Published on March 10th 2010 by Leon Shepherd

Luther Vandross (April 20, 1951 – July 1, 2005) was a great R&B soul singer-songwriter, and record producer. During his career, Vandross sold over twenty-five million albums and won eight Grammy Awards including Best Male R&B Vocal Performance four times. He won four Grammy Awards in 2004 including the Grammy Award for Song of the Year for the track “Dance with My Father”. With so many great songs to choose from, it wasn’t easy putting together a top 10 list of my favorite songs by Luther. So, to help simplify my selection, I decided not to include duets. Therefore, Luther’s wonderful duets with Cheryl Lynn (If This World Were Mine) and Gregory Hines (There’s Nothing Better Than Love) are not included on the list.  Now without further ado, it’s time to take a look at my Top 10 favorite songs by Luther Vandross. Let the Top 10 debate begin!

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10. If Only for One Night

“If Only for One Night” is a top ten favorite slow jam of many Luther fans. This 1986 song is featured on the album, “The Night I Fell in Love”.

 
 Memorable Lyrics:

Let me hold you tight, if only for one night.
Let me keep you near, to ease your away your fear.
It would be so nice,
if only for one night.
I won’t tell a soul,  no one has to know; if you want to be totally discreet. I’ll be at your side,
if only for one night.
Your eyes say things I never hear from you, and my knees are shaking too.  But I’m willing to go thru. I must be crazy, standing in this place, but I’m feeling no disgrace.

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9. Dance with My Father

 

“Dance with My Father,” is a beautifully written song dedicated to the memory of Luther’s father. This 2003 song is featured on the album of the same name which became Luther’s biggest selling studio album ever.

Memorable Lyrics:   

“Back when I was a child, before life removed all the innocence
My father would lift me high and dance with my mother and me and then
Spin me around ‘til I fell asleep
Then up the stairs he would carry me
And I knew for sure I was loved
If I could get another chance, another walk, another dance with him
I’d play a song that would never, ever end
How I’d love, love, love
To dance with my father again”

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8.  Never Too Much

 

“Never Too Much” was Luther’s first #1 hit from his debut album of the same name. This song & album introduced the world to Luther.

 

Memorable Lyrics:

“I can’t fool myself, I don’t want nobody else to ever love me
You are my shinin’ star, my guiding light, my love fantasy
There’s not a minute, hour, day or night that I don’t love you
You’re at the top of my list ’cause I’m always thinkin’ of you

I still remember in the days when I scared to touch you
How I spent my day dreamin’ plannin’ how to say I love you
You must have known that I had feelings deep enough to swim in
That’s when you opened up your heart and you told me to come in

Oh, my love
A thousand kisses from you is never too much
I just don’t wanna stop

Oh, my love
A million days in your arms is never too much
I just don’t wanna stop”

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7.  Since I Lost My Baby

“Since I Lost My Baby,” written by Smokey Robinson, tells the story about the pain of losing a lover. This song is featured on Luther’s second album; Forever, For Always, For Love.

Memorable Lyrics:
The birds are singing and the children are playing
There’s plenty of work and the bosses are paying
Not a sad word should a young heart be saying
But fun is a bore, and with money I’m poor
Since I lost my baby (Since I lost my baby)
Oh since I lost my baby
My baby, my baby, my baby
Next time I’ll be kinder, to my baby
Won’t you please help me find her (I’ve got to find that girl)
Someone just remind her (Someone just remind her x2)
Of this love she left behind her (Of Me)
Till I find her I’ll be trying to (Till I find her, I’ll be trying to)
Everyday I’m growing kinder
Tryin’
Inclined to
Find her
Inclined to find my baby (My baby)
Been looking everywhere (My baby)
Hey baby I really really care

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6. Bad Boy/Having a Party

 

“Bad Boy/Having a Party,” was written by the late great Sam Cooke. This upbeat hit from the album, “Forever, For Always, For Love”, never failed to get everyone on the dance floor.

