When He Said Goodbye, It WAS For Long: Remembering Luther Vandross
Today is the 8th anniversary of Luther Vandross passing, and chile… he is STILL missed. That man’s vocal chords were clearly coated with Heaven’s ambrosia and dusted with angel St. Michael’s wings because it was amazing. Luther Vandross took old songs and when he sang them, folks forgot the originals. It was HIS.
And I don’t think the man got as many props as he deserved while he was alive (although he did win 7 Grammys). Even in death, folks don’t give him the tribute and props like other artists of his caliber.
So, as I *wall slide* down memory lane for one of the greatest voices of our generation, I will jam to his music. I picked out 5 of my top Luther songs, which was like picking out 5 pairs of my favorite shoes. SO. DARN. HARD.
My 5 Favorite Luther Vandross Songs
Power of Love
This is hands down my FAVORITE Luther Vandross song for so many reasons. The beat just makes me hit my two-step while snapping. And that intro? “When I say goodbye, it’s never for long.” I took that seriously. When he died, that’s what I kept playing as I went into a cave of my own feelings.
Yes. This is what comes to my mind the moment I think of Luther.
Dance with my Father
THE FEELS! I HAVE SO MANY FEELS FROM THIS SONG! This was one of his later songs but it’s amazing for the sentiment. I get all in my feelings whenever I hear this song. And then the video? Come on, somebody! This song also become the default wedding Daughter-Father song and I never tired of it. For those
Excuse me. I need an umbrella for my eyes.
This is the ULTIMATE love song. Listening to this song just makes me feel amazing because to have experienced this love is a beautiful thing and even if you haven’t felt this type of love, you get the warm and fuzzies. This song will render ANY thug unable to maintain. Let someone play you this song in the middle of an argument and see if you still wanna cuss them out. “It’s so amazing to be loved, I’ll follow you to the moon and the stars above.” Listen, I might even walk there instead of take a cab.
Sappy ass song I love so damb much.
A House is Not a Home
He kicks it off scatting as he prepares to SING IT DOWN! And then he blessed us with this song that is so classic that classic said it wasn’t good enough. “A chair is still a chair even when there’s no one sitting there, but a chair is not a home…” I just start rocking side to side when I hear this line, hugging myself. You know when he performed this live, everyone would yell “TAKE YO’ TIME, LUFFA!” And he did. He TOOK HIS TIME with that end and we ain’t mind.
This song. I can’t e’em put it into words how dope it is.
Never Too Much
One of the dopest intros to his songs. 40 seconds of the song is just prepping us for the jam we’re about to listen to. “All my love, a thousand kisses from you is never too much.” YESSSS! I’ont know about you but when I hear this song, I’m bobbing my head for my life.
This is why his death had a G so sad. His voice was golden and I don’t think we’ll see anyone comparable to Luther again. Skinny, medium or big Luffa. I ain’t care. Jheri curl or high top fade, the man was untouchable. His soul gloed and his voice gave me tea for my fever. The man was EVERYTHING.
WE MISS YOU, LUTHER RONZONI VANDROSS!
What were your favorite 5 Luther songs?
P.S. If you haven’t heard the So Amazing: All Star Tribute to Luther Vandross CD, getchu a piece. My fave song on there is Celine’s cover of “Dance With My Father.” Chile… feelings.
My top 5 songs from #Lutha and trust me they are in no particular order
1) So Amazing
2) Going in Circles – yes he covered this song
3) Can I Take You Out
4) Anyone Who Ever Had a Heart
5) If Only for One Night
Yes, I love me some #5
YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAS to #5.. and I’m done creeping on folks responses… sorry Luvvie.. hella spammin your site.
You nailed it with these. I concur!
Can I tell you how I used to clean my mama’s house in Mississippi on Saturday mornings alternating between Luther Vandross and Aretha Franklin? You could NOT sing if you couldn’t cover one of these greats–and Luther was the litmus test, because you had to be able to do that run that he did…flawless.
My personal fav is Til You Come Back to Me/Superstar–> “Looooooooooooooooong agooooo…and ohhh, so farrrr away/I fell in love with you…” Yassss!
Great choices, Luvvie.
Have to add Always and Forever (another one of those remakes) and Stop To Love….oh okay, Here and Now, too. And yes, dude’s middle name is Ronzoni. How freaking awesome is that. When he died, I sent a donation in his name to the American Diabetes Association and his mother wrote me a thank-you note -> class.
I am so glad I saw Luther live. Ironically, he was touring with Gerald LeVert.
My top 5 Luther songs:
5. A House Is Not Home
3. Bad Boy (having a party)
2. Creepin (Live)
1. Wait For Love
How could I forget about “There’s Nothing Better” and “Any love.” He had so many hits that spoke to me!!
