SoulTracks Lost Gem- Luther Vandross’s FIRST chance to cover “Superstar”

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We all know “Nobody could cover a song like Luther Vandross!” His singularly stylish updates of Dionne Warwick’s “A House Is Not A Home” and Leon Russell or The Carpenters’ “Superstar” are legendary. What if I told you that on “Superstar,” Luther had not just one, but TWO chances to perfect it? 

In 1978 the A&M label released  Spinozza by Guitarist/Producer David Spinozza. “Superstar” here is given a jazzy arrangement. Instead of lead vocals, Luther Vandross, as background vocal arranger/contractor, assembled session all-stars David Lasley, Diva Gray, Gordon Grody, and Kimberley Carlson to help sing the hook and provide vocal fills. Luther’s identifiable tenor easily stands out among the blend of vocalists.

You can find the LP easily enough at used record shops. Also, there are 2 Japanese CD reissues. Sadly, though, it’s not on streaming services. Enjoy this early Vandross feature! 

ST’ers let us know if you like this peek into this “Luther’s figuring it out” version of Superstar before he made it his!

by Donald Cleveland

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