Luther Vandross: 1951 - 2005
By now you know that Luther Vandross has passed. The man was one of the greatest R&B singers there ever were. When you think of love songs, only Barry White (RIP) and Smokey Robison can come close. So in honor of Luther, I’m going to present a special Top Ten. Today’s Top Ten: Luther Vandross 10 Greatest songs.
1. Superstar: This is the easy pick for me and anyone else that is a Luther fan. This is the song you wait to hear him perform when you go to his concert. I remember my mother playing this song over and over again. I loved it then, I love it today.
2. A House Is Not A Home: Another classic. When I was living on the west side of Chicago, I use to sit on the back porch with my friend’s sister and we would play this song and talk for hours.
3. So Amazing: This is a sentimental favorite. I was at a basement party on Augusta and Central (west side Chicago) and I met this girl that went to Flower HS. This song was playing when I experienced my first “squeeze” under the infamous blue light. Do they still have basement parties?
4. If This World Were Mine: Another song my mother use to play all of the time. This was “the song” for every couple. I don’t think a night when by that WGCI didn’t play it during “Quiet Storm”.
5. There’s Nothing Better Than Love: This is when I learned that Gregory Hines could sing. I also learned my cousin “Bean” could sing because he sound exactly like Gregory Hines. I was a b-boy when this song came out, but I’d still jam some Luther. I remember the slow song tape I made (everybody made tapes back then), but it had this song and right after “As We Lay” by Shirley Murdock would play. That was a great tape.
6. Searching: This is my feel good song. I don’t know many songs with this tempo.
7. Here and Now: The crossover hit. I think this song was sung at every wedding for two years. It’s a song that makes you think about your nuptials even if you are single.
8. Make Me A Believer: This one would rate higher with a lot of people, but I couldn’t put it any higher that six, but it is a great song.
9. If Only For One Night: This has to be the most romantic begging song ever made. Long gone is the era when the music would do the mackin’ for you.
10. Some Times Its Only Love: I played this song so much when I was in the military. I don’t know how many times it played when I drove from San Diego to Philadelphia in 1993. It’s a sentimental favorite.
Honorable Mentions: I won’t even make a list here. There are so many songs from Luther and I’m sure every list would be different. The man was around when I started noticing girls, had to get over crushes, slow danced at the roller rink and sat out at night gazing at a millions stars while crossing the Pacific. I played him when I fell in love and when I was heartbroken. He was played at every family gathering (someone always requested a Luther song) and we jammed him whenever there was something on the grill.
I’m sure I’ll be pulling out my Luther CD’s and playing them for old time sake. I’m glad he got a chance to find out just how much his fans cared about him. Now, when I hear Dance With My Father, I’ll think of Luther and wish that he were serenading me and my girl while we danced in a basement lit only by a blue light. Rest in peace, Luther… I’ll miss ya’ buddy.
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