Memorable Lyrics:

Everybody’s swingin’
Dancin’ to the music
On the radio
Having a party
Everybody’s swingin’
Dancin’ to the music
On the radio
You can’t go

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5. Any Love

“Any Love” is the 1988 single and title track from Luther Vandross’s  sixth album. The single would be Luther’s  fourth number one on the Black Singles Chart.

Memorable Lyrics:

Everyone needs a love no doubt
Any love, Any love
Everybody feels alone without
Any love, any love

I know there’s a love waiting
To enter my life, enter my life

Every day as I live
I try to think positive
I pray for someone good to come
Any love

Love is sweet and so divine
And I can’t wait for my love life to shine
Can anybody tell me where I can find
Any love, any love?

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4.  Superstar

 

“Superstar” released in 1983, became an R&B hit, reaching number 5 on the Billboard Top R&B Singles chart. This song is featured on Luther’s, “Busy Body” album.

Memorable Lyrics:

“Don’t you remember you told me you loved me, baby
You said you’d be comin’ back this way again, baby
Baby, baby, baby, baby, oh, baby
I love you
Yeah…I really do

Long ago
And oh, so far away
I fell in love with you
Before the second show

And your guitar
And you sound so sweet and clear
But you’re not really here
It’s just the radio”

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3. Amazing Love

 

 

“Amazing Love,” is another smooth ballad by Luther that was released in 1983. This song is featured on the album, “Give Me the Reason.”

Memorable Lyrics:

“And it’s so amazing, amazing
I could stay forever, forever
Here in love and no, leave you never
‘Cause we’ve got amazing love

Truly it’s so amazing, amazing
Love brought us together, together
I will leave you never and never
I guess we’ve got amazing love”

At the end of the song:

“I’d follow you to the moon and the sky above”

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2. Wait for Love

 

“Wait for Love” is a beautifully written song by Luther that’s featured on his album, “The Night I Fell in Love.”

Memorable Lyrics:

Knowing love the way I do
I can say for certain that it’s true
There’s a chance for me and you
I surely feel like the time is near
The picture in my mind is very clear
I think love has brought us here

Chorus:
Get the love that I’d been missin’
Sometimes love takes a long time
But, wait for love and you’re gonna get the
Chance to love – wait for love, wait for love
Ooh my

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 1. Here and Now

 

“Here and Now” was Luther’s first big crossover hit. This song, which is a favorite at weddings, is featured on Luther’s CD, “The Best of Luther Vandross,” and earned Luther his first Grammy Award for Male R&B Vocal Performance in 1991.

Memorable Lyrics:

“Here and now
I promise to love faithfully (Faithfully)
You’re all I need
Here and now
I vow to be one with thee (You and me), hey
Your love is all (I need) I need”

Music | Comments (18)


18 Responses to “Top 10 Songs by Luther Vandross”

  1. michael wright Says:

    a House is not home should
    have made the List.

  2. Shack Says:

    Leon – Congrats for venturing into this territory!
    I’m assuming the ladies SHOULD Dominate responses pertinent to this list.

    Generally agree but not to list A House I s Not A Home is near blasphemous. Never Too Much too low.

    Must comment on the duets (though you stated up front you weren’t listing them) The duet with Cheryl Lynn is Great/Classic!! The duet wtih Hines
    was strange and made me think things I didn’t want to think about both!

  3. Leon Says:

    You’re right Mchael. It’s a classic.

  4. Leon Says:

    Yep, ” A House Is Not A home” qualifies to be in the top 10.

  5. Lenora Dorsey Says:

    I think the list of songs are good. It had to be a difficult choice. While I liked Luther as an artist, I did not like him much as an individual.

  6. Shack Says:

    Shack asks Lenora for a clarification. Perhaps I may be off base but I can read several things into what you stated. Can you shed a little light on what you mean?

