A year after releasing his breakthrough solo debut, Never Too Much music fans were provided with his second album, Forever, for Always, for Love. Luther’s sophomore album opens with the lead single “Bad Boy/Having a Party,” where Vandross continues his successful collaborations with composer Marcus Miller. From the moment we hear the opening chords, we know we are in for a good time. And I’ve always loved the bridge samples the chorus from the Sam Cooke song “Having a Party.”
Vandross continues his signature of covers with a take on The Temptations classic “Since I Lost My Baby.” The singer effortlessly makes the song his own and never tries to mimic the original lead vocals by Temps members David Ruffin and Melvin Franklin. In all honesty, I prefer the Vandross version of the song. The balladry continues on the album’s title track, where he effortlessly croons and showcases his ability to sing anything.
Two of my favorite Vandross songs, “Better Love” and “Promise Me,” are up next, and while both songs are album tracks, they put to shame entire albums released by singers three decades later. Philadelphia rap-duo Young Gunz sampled “Better Love” on their hit “No Better Love” ft. Rell. While New Edition & Bell Biv DeVoe member Ronnie DeVoe sampled “Promise Me” on his obscure song Private Letter feat. Johnny Gill. The remaining album tracks include dance floor staples “You’re the Sweetest One” and “She Loves Me Back” both of which are feel-good grooves. Vandross closes the album with the semi inspirational “Once You Know How.”
Luther Vandross is, without a doubt, one of the greatest singers of all time. Throughout an 8 song collection, Luther started to show the signs of his dominance in the male R&B field. While singers of today are only concerned with having one hit for streaming Vandross did the opposite in his day. If Vandross was still with us, he would ensure that had an entire album could have any song released as a single.
Top Tracks: “Bad Boy/Having a Party,” “Better Love,” and “Promise Me”
Final Grade A
Forever, for Always, for Love is available on all streaming platforms.