Luther’s Two Albums to Be Reissued for First Time in 40 Years

Primary Wave Music and Legacy Recordings will reissue Luther’s self-titled debut album (1976) and This Close to You (1977). 

The R&B group, led by and named after Luther Vandross, released their two albums via Cotillion Records before Vandross made his solo debut in 1981.

Luther and This Close to You, both written by Vandross, will release April 19 and June 7, respectively. The two albums will be available in the following formats: vinyl, CD and digital. Exclusive bundles with newly designed Luther merch are also available. 

“Bringing back Luther Vandross’ inaugural albums after forty years is not just a celebration of music; it’s a homage to a legend whose voice and artistry have shaped the soundscape of an era,” David Gottlieb, manager for The Luther Vandross Estate, exclusively tells Rated R&B.

Gottlieb continues, “These albums, resurfacing like timeless anthems, not only remind us of Luther’s unparalleled influence in music but also assure his legacy continues to resonate and inspire, echoing through the hearts of old fans and new listeners alike.”

Luther was released in June 1976. The album included jams like “Funky Music (Is a Part of Me)” and “Everybody Rejoice.”

Vandross had previously written the former song, before teaming with David Bowie to rework it as “Fascination” for Bowie’s Young American album. It marked Vandross’ first songwriting credit. 

“Bowie overheard it and said, ‘I want to record that. Do you mind?’ When I did it, it was called ‘Funky Music’. Bowie changed it to ‘Fascination,’” Vandross told Black Collegian Magazine in 1983. He said he didn’t want to be so presumptuous as to say ‘funky music’ since he was a rock artist. He said, ‘Do you mind?’ And I said, ‘You’re David Bowie, I live at home with my mother, you can do what you like.’”

“Everybody Rejoice” was later adapted for The Wiz: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (1978) as “A Brand New Day.”

Luther This Close To You

This Close to You, Luther’s second and final album, was released in March 1977. The nine-track album, written and produced by Vandross, included the title track that was released as a single.

The reissued digital and CD versions of the album will feature three bonus tracks, including “Can’t Get Enough Good Loving” and instrumentals for “Come Back to Love” and “Don’t Wanna Be a Fool.” 

Luther Vandross
Luther Vandross. (Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Luther Vandross Estate)

Following This Close to You, Vandross signed with Epic Records and released his critically acclaimed solo debut album, Never Too Much, in 1981. Throughout his flourishing career, Vandross scored eight chart-topping R&B albums, 11 consecutive platinum-certified albums, 31 Grammy nominations and much, much more.

The reissue of Luther and This Close to You comes on the heels of Vandross’ documentary, Luther: Never Too Much, which debuted at Sundance Film Festival in January. Last year, Primary Wave and Vandross’ estate released Luther Vandross Classic Christmas, a three-track EP featuring “At Christmas Time,” “May Christmas Bring You Happiness,” and an acapella mix of the former track.

Luther Tracklist

1. Funky Music (Is A Part Of Me)
2. The 2nd Time Around
3. I’ll Get Along Fine
4. Everybody Rejoice (Music from “The Wiz”)
5. Emotion Eyes
6. This Strange Feeling
7. It’s Good For The Soul (Parts I And II)
8. The 2nd Time Around (Instrumental) – CD/digital bonus track 

Pre-order Luther here.

This Close To You Tracklist

1. This Is For Real
2. A Lover’s Change
3. Don’t Take The Time
4. Jealousy Is In Me
5. I’m Not Satisfied
6. This Close To You
7. Don’t Wanna Be A Fool
8. Come Back To Love
9. Follow My Love
10. Can’t Get Enough Good Loving – CD/digital bonus track 
11. Come Back To Love (Instrumental) – CD/digital bonus track 
12. Don’t Wanna Be A Fool (Instrumental) -CD/digital bonus track 

Pre-order This Close To You here.

Stream “Funky Music (Is A Part Of Me)” below.