  7. Lenora Dorsey Says:

    To Shack, I was at a NAACP function and had backstage access. I asked Luther if he would autograph my program from the show he said “Sure honey give me a second.” I stepped back while he spoke with Quincy Jones and some other people. When he was done and started walking off, I asked him again. He said the exact same thing. So I waited while he talked to several more people and he walked off again. I asked one last time and he said “Sure, then he said, I think I just graphed my last graph for the night.” and walked off.With that I will say this, I am a very patient person, this whole thing took more an hour. If he had said no when I first asked him it would have not been an issue. But, to encourage me to wait, it just demeaning. It left me wondering if he never intended to give me his autograph, but did not want people like Quincy Jones and others to know.

  8. Roy Says:

    Good top ten list. What are the all time top ten black songs of all times.

  9. Roy Says:

    The Top Ten Sexiest R&B Songs to “Get It On” with….
    Apr 09 ’06

    The Bottom Line These are my top ten sexiest R&B songs to “Get It On” with…

    Throughout time men have courted women by whispering in their ears, sweet kisses on their lips, and maybe even a sensual touch in all hopes of enticing them romantically. I remember being swayed and tempted to give in to these charming methods but found myself holding back despite their efforts. However there is one weakness that I know I have (and I think some women would tend to agree) and that is music.

    In my personal experiences, music has played an important role when it came to men in my life attempting to serenade me and shower me with love. It may be that first tape mix I received in middle school from a boy that had a crush on me or setting the mood when I was on a date at the end of the night. Regardless of the situation, these top ten songs walked into my life on more than a few occasions.

    I consider this to be my list of the sexiest R&B songs out there. I am showing my age a bit since they are all from when I was much younger. However, listening to them even now, they still give me that same romantic feeling up my spine.

    With that said, here are my top ten sexiest R&B songs to “get it on” with…

    10. Sexual Healing ~ Marvin Gaye

    Anyone that knows soul and R&B music cannot deny that Marvin Gaye was a master at work. Although toward the end of his life, he had his share of issues, he still made his stake in the R&B world. He has created music that certainly cannot be denied as not just romantically appealing, but down right pleasing from my ears to my toes.

    Sexual Healing starts off the list for me. Maybe it is that famous soulful voice that completely engages me. Perhaps it is that nearly perfect reoccurring beat that sets the background for laying down such a pleasing track. It could just be as simple as the title itself. The music makes you want to move your feet, your heart, and your body. The beat sets the pace for some desirable dancing and I just can’t deny myself that pleasure.

    I think the lyrics really play this one out all on its own without having to say much more…

    “Baby, I’m hot just like an oven, I need some lovin’
    Baby, I can’t hold it much longer, it’s getting stronger and stronger
    When I get that feeling, I want Sexual Healing….
    Makes me feel so fine, helps to relieve my mind
    Sexual Healing, Baby, is good for me”
    (lyrics taken from track on Marvin Gaye – Love Songs)

    9. Do Me, Baby ~ Prince

    There are some people that don’t find Prince as a sex symbol but I have to say that there are some of his lyrics and songs that blow me away. He may not have the deep voice of Barry White, but he certainly has the sex appeal through his music to tempt me. I find that Prince knows how to bring out the alluring part of you when he is singing and the tone of his slower songs are just plain… well, sexy.

    The slow beat to this song with the quick shots of drums and snares in the back, may make your hips sway back and forth. Prince’s voice hits those high notes just as well as he bursts out with some masculine ones. The keyboard giving you a little attention as the drum hits those beats dead on. All I can picture is a romantic dream in the clouds with two people finding each other for the first time.

    The lyrics seduce you from there…

    “Here we are in this big old empty room
    Staring each other down
    You want me just as much as I want you
    Let’s stop fooling around…

    Do Me, Baby
    Like you’ve never done before
    Give it to me
    Just ‘til I just can’t take no more…”
    (lyrics taken from Prince – The Hits 2)

    8. Rock Wit’Cha ~ Bobby Brown

    Many people hear the name “Bobby Brown” and think of his criminal acts and horrid, volatile marriage to wife Whitney Houston. However, in the late 80s and early 90s, Brown had it going on in the R&B business. He made chart toppers with his music and swept women off their feet everywhere. Before the dark side came about for Brown, this was one of his best songs that he made in my opinion. It definitely brings out the romantic side in you.

