And Now.  I remember the first time I heard it on the radio and thinking: WOW what a voice, who is this?  I remember the radio announcer saying Luther Vandross as the singer of the song.  That moment changed the way I listened to a song and appreciated what a vocalist could do to make that song very real and personal like it was a page taken from your life.  I was hooked on Luther from that point on and said to myself I have got to have everything this guy has ever sung.  That is where the journey began for me researching and collecting Luther’s music.  I remember the first album I bought was The Best Of Love from 1989.  Not only did it have Here And Now on it but had all his greatest hits.  I knew this was the place to start and I enjoyed every song.  I remember hearing Searching and The Glow Of Love and loving those right from the start.  I believe the next cassettes I bought were Never Too Much, Busy Body, Forever, For Always, For Love, The Night I Fell In Love, Give Me The Reason, and Any Love which completed the collection up to that point.  I was soaking up all the songs on each album and really appreciating everything Luther had put into his music.  I knew at that point I couldn’t wait for the next Vandross release which would come soon enough with Power Of Love/Love Power in early 1991.