CD Review: Luther Vandross – Hidden Gems
Epic / Legacy Records – Street / Release Date April 17th, 2012
April 20, 1951 a child was born into a world that would someday know the miracle of a voice that would inspire feelings of love and entertain millions. Luther Vandross began his interest in music at a very young age and pursue his dreams with a passion that would show in everything he did, in every note and every word, he would be a man that would leave behind a legacy of hits that would span over 15 platinum and multi-platinum albums and recognized as one of the greatest R&B / Soul legends of all time. Luther Vandross founded his high school group, Shades of Jade that once played at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. He was also a member of a theater workshop, “Listen My Brother” who released the singles “Only Love Can Make a Better World” and “Listen My Brother”, and even appeared on the second and fifth episodes of Sesame Street in November 1969.
Luther Vandross worked with many of music’s greats, and in collaboration with artists such as Diana Ross, Roberta Flack, Gary Glitter, Carly Simon, Chaka Khan, Todd Rundgren, Donna Summer, Bette Midler, Chic, and Roberta Flack. Always striving to be the best he could, Luther Vandross found his own career skyrocketing him to greatness in 1979 / 1980 and he would stay in our minds and in our hearts until his passing in 2005. In 2008, Vandross was listed in Rolling Stone magazine’s Top 100 Greatest Singers of All Time, and even today, still remains a talent to be admired, loved and respected.
Hidden Gems is not just a greatest hits album or a collection of lost tracks, but a tribute to a great performer, in his own voice. Hidden Gems shows us the life of Luther Vandross in song, songs of love, loss and revelation. From the first track “When You Call On Me (Baby That’s When I Come Running)” we are treated to the smooth and satin sounds of a great performer that has in his soul a purity and humility, a realism that grabs you and holds you.
The songs on this album are arranged to let the listener truly appreciate the range of Luther’s voice and skills, as well as the unique creativity and style. From the tear inspiring renditions of “The Impossible Dream”, “Goin’ Out Of My Head” and “I (Who Have Nothing)” to the upbeat tracks, “Are You Using Me”, ”I Know You Want To”, “The Thrill I’m In” and “You Really Started Something” that make you want to jump up and sing along.
Hidden Gems bring Luther back into our hearts and our lives, this iconic performer, who achieved immortality through song, and, to give him applause with the title of one of his songs “The Heart Of A Hero”, Hidden Gems brings Luther’s message into the light of a new day, to warm our hearts once again.
Visit http://www.luthervandross.com to learn more about this epic performer, his legacy and his music.