    In 1989, Rock Wit’ Cha hit the top ten on the charts. It blended Soul and R&B beats together. Brown’s sweet voice captivates you as he sings beautifully into your ears. He finds the funky slow beat that will make you move here to there with only temptation on your mind. He even gives a reference to the music of Marvin Gaye in his lyrics. The beats are lower than other romantic songs, making some heavy bass through your speakers. He definitely serenaded me with this number.

    The approach sounds the same as other love songs, but also takes it a step further in my mind by just bluntly describing the passion of making love through music…

    “Now that you are here with me
    Baby, let’s do it right
    Lady, you know just what I need
    I want to hold you oh so tight…

    I wanna Rock Wit’ Cha, Lady
    All Night Long
    I wanna roll with you, Lady
    Feeling so strong
    I wanna Rock Wit’ Cha, Lady
    All night long
    Rocking ~ rolling, rollin’~ rock
    Making sweet love don’t you ever stop…”
    (the lyrics taken from Bobby Brown – The Best of Bobby Brown 20th Century Masters The Millenium Collection)

    7. My, My, My ~ Johnny Gill

    Ironically, Johnny Gill made his debut replacing Bobby Brown in the boy band known as New Edition. He decided to step out on his own in 1990 and release his own album. “My, My, My” was one of his biggest hits before he ended up going back to New Edition after suffering from a poor debut of his second record.

    I am not sure whether it is the saxophone in the background sweetly singing its own notes that makes this song stick out for me. The beat is nice and slow to feel the sexuality that this song is meant to encompass around you. Gill’s voice is one of the sexiest that I have ever listened to with his deep breaths and low notes. He just lets everything go at the end and belts out the words, “My, My, My” over and over again, yet it doesn’t get repetitious at all. Gill is able to hit every chord possible and bring the soulful sounds from within him. It is simply passionate and sensual to listen to.

    The lyrics of course bring this one together…

    “Slip on your night gown, Step in our bedroom
    First I want to take some time, I just want to look at you
    Girl you are so fine, I can’t believe my eyes
    And all that I want to do, I want to make love to you…

    My, My, My
    You sure look good tonight
    Make love all night
    Make love ‘til the break of dawn…”
    (lyrics taken from Johnny Gill – Johnny Gill)

    6. I’ll Give All My Love to You ~ Keith Sweat

    Keith Sweat has sold millions of copies of R&B records and has stood the test of time since he debuted in 1987. When the song, “I’ll Give All My Love to You” came out on the R&B charts it hit number one. It came as no surprise to me, since Sweat is one of the backbones of what has become known as R&B in the early 90s. He is a master at song writing and singing with an amazing effect on women across the country with his slow jams and charming voice.

    This song was definitely mixed on keyboards and synthesizers which are obvious from the beats holding the melody. I like the fresh sounds of Sweat’s vocals on this track. Although he is serenading, he brings a different feel with this music than other songs that he produced. I believe that it is his voice that brings a side of warmth and devotion. He has the ability to find those soulful notes with a gentle, sexy side. This song is on my list because it is about true love which is more powerful than simply getting it on. The beat isn’t anything spectacular but it will still make you want to move with rhythm back and forth.

    Here are some lyrics that show the love and tender side to Sweat’s serenade…

    “I love you in the night
    I am going to take it real, real slow
    I understand what you told me, As if I didn’t know
    I always wanted someone just like you, I really need to hold you…

    I would give the world to you
    Oh my darling, I will, you know I will
    I would never do anything to hurt you
    I’ll give all my love to you…”
    (lyrics taken from Keith Sweat – The Best of Keith Sweat)

    5. Bump ‘N Grind ~ R. Kelly

    Although R. Kelly was arrested and charged with having interactions with a minor, he has seemed to redeem himself since then. Despite this incident, long before it happened, R. Kelly had this single hit the R&B charts. He became known as a sex symbol to many women and has always lived up to it.

