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The Night I Fell In Love

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Album Review

His fourth album under the Epic banner, and Luther Vandross still retains that freshness that is fulfilling to his audience and rightly so. This album spawned four Billboard R&B singles in "'Til My Baby Comes Home," "It's Over Now," "Wait for Love," and "If Only for One Night." However, as superb as these songs are, any one of the remaining selections could have achieved comparable chart status. For starters, "The Other Side of the World" has that suspenseful rhythm and engaging lyric; "My Sensitivity" has a balmy arrangement enhanced with a bashful, yet mature, lyric. As for the title track and the remake of the Stevie Wonder classic "Creepin'," Vandross is witty with his vocal stylings. "If Only for One Night" was also a remake; it was written by Brenda Russell and covered by both her and Roberta Flack. The production skills of Vandross are commendable as he exhibits patience and acumen to know his boundaries.

Customer Reviews

Four In a Row

Luther Vandross and Marcus Miller are becoming a dynamic duo. Young Maaarcus has been under Luther and Nat Adderly Jr's wing from day one. He brought his own expertise in as a jazz bassist. What would seem like mere session work for a jazzman playing for "singers," would actually end up being an education. Marcus: "Sharp? Wait. Isn't that bad?" Luther: "No, sharp is better-it's more emotional" Marcus would be the first Luther would share production credit with. Luther directed the ballads, Marcus and his incredibly distinctive bass provided the bottom for the funkier up tempos. Initially Luther would hum, scat, beatbox exactly what he wanted to hear from Marcus, but by Busy Body he'd pretty much found that the fat fingers didn't need much direction at all. The Night I Fell in Love, was the next collaboration for the two. It was also the best mix of all things Luther-the swinging up tempo, the masterful re-work of two classics, and a few inexplicably brilliant original compositions. Marcus Miller needs his own moment. The bass innovator had been groomed under the sometimes smothering wing of Miles Davis during his last critically acclaimed (and accosted) material for Warner Bros. He was in all sense "a jazz musician." So what did he care about holding the "pocket" for a few R&B tunes for a "singer?" Depends on who that singer is, and forging new territory while simultaneously keeping the electric bass guitar alive in black music would be the caveat. Perhaps Miller had no idea the synth wave of Kashif, Jimmy Jam, and the System would be slowly eroding the funk in black music. But for Luther Vandross' first four albums to kick off with the distinctive plucks, thumps, and slaps of Miller, they were absolutely vital to the preservation of authentic funk & soul music. Who would ever think to look for funk on a crooner's album? Back to Luther. "'Til My Baby Comes Home" opens with the jamminess and vibrance felt on Luther's swinging "Bad Boy/Having a Party," Marcus gets to thumpin' right away-but this time accompanied by Billy Preston's sweeping Hammond B-3 organs and solo. Vandross knows how to direct the happiest of party tunes-complete with scats so catchy one actually waits for the ad-libs. "'til my b-b-b-baby!" The backgrounds, yet another vital element to Luther's sound are the best they've ever sounded. As they have been questionably placed from time to time, here they are perfect. Vocal arrangement is an art as any other instrumentation-the choir director is the same technician as Bill Conti's orchestral direction for film score. When properly utilized they can completely reconstruct a tune. Voices like David Lasley, Ava Cherry, Cissy Houston, Phillip Ballou, Fonzi Thornton, Tawatha Agee, Darlene Love, would be the extensions of Luther's own vocal chords and imagination. The "choir" punches, chants and yells at just the right energy to keep us all dancing on the opener, or packing on "It's Over Now." The latter is a funk jam on intro, with Marcus leading off, but takes a left turn the first time the "choir" is heard. The cover suite this time is pairing of a little known Brenda Russell tune "If Only for One Night" and Stevie Wonder's "Creepin." Not as much patience is demanded as in the past, and both are delivered in respectful care. But we already know that. The bar is raised here by Luther's songwriting. "When you fall in love then you'll see, it's not a waste of time if you truly believe the impossible can be. So hold on tight if you think you're right. 'Cause nothing hurts as bad as when you see you gave up too easily." Pause. Too seldom has this kind of advice and wisdom been offered from black songwriters. The beauty of Luther's re-working classics overshadows his own songwriting and that must be rectified in this book. "Otherside of the World" is reminiscent of his previous original "Make Me a Believer," the sentiment again like "Wait" that the longing for love is not in vain, but makes receiving it all the sweeter. The man is a poet. A legend beyond a mere interpreter, Vandross is an architect. Proven here for the fourth consecutive time.

The Night I Fell In Love

This alblum got me through my senior year of college. Could she be the one for me...... Luther's song inspired me through many night of romance and possibilities. Thanks Luther! I hope you all find the message in the music. I did!

An undervalued Lp

This by far was the best release of Luther of the '80s. This Lp everything just fell into place. Nothing was too fast, too slow - simply perfect. Now don't get me wrong, many will debate that the '82 release (forever, for always...) was just as perfect, but this release outshines because each song is flawless and doesn't sound like he had to be coerced into doing the song. His prior and subsequent releases always had a slight unbalancedness to them. I never felt Luther did well with faster tempo'd songs, but with this release, it just flowed effortlessly. Every single song on this release has been on the radio, and with every listen it never gets tired. You'd hardly know that this came out in 1985!


Born: April 20, 1951 in New York, NY [The Bronx]

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Luther Vandross was one of the most successful R&B artists of the 1980s and '90s. Not only did he score a series of multi-million-selling albums containing chart-topping hit singles and perform sold-out tours of the U.S. and around the world, but he also took charge of his music creatively, writing or co-writing most of his songs and arranging and producing his records. He also performed these functions for other artists, providing them with hits as well. He was, however, equally well known for his...
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