Luther Vandross – 1981 – Never Too Much

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The debut solo album from Luther Vandross featured one outstanding song after another. Vandross concocts a bouncy, vibrant flow on his up-tempo numbers and an intimate, emotional connection on his moderate grooves and his lone ballad. The title track stormed up the Billboard R&B charts to number one where it remained for two weeks. The mellow groove of “Don’t You Know That” which checked in at number ten, was the second single. “Sugar and Spice” had less of an impact on the charts due to its short stay of six weeks. However, this feverish number gets all the juices flowing as does the unreleased “I’ve Been Working“.

Also featured on this set is the sentimental number “You Stopped Loving Me“. The song was written b nitially released by Roberta Flack; both versions stand tall. “A House Is Not a Home” is the only ballad, and an elegant one it is, written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David and originally sung by Dionne Warwick nearly 20 years prior. Vandross orchestrates a contemporary masterpiece with this vintage number. Though it was never an official release by the label, it’s a quiet storm jewel. In addition to his many music credits, Vandross was a featured guest vocalist with the progressive band Change. The same vocal savvy and smooth styling that the New York City native exhibited on songs like “Searching” and “Glow of Love” resurface here.

This is one of the better R&B albums of the early ’80s. AMG

Tracks
A1 Never Too Much 3:50
A2 Sugar and Spice (I Found Me a Girl) 4:58
A3 Don’t You Know That? 4:01
A4 I’ve Been Working 6:35
B1 She’s a Super Lady 5:05
B2 You Stopped Loving Me 5:16
B3 A House Is Not a Home 7:07

luther-vandross-never-too-much-back

By Det. Abilene

One of the best debut album of the eighties, Luther’s first solo album is an energetic masterpiece that soars from beginning to end without hitting a single false note. Luther was already producing all of his material, and he always seems to know exactly what a song needs. Everything is flawlessly arranged, with a perfect balance struck among the instruments, synths, and background vocals. Luther solely wrote six of the record’s seven tracks, and he had already mastered the art of crafting strong hooks, interlaced with non-cliched lyrics. It may surprise fans of Luther’s later, more laid back recordings, that the bulk of NEVER TOO MUCH contains up-tempo material.
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The infectious title track is definitely the best-known track here, but every cut on this record is a classic. The post-disco dance tracks “Sugar And Spice” and “I’ve Been Working” are irresistible, and the harder sounds of “Don’t You Know That?” and “She’s A Super Lady” rival even the best funk recordings. Luther slowed things down with the touching mid-tempo “You Stopped Loving Me“, which brings us to the disc’s only ballad – and it’s the highlight among highlights. Luther’s gorgeous, heart-breaking rendition of Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s “A House Is Not A Home” is one of the most perfect marriages between a singer and a song. Luther recorded many more covers over the years, many of which were quite excellent, although he never surpassed the intimate power of his take on this classic.

Luther instantly connected with the public and had achieved a considerable fan base virtually overnight. NEVER TOO MUCH hit #19 on the Hot 200, and impressively reached Double-Platinum status in sales.

 

Do not miss his debut as simply Luther in 1976 on Cotillion, in our back pages here

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25 Comments
  • KEV HILL
    Posted at 21:13h, 24 January 2017 Reply

    I think you’ll find Mr Vandross’ debut album came out in 1977 on US Cotillion featuring a host of wondrous material not least the superb nine-minute groover “It’s Good For The Soul (Parts I And II)”

    • The funk surgeon
      Posted at 16:14h, 25 January 2017 Reply

      If you can find it, also check out his other solo LP offering on Cotillion ‘This Close To You’; it’s a soul shame crime that Luther’s earliest solo works are not easily available…!

    • Nikos
      Posted at 19:49h, 25 January 2017 Reply

      Vandross had 2 albums on Cotillion as a quintet called Luther. The debut from 1976 posted also here in our back pages https://www.funkmysoul.gr/luther-1976-luther-vandross/

  • Rimini
    Posted at 21:53h, 24 January 2017 Reply

    LOOOOOVVVVEEEE!!!!!

  • Serena
    Posted at 09:41h, 25 January 2017 Reply

    The velvet voice of a real giant of R&B. RIP.

  • Terrence
    Posted at 11:05h, 25 January 2017 Reply

    Thanks for the posting , Great great memories ..RIP Luther gone but not forgotton !

  • James
    Posted at 11:15h, 25 January 2017 Reply

    luther is one of my favorite singers of all time grewed up listening to him

  • Negro
    Posted at 14:12h, 25 January 2017 Reply

    Diggin’ this!!! beautiful music! Peace Respect!

  • Jennifer
    Posted at 14:21h, 25 January 2017 Reply

    a classic!!!Luther was always charming and absolutely AWESOME!!!

  • Bunton
    Posted at 14:24h, 25 January 2017 Reply

    killer jams… nobody does it like Luthaaaa.

  • Danilo
    Posted at 22:23h, 25 January 2017 Reply

    make me feel good inside..

  • Supernaturalboy
    Posted at 12:50h, 26 January 2017 Reply

    One of the best. Indeed a great album.

  • Graham
    Posted at 14:32h, 26 January 2017 Reply

    Love his songs his soul is still alive through his music

  • Romeo & Juliet
    Posted at 00:11h, 27 January 2017 Reply

    Classic

  • Elizabeth
    Posted at 09:52h, 27 January 2017 Reply

    Iconic music from a legend. Thanks for sharing.

  • Aaliyah
    Posted at 11:32h, 28 January 2017 Reply

    Memories….my mother use to listen to Luther all the time!

  • Betty
    Posted at 12:48h, 29 January 2017 Reply

    beautiful,thanks for post!

  • A12B
    Posted at 11:07h, 30 January 2017 Reply

    Meravigliosi anni d ‘oro della musica !!!!!! Stupenda Luther !!!!

  • Vittorio
    Posted at 11:42h, 31 January 2017 Reply

    Bellissima

  • Eddie
    Posted at 10:07h, 07 February 2017 Reply

    The one & only Luther “NEVER TOO MUCH” Vandross! RIP!

  • Rufus
    Posted at 10:18h, 09 February 2017 Reply

    thanks for the amazing tunes from the soul!

  • Jeremy Spencer
    Posted at 22:00h, 09 February 2017 Reply

    wow this is the type of soul i like. many thanks!

  • G
    Posted at 23:59h, 09 February 2017 Reply

    Thank you for yet another soul-soothing album!!

  • Gregory
    Posted at 20:05h, 14 February 2017 Reply

    Fabulous talent. Left this world much much too soon.

  • Demon
    Posted at 12:30h, 26 February 2017 Reply

    Absolutley…. voice of an Angel

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