    Bump ‘N Grind has a heavy bass mix to it. Maybe it is the beginning of the song that is just his simple vocals belting from his mouth with no such background music. It has a beat to it that is just as slow as most R&B jams. It doesn’t exactly stick out in any way but the lyrics that go with it certainly do. I could take the same beat and put down another R&B song with different lyrics. I am not sure anyone would really notice. It is R. Kelly’s strong voice that makes this a hit. Kelly’s tone is unlike other singers and brings the right sound to this number. I am not sure someone else could pull these lyrics off with an average voice.

    The song’s title pretty much gives away what it is about but there are also some sweet lyrics to go with it. However, these lyrics seem to be all about the “Bump ‘N Grind…”

    “My mind is telling me no
    But my body is telling me yes
    Baby, I don’t want to hurt nobody
    But there is something I must confess to you
    I don’t see nothing wrong
    With a little bump ‘n grind…

    See I know just what you want and I know just what you need, Girl
    Bring your body here
    I’m not fooling around with you
    Baby, my love is true
    With you is where I wanna be…”
    (lyrics from R. Kelly – The R. in R&B Collection: Vol. #1)

    4. I’ll Make Love to You ~ Boyz II Men

    Known for coming out of Philly, Boyz II Men had their share of hits when it came to R&B songs. In the early 90s, ”I’ll Make Love to You hit number one like many of their other singles. The group made up of four young men shared a passion for singing as well as a clean cut appearance to the public. Regardless of how they dressed with similar style, this foursome was also famous for their slow serenades. It was this one that came to my mind as one of the sexiest R&B songs back in time.

    Maybe it was the snapping of the fingers, the accordion like sound coming out of the keyboard, or just the simply harmony of four young men, that swept America. With the use of more keyboard influence than other songs on this list, the sound is unique. It almost sounds like a horn bellowing out a tune at the beginning. However as the beat continues throughout the song, it becomes obvious that the synthesizers are the real root of the sound.

    This song may be talking about “making love” but it is actually incredibly romantic. The background vocals and switch of lead singers keeps the song interesting and easy on the ears. I like this one because of the dreamy characteristics that go with the sound and somewhat innocent lyrics…

    “Close your eyes, Make a wish
    And blow out the candle light
    For tonight is just your night
    We gonna celebrate
    All through the night…

    I’ll make love to you
    Like you want me to
    And I’ll hold you tight
    Baby all through the night…”
    (lyrics from Boyz to Men – II)

    3. Feenin’ ~ Jodeci

    If you want to look at night and day then compare Boyz II Men with Jodeci. They each have two completely appearances with one seeming naive and another bad-boy. Jodeci made up of two sets of brothers comes together to make some of the most sexual music in the R&B industry. These wild boys had a terrible time in the future with charges against them from a woman and only lived up to what many thought of them. Despite their personal problems, this song is one of the best slow R&B pieces that I have ever listened to. It definitely sets the mood.

    As far as vocals go, Jodeci by far makes it down/up to number three. They not only have sexy vocals but strong sensual lyrics to go with them. The hard hitting beat in the background just smacks me in the ears sort of speak. It has a rough edge to it and is continuous throughout the song. The way the voices are somewhat distorted in the background vocals also makes this song stand out for me. It gives an old school feel to it.

    The hot, deep voices on the end of my speakers can’t help but send chills up my body listening to their words. I have felt this amount of passion for someone and I know what it is like to be “feenin’” for them.

    “Take my money
    My house and my cars
    For one hit of you
    You can have it all, baby
    Cause makin’ love
    Every time we do
    Girl it’s worse than drugs
    Cause I’m an addict over you

    I can’t leave you alone
    You got me feenin’, got me going crazy
    Girl, I am feenin’ for you…”
    (lyrics from Jodeci – Diary of a Mad Man)

    2. Practice What You Preach ~ Barry White

    Barry White is known for his soulful deep voice that has crossed over many different plateaus of music. He had been a favorite since the 1970s and all I can remember is his unique approach to music with that incredible voice of his. Many see his “voice” more of a sex symbol than anyone. It is famous around the country and most people could pick it out immediately. He has produced great music that lives on in his spirit.