Let me hear the faint melody of “Glow of Love”, and I act a complete fool! “So Amazing” is a close 2nd, followed by “Make Me A Believer”. *raises brown likka glass in tribute*
Yes ma’am. That dang Glow of Love.. gives me life!!!
Yes. All the feels. Sang “A house is not a home” in front of Dionne Warwick at the Image Awards one year and Dionne was “That ain’t my song again”.
Thanks for this.
1. So Amazing
1. I Can Make it Better
1. Here and Now
1. Your Secret Love
1. Since I Lost My Baby
You know you ice cold when all of your songs are favorites!
That “I Can Make it Better” is my JAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAM!!!!
One of my favorite songs from Luther is “Superstar/Until You Come Back to Me.” Man, something about the lyrics & his voice just makes me backflip into the deep end of my feelings. Plus, it reminds me of my mama; she was responsible for my developing love of all things Luther Vandross. Great post as usual, Ms. Luvvie.
YAAAAAAAAAAS @ Superstar. I saw Lutha sing that joint live and I yowled like a stray cat when he hit that sweet spot towards the end of the song. I had to be the youngest broad in the joint and nann one fuck was given.
There was and will never be anyone like Lutha.
U just rendered my feelings useless…i looooveeeeee me some LUHFAHHHHH. That gif is tooo funny
I can’t pick just 5…really I can’t. I was driving to my hometown and all the stations were playing Luther. I thought it was odd because it was rush hour not “quiet storm” hour. I called my mom and she broke the news. She didn’t want to tell me while I was still driving. “Uhm mom, he wasn’t my Uncle Luther.” However, his music was nothing short of fantastic and I did a wall slide in my spirit. Now when the good Lord calls Stevie home, there won’t be enough walls to slide down.
In no particular order:
1. So Amazing
2. For You to Love
3. Give Me the Reason
4. Superstar/Until You Come Back to Me
5. A House Is Not a Home
This man had so many hits. I remember seeing him when I was young at a music festival and I thought he was lip synching. He sounded that good live.
I loves me some Luthor top 5
Never to Much My Jam!!!!!
Here and Now his vocals are the truth on this song.
Don’t want to be a Fool!!! Men need to listen to lyrics and learn.
Power of love no explanation necessary
Endless Love ft. Mariah Carey. Who sang the original again? I kid I kid.
Mistletoe Jam. If you haven’t heard his Christmas Album you haven’t truly Carole’s for your life it is amazing and your welcome
Closer I get to You Remake with Bey don’t judge me
Luther damn my brain -___-
YESSSSSSSSSSS!!!!! This is why I role with Luvvie! Lutha, oh Lutha!! I can’t choose just five but Superstar is my JAMMMMM! Speaks to me on so many levels! ….Missin You, Missin Youuuuu Ohhh! *wall slide*
Never Too Much
You Stopped Loving Me
Make Me a Believer
(yes, I’m old school)
This is hard but my favorite ones have to be:
1. If this world were mine(duet with Cheryl Lynn) I didn’t know about this song until I seen The Wood.
2. Here and Now-ultimate wedding song
3. So Amazing-another wedding song
4. I who have nothing- Luther and Martha Wash did the damn thing on this one
5. A House is not a Home
Luther and Whitney are the only two singers who can take an original song and make it their own. They will make you forget that they’re doing a remake!
I have been playing LV all day long.
My top 5 are:
Power of Love
Dance with My Father
Can Heaven Wait
You just made me cry the ugly cry. Dance with my father is one of my favorites. It gets me every time. Luther makes you feel so good even when you are feeling so sad. Im glad Im working alone today because I was bawling singing and smiling all at the same dang time. I know I looked crazy. I think real R&B has died, and I am in mouning. Watching the BET awards and then reading this I forgot how much I have missed real music. What happened to music that touched your soul. Now, if its not gospel its hard to get that soul stirring joy field heart lifting music.
….oh and thank you for providing what I thought was missing from them awards. Although, Unca Charlie did do a good job.
1.) I Can Make it Better
3.) Never Too Much
4.) BAD BOY (Having a Party) FAVORITE SONG EVER!!!!
5.) There’s nothing Better Than Love
Omg, My mom MADE me listen to Luther. At first, I hated it – Anything outside of Michael or Janet Jackson receoved my HATE.. but now, I can’t live life without some Luther. He is amazing and so so missed!!!
Thank you for this post, Luvvie! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand now I’m listening to Luther
I’ont have a clue who I will marry or what I will wear; but what I Oprah Winfrey know for sure is that there will be a special set of Loofah songs during the reception. Maybe a whole hour.
