guillermoj | Washington, DC United States | 07/18/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Although I agree with reviewers who are upset that there have been so many attempts to cash in on Luther Vandross' alleged "best of" (and almost all of them with the exception of 1989's "Best of Love" are sorely lacking), this 2 CD set is truly the only one that fits the bill and deserves 5 stars as it dos not skip on the "essential" and is sequenced seemlessly. Also, there is no filler to be found in this collection, unlike most 2 CD "essentials" that should be (at best) reduced to one CD.With the exception of 1985's "The Night I Fell In Love" (which may be in my top 20 list of my favorite releases (which will exclude greatest hits releases to even up the field) most of Luther's albums have not been outstanding on the whole as there have been some "sameness", especially when it comes to the musical productions or instruments in vogue when originally recorded, but this collection takes care of that limitation but putting the most catchy songs on it as well as classic remakes and duets (when duets were more than marketing ploys or ego gratification efforts) and simply make both CD's a pleasure to listen to again and again. Also, unlike other releases, none of the songs is reduced to the "single" release, which tends to cut off songs either for space considerations or just because. Can you imagine "If This World Were Mine" or "(I) Who Have Nothing" not released as they were intended? Thank Epic or Luther for not cutting off songs.I understand that some would not want to shell out more money if they've bought one the previous "lesser" alleged best of Luther releases, but this is the one to own and replaces 1989's "Best of Love" as the must have set "If Only For One Night".... Enjoy!Here's to Luther gaining more strength and overcoming his current health challenges."
Holy Behezuss! How many useless compilations do we need?
Distant Voyageur | Io | 07/15/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I don't know whose music might have endured worse damaged from being constantly recycled onto useless compilations so many numerous times the way that Luther Vandross' songs have with these mostly lame collections. I find it saddening to see these powerful and uplifting songs being recycled to death on these numerous compilations. Is it like, they release a compilation of recycled material every time a new proper studio album is released? From what I'm guessing there are like eight or nine of them now: Here's the list that I can think of:1. Best of Luther Vandross
2. Love Is On The Way
3. Best of Love Volume 2: One Night With You
4. Greatest Hits
5. Always & Forever: The Classics
6. Super Hits
7. Ultimate Luther Vandross
8. The Very Best of Love
9. Essential Luther VandrossAs I can remember while writing this review, there are nine compilations, and these were all released in just the last 15 years, too short of a time for releasing so many compilations. Are Sony too clueless as to realizing how many compilations they have released are has the label become enshrouded in greed and egotism. All of these songs on here are absolutely classic and are among the best R&B classics of all-time but come on!! Why don't Sony released a live album or even a Box Set of B-Sides and/or previously unreleased studio recordings from Vandross' extremely spectacular career? That's what Sony needs to do. Stop recycling these same songs over and over again and instead release two boxed sets, one being live recordings over the years, and the other being B-Sides/Rarities Boxed Set. Now that would be totally awesome! I would especially go for the "B-Sides" boxed set idea myself but that's just my opinion. If you are a true Luther Vandross fan like I am and would go for any of the compilations I listed above, I would go for the 2-CD "Best of Luther Vandross", and "Best of Love Volume 2, One Night With You" (At least for those who liked the 'new' songs on that CD) and avoid the rest of the others like the plague. On top of it all, the best choice I can make is to invest one's time getting his regular studio albums as they offer truckloads more than any of the compilations can even come close to offering. I especially recommend "Power of Love", my favorite of his. I'm giving this collection a five anyways to show my gratitude to Mr. Vandross for all of the great music that he has put out over the past 20 years and wish him the absolute best in his recovery and also wish him the best that he makes a full recovery and continues to amaze us for many years to come. God only knows what kind of musical genius he could come up with next! :)"
The Power of Luther
MICHAEL ACUNA | Southern California United States | 09/30/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
""The Essential Luther Vandross" was originally released in 2003 before his illness and untimely death. Many of the songs that introduced Luther to the world are included here and they once again gave me goose bumps as I listened to these 2 CD's, re-experiencing the emotional wallop and other-worldly effect of Vandross's style and magical tenor voice. Cut 6, Disc 1: "I Who Have Nothing" begins an unrelentingly beautiful chain of songs that ends with "Here and Now" some 9 songs later. Listening to what Vandross and Martha Walsh do on the old war-horse, "I Who Have Nothing" and I can't help but be reminded that Vandross spent time in his life as a Vocal Arranger: the interplay and dynamics between he and Walsh, the magical side-by-side glissandos, the total emotional commitment make this song as pure a masterpiece as anything, ever in popular music. And the next song? Vandross's penultimate recording of Bacharach's "Anyone Who Had a Heart" once the total domain of Dionne Warwick but now of Luther's. And if these two don't floor you, there's "A House is Not a Home" with Luther's spectacular vocal riffing ending this song like a fireworks show: multi-colored, dramatic, dynamic and emotionally available. There is no doubt that Vandross possesses one of the great popular voices of our lifetime and along with Roberta Flack (so human, so real, so warm), Lauryn Hill (likewise, warm, womanly, committed) to name a couple...he only takes on songs that he can emotionally eviscerate and make his own. He is not a surface singer, merely content to sing the notes on key (which he always does...he is a consummate musician as well), he invests his performances with His reality, His Soul and ultimately His Love. There are other "Best Of" Vandross collections out there but none of them present Luther as well as this one. The Heldentenor of popular singers is gone now but his life's work is here for you to experience once again. Tread lightly here, keep your ears open and a box of Kleenex at hand...Luther is On. "
The latest & most complete greatest hits
Dennis D. | Oregon, United States | 10/09/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I recently bought this 2 CD set @ a local warehouse club. I was looking for one collection that offered all Mr. Vandross' greatest songs. I did consider the 1999 "Greatest Hits" release, then I found this wonderful 2003, 30 track set. I really liked the fact that all the tracks featured were "handpicked by Luther himself" and that the songs were remastered. I only wish that since this is a sony music disc it should've been available in their (superior) SACD format. The legend of Luther Vandross will never die. Great collection"
As smooth as silk and delightful as fine wine.
Hudson G TANNIS | LAURELTON, NEW YORK United States | 06/19/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I agree with all of the other reviewers that this compilation is not needed and certainly not essential.However,for those of us who don't have his other "best of compilations,"this one is a good place to start.The mastering quality was not as good as expected from Sony...all in all a cheaply put together collection with Luthers voice the only reason for 5 stars.Bye the way,the "The essential Luther Vandross UK Edition" is a much better choice,with 5 remixes."