    This platinum single released in 1994 is one of my favorites from Barry White. It is the low chords that start this number off that strike the right one with me. The melody of a nice slow beat with all of the right instruments such as bass guitar (I believe). White’s vocals are not only sexy but extraordinarily hypnotizing to me. This isn’t the slowest number on this list but the simple beat to it makes you want to do more than just tap your feet. He is the “King” at Soul/R&B Music in many ways. He talks more than he sings here which is fine with me since his voice is deep, spell binding and sensual.

    It isn’t just the lyrics that scream sexy here to me, but the collaboration of White’s voice with these words…

    “Girls there’s something wrong with me
    Every time I’m alone with you
    You keep talking about you loving me
    Hey babe, your foreplay just blows my mind
    So why don’t we stop all the talking girl
    Why don’t we stop wasting time?…

    ‘Cause you keep telling me this and telling me that
    You say once I’m with you, I’ll never go back
    You say there’s a lesson that you want to teach
    Well here I am baby, practice what you preach…

    Girl it’s just you and me, so many things
    I could do to you and so many ways I can please
    Hey, hey, hey it’s your move girl
    Why don’t you start turning down the lights…”
    (lyrics from Barry White – The Best of Barry White20th Century Masters of the Millenium Collection)

    1. Let’s Get It On ~ Marvin Gaye

    I started off with Marvin Gaye so it would only be right to end with him.

    This is by far the sexiest song out there in my opinion. It is the connection between not only the horns, the drums, and the vocals. It is everything about this song that makes it what it is, perfect. I can’t help but feel the sensuality that bleeds out of every lyric and chord. I not only move my hips to this but I get swept off of my feet every time I hear it. He sings sweetly into my ears and really brings together what R&B is all about for me.

    Gaye’s voice is tempting, persuasive and alluring. How can I not want to “get it on?”

    If this song doesn’t get you in the mood, then I am not sure what will…

    “I’ve been really trying now baby
    Trying to hold back this feeling for so long
    And if you feel like I feel
    Come on..

    Let’s get it on…

    There’s nothing wrong with me
    Loving you, now
    Giving yourself to me
    Can never be wrong
    If (your) love is true…

    Come on, come on, come on, come on, come on
    Stop beating around the bush
    Let’s get it on
    Let’s get it on baby
    Let’s get it on…”
    (lyrics from Marvin Gaye – Chronicles)

    You may not agree with my top ten list, but I hope you enjoyed it. I have found that these are my top ten sexiest songs out there for R&B music. I had to remind myself of some of them when I started this piece. Once I got going though, I had to just get in that mood.

  10. Leon Says:

    Good list Roy.

  11. Shack Says:

    Roy – You know Good and D@#% well you should have included something from the Isleys – I nominate “At Your Best You Are Love” or “Let Me Down Easy”.

    If I had a dollar for every woman you “Got It On” with while listeing to those songs, I could have retired 20 years ago!

  12. Shack Says:

    Ms. Lenora – Understood. The brief and very limited contact I’ve had with so-called stars and some celebrities suggest they are “usually trippin” and don’t want to make time for us “regular folks”…unless you are a guy named Roddy Moore!

  13. Shack Says:

    P.S. I don’t think Roy wrote all that stuff either…He had some help.Wonder who it was???

  14. Leon Says:

    lol @ Shack

  15. Karen Says:

    Luther will live forever in our hearts

  16. rod moore Says:

    What nothing by the Isley Brothers?! Why I met my eventual future ex wife becuse of an Isley Brothers tune. On second thought…. just kidding! Something by them should be on here.

  17. Leon Says:

    When the Top 10 groups comes out, I guarantee the Isley’s will be on the list.

  18. Straaw Says:

    My Luther top 10 not in order.
    Sensitivity,Don’t u know That, Stop the Love, Creepin’,Nuthin better than Love(Greg Hines),Make Me a Believer, Never too much, The Sweetest One,I’ll let u slide tonite, Give me the Reason. I could adjust it. For the Record Amazing love is Titled So AMAZING.