My 5 are:
*Superstar/Until You Come Back to Me (The ultimate lights off/candles lit/all the way in yo feelings song)
*The Closer I Get to You (with Beyonce) (YAAAASSS for the Uncah Luffa and Bey collab)
*If Only for One Night (You will not have clothes on after this song comes on)
*Never Too Much (Original Uncah LUFFA!!!!! and a great song for just walking down the street)
*A House is Not a Home (This song almost made me rethink some questionable relationships (keyword: ALMOST))
Consolation: Always and Forever (I straight did not know Heatwave made this song til my parents told me) & Forever, For Always, For Love (heard Lalah Hathaway do it and then found out it was his song, chile, got the next second)
Rest in paradise to my uncle in my mind, Luther Vandross, the only question mark that could sing panties off any woman (Miguel and Trey Songz, take note…)
You seriously just chopped me in my throat with “the only question mark that could sing panties off any woman”
RavenJ, sugalove, honeypie, I’s is so sorry for the throat chop but come on now let’s be real….Luther was like that one uncle you have in your family who ain’t never been married, ain’t neva had a girlfriend or steady woman that you can recall, you don’t have any cousins by him whatsoever but he always brings this one guy to every family function that yo mama and yo granny have always called his “special friend”…..Chile, I love me some LUFFA but we peeped game a long time age…..
Yea, yea, I know *heads to the corner to face the wall*
Well when you put it that way… 🙂
<——here lies my thug and alllllllllll my feewins…
I wish there was a way to like everybody’s top 5 post. Luther could sang! I can’t pick just 5 favs.
If Only For One Night
Never Too Much
Give Me The Reason
** 10 years ago I walked down the aisle to Here & Now and our first dance was Teddy P’s My Greatest Inspiration…damn shame we had to go back to our parents’ music to find something meaningful
I remember my mom made me stand in line for tix to see ‘Luffa’ in St. Louis at the Fox Theater (clearly before buying tix online) and I was mad because I wasn’t that excited about going. Man oh man, am I so grateful that my mom made me go. That was the last time he was in St. Louis and he was just…just…just…I can’t even find the words. One of my fave songs is Promise Me. The arrangement, the lush vocals, the feelings of the song. Buttah. Pure buttah.
I have never seen the “Dance with My Father” video until now…probably because it’s not one of my favorite songs. Now my thug has taken a leave of absence – darn you, Luvvie!!
Some of my favorites (in no particular order):
– Too Proud to Beg
– Goin’ Out of My Head
– Anyone Who Had a Heart
– Forever, For Always, For Love
– Promise Me
– Now That I Have You
– Are You Using Me? (Luther loved to jam!)
I think big Luther w/the not-quite-right curl (as Ced called him) was my favorite. And his live albums are the bomb.com! Lemme go listen to him right now…
I can’t even express how much I miss this man’s voice. I had the pleasure of seeing him twice and he knew how to entertain. He hired the best musicians and the finest back up singers to compliment his voice. For anyone who never saw him live there are dvds available and most are very good. There’s an old Soul Train that I’ve seen on TVOne, that has Luther and Cheryl Lynn singing “If This World Were Mine” live!! It will change your life, seriously. “Superstar” sung live at Radio City on CD or better yet on DVD, Live at Wembley is even better. I could go on and on… His talent will never be forgotten.
I had the privilege of seeing him at Radio City in ’03. It was all of the things.
This post gave me everything Luvvie! Luther was for reals the sound of my childhood. It’s hard to pick faves but here goes:
1. Superstar/Til You Come Back To Me
2. If Only For One Night/Creepin
3. Never Too Much
4. Forever, For Always, For Love ( Lalah Hathaway sang this song into the ground on that tribute album)
5. Bad Boy (Having A Party)
Yessss! that’s from his performance at Wembley, it’s simply fabulous.
Most folks here have already cited many of my favorite Luther songs (man had a *ridiculous* success rate) so I’ll just throw up a little love to “The Best Things In Life Are Free”, his collabo with Janet, BBD and Ralph Tresvant from the “Mo’ Money” soundtrack.
And some folks who gave Luther props early who you might not expect? David Bowie, Roberta Flack, Chaka Khan, Bette Midler, Diana Ross, Carly Simon, Barbra Streisand, Donna Summer and Chic, all of whom Luther sang backup for.
