"Here and Now" - Luther Vandross
from the album The Best Of Luther Vandross...The Best Of Love (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #6 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 15
Today's song of the day comes from soul singer Luther Vandross, who had enjoyed a moderately successful career throughout the 80's after leaving the disco group Change. He had racked up five top-40 pop hits (as well as 17 top-40's on the R&B list). Most of those fell into the uptempo adult-soul (like his bubbly "She Won't Talk To Me" from the spring of 1989) and post-disco genres. In 1989 he released a double-CD/LP greatest hits compilation, The Best Of Luther Vandross...The Best Of Love. The set contained two new tracks; the first, "Here And Now", was a sweet wedding-ready love ballad written by David Elliott and Terry Steele, and produced by Luther with long-time helmsman Marcus Miller. Mainstream radio took to this song right away, fitting it in as their requisite "slow song", and since it came at a time when Luther was in a rare (but closeted) relationship, he poured his heart into it..
"Here And Now" became Luther's first top-10 pop hit in the U.S. in April of 1990. The song also spent two weeks atop Billboard's R&B chart, while is climbed to #3 on their Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening" radio list. Internationally the single was a minor hit in Canada (#54) and the UK (#43). He would go on to win his first Grammy Award for the song in 1991 for Best R&B Male Vocal (the track was also nominated for Best R&B song, criminally losing to MC Hammer's "U Can't Touch This").
The second new song on the compilation, the mid-tempo Billy Ocean-ish "Treat You Right", missed the pop chart entirely though it was a big R&B hit, peaking at #5 (it also slipped on to the British charts at #92).
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Here's Luther appearing on the Oprah show...
Lastly, in concert in London in 1994...
Up tomorrow: British goth-new-wavers get intimately religious.