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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars He Wasn't Invisible
2012 has shown to be a deviating year of loss with soul and R&B music. No further is the sadness with the tragic death of Whitney Houston. Her voice showcased a deep bravado of simplicity and joy from each heart and soul from every single note that proved to be deeper from the soul than artists are even making strides out right now. That sadness also has came seven years...
Published on April 17, 2012 by Michael Kerner

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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not REALLY Hidden!
When seeing the title 'Hidden Gems', you'd expect to find a collection of non-album & previously unreleased songs from Luther Vandross' vault. That is NOT the case here as only 1 song was never available in the United States. 'You Really Started Something' was a Bonus Track exclusive to Japan back in 2001, and thankfully we can buy the single track here (glad I never...
Published on April 20, 2012 by Seand67


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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not REALLY Hidden!, April 20, 2012
By 
Seand67 "chakasworld" (Atlanta, GA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Hidden Gems (Audio CD)
When seeing the title 'Hidden Gems', you'd expect to find a collection of non-album & previously unreleased songs from Luther Vandross' vault. That is NOT the case here as only 1 song was never available in the United States. 'You Really Started Something' was a Bonus Track exclusive to Japan back in 2001, and thankfully we can buy the single track here (glad I never purchased that overpriced Import version of 'Luther Vandross'). The other 2 soundtrack songs featured in this compilation ('The Thrill I'm In' & 'Heart Of A Hero') are easy to obtain and most die hard Luther fans have them already. One track that SHOULD HAVE been included is Luther's 'She's So Good To Me', which is from the 1985 soundtrack for 'Goonies'. At any rate, this 'Hidden Gems' CD is not essential for Luther Vandross fans. Let's hope that his 2 Cotillion albums are released next time. They BOTH fit onto a single CD with room to spare. Shoot, even a compilation of Luther's rare 12" extended mixes would be a welcome addition to our collections. Sometimes you'd have to wonder what they're smoking when compiling CDs like 'Hidden Gems'...SMH.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars He Wasn't Invisible, April 17, 2012
This review is from: Hidden Gems (Audio CD)
2012 has shown to be a deviating year of loss with soul and R&B music. No further is the sadness with the tragic death of Whitney Houston. Her voice showcased a deep bravado of simplicity and joy from each heart and soul from every single note that proved to be deeper from the soul than artists are even making strides out right now. That sadness also has came seven years ago with the loss of Luther Vandross. He had showed a elegance in his voice, without being labeled or judged for faults. He lost his life in 2005 from a heartbreaking stroke that claimed his life at age 54, but yet this April he would've been 61 years old. But with anything he was able to sing, he showed a grace that hasn't been replicated. Something in today's R&B that is careless and selfish. Now, a new compliation of his music is out there, but is it worth the money? Well, it has a few surprises in it.

Hidden Gems, the new compilation of Luther Vandross's music from the 1981-2003 consists of songs that were never featured on a Luther Vandross hits collection before, but from his past still feels like it is fresh and new. The songs have all been remastered brilliantly and include songs like You Stopped Loving Me, to Like I'm Invisible, all the way to classy covers of beautiful standards from showtunes like The King & I's The Impossible Dream to I (Who Have Nothing) with Weather Girls frontwoman Martha Wash. The songs sound great, and a noble trip back in time where artists didn't have to pretend to sing, unlike today's music scene that feels disgraceful. While the collection does stand up well, I do wish though there were a few songs that could've been included here that Luther sung in his life like Going In Circles and the Major Harris ballad Love Won't Let Me Wait, instead of his lesser-known later songs like Buy Me A Rose and I'd Rather which weren't his best at the top of his game.

All in all, when it has came to Luther Vandross and Hidden Gems, it isn't a bad buy overall of his music, and shows why he was once proclaimed the best male R&B singer in the world, according to Clive Davis. It shows why Luther could sing just about anything in the world. While it isn't a must buy for those new to Luther Vandross and his voice, it is a great buy for die hard fans who've been so loving of his gracious tones. Luther has always ranked high with the greats of R&B crooning like Marvin Gaye, Teddy Pendergrass and Otis Redding. It is one more reason Luther is one of the more dominant singers in the world, and his legacy will live on.

Album Cover: B

Songs: B-

Price: B

Remastering: B

Overall: B-
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it -- takes me back, April 18, 2012
By 
Kristin St John (Washington, DC United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hidden Gems (MP3 Music)
My first CD EVER was The Best of Luther, the Best of Love. Pretty heavy for a 13 year old, but I was a fan of Luther's and my parents, probably happy that it wasn't a rap album, jumped at the opportunity. From there my love of him and his music kept growing -- to the point where I was disgusted that my Jr. Prom theme was "In Your Eyes" and not "If Only For One Night" -- seriously, I was thoroughly disappointed in my classmates.

I'll be honest, I was devastated when Luther passed -- to the point where it took my years to be able to listen to his stuff without crying. Actually, even to this day I can barely listen to Dance With My Father. Hidden Gems, though, is comforting to listen to -- the voice I fell in love with as a 13 year old is back in my living room and on my IPod -- and I can't help but hum along and smile.

He was the true king of love songs and I am so glad they decided to release this for all of us to hear. He may be gone from us, but his voice is still here to remind everone what a true singer sounds like.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the 100 Greatest Voices of All-Time, May 9, 2012
This review is from: Hidden Gems (Audio CD)
You could say that Luther Vandross got his start in the music business by founding a Fan Club. That's right, he was the founder of the first ever Patti LaBelle fan club. Actually, he learned the piano at the age of three and Vandross was in a high school group, Shades of Jade, that once played at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. He was also a member of a theater workshop, "