The Night I Fell In Love is my favorite album next to Off The Wall. But if I had to list my favorite ‘Loofer’ songs:
1. My Sensitivity
2. Since I Lost My Baby
3. She Won’t Talk To Me
4. The Night I Fell In Love
5. Bad Boy (Having A Party)
It’s hard to list just five though. 🙂
Since I Lost my Baby, If This World Were mine, Never Too much, Bad Boy Having A Party, There’s nothing better than live
*youtubing luther playlists*
The weekend after he was gone, I was riding the bus in Va. This guy gets the bus wearing a long dark coat (too hot for all that) talking all loud “Man, did you hear Luther Vandross passed? Man! That’s so sad, man. Hurt my heart, man.” Then when he sat down, he continued in hushed tones “Hey. I got his whole collection rightchea, Cd’s, dvds? Hey, you want some Luther? CDs”? DVDs?”
And that was his litany for the rest of his trip on that bus.
“CDs? DVDs? I got some Luther for ya. You know he passed, right? CDs? DVDs?”
Y’all know I had to hit up Amazon to RE-PURCHASE all my Luther joints (original cd’s have been scratched to smithereens from over play…oh and im old, so I have some cassette tapes too..) Spent too much money to buy ALL THE SONGS..Luvvie gimme my money!!
This post reminded me of how much he is missed. No one sounds like Lutha! I saw him at Essence Festival, and to this day, it is still the best concert EVA!!!!! Concert ended at 2am and he could’ve done another hour and we would’ve been happy.
My top 5:
1) House is not a Home
2) So Amazing
4) If Only for One Night
5) If This World Were Mine
Off to have a Lutha jam session…
Would love to hear more about your personal experience seeing him live at Essence Fest. For the 20 year anniversary this year we want to hear from fans tell stories about monumental moments like this. Please email us [email protected]
Long time reader, first time commenter. Leave it to Luther to bring me screaming from the sidelines! He was my mother and aunt’s FAV-O-RITE artist, they got to see him perform live in the 80s and they lost their natural minds. Would’ve loved to have the same opportunity. I’m just going to pick my top 5 for right now, this list expires in 24 hours…
1) Superstar from his Live at Wembley performance
2) Make me a believer
3) Forever For Always For Love
4) Creepin’ (Especially Live performances when he made his background singers creep like 19 times in a row)
5) Never Too Much
It is hard to pick five because Luther is a favorite, but today those five are:
If Only for One Night
Stop to Love
Never too Much
Take You Out
and I can’t even number them. And he owned what he sang, so it’s funny to me that three of these songs are covers.
Someone on YouTube said it best: Good thing they never had battles in R&B like rap because Luther would have served everybody.
The church ladies took me to see Luffa in Philly when I was in high school. When he came out, it was the first time I ever saw a collective chair slide. The whole place just fell slam out. He could put on a show.
Oh Luther. My brother took me to see him in Philly and I was hooked. My top 5 are-
-Make Me A Believer
-Superstar (Both Karen Carpenter & Bette Midler did this song then Luther came along and it was a wrap!)
-If Only For One Night
-There’s Nothing Better Than Love
And pretty much EVERYTHING else he’s sung.
I still can’t listen to ‘Dance With My Father’ because I think of my own dad and Luther’s mom saying how surprised she was to hear it. Luther lost his dad when he was young and she was happy to hear him honor those memories. Just choked me up.
Reading your post made me wonder “What-in-the-hayle happened to R&B music?”
When I compare today’s R&B music to the R&B music that I listened to when I was a child… It doesn’t look good for modern R&B.
I cannot even compare today’s artists with some of the greats.
I can’t think of any popular artists that can cause the goose pimples and the good vibes that I receive just by listening to Sade, Luther, Anita, Phyllis, early-R.Kelly (TP2.com-before),Stevie, The Gap Band, The Isley Brothers, The Jacksons, DeBarge, Teena, Minnie, Roberta, Randy Crawford, Deniece Williams, Brandy, Monica, Teedra (Complex Simplicity was my album for over three years), Celine…
Hell, I’ll even throw in Hall & Oates in there.
A House is not a Home is my all-time favorite Luther song. his voice….will never be duplicated. nobody out there that can come close.
Luther’s duet with Gregory Hines “There’s Nothing Better Than Love” brings tears to my eyes. Every. Time.
Ran across this web page and just relived all those feelings I had when we lost him. You know, I go months just listening to Luther in my car or on my iPod exclusively! You just don’t appreciate something until it’s gone… I also had to go back and get every disc he made (That set me back), and also got the DVDs of his live performances (I can’t believe there were only 2 “live” DVDs available) and I find myself listening or watching them on a regular basis. I’m also finding more songs I didn’t give my play back in the day that I really like now…
How deep is your love/ Never let me go.
You’re the sweetest one
House is not a home
Love won’t let me wait
Not necessarily in that order and that’s only today. List changes constantly. Last week it was
Knocks me off my feet
I can’t wait no longer
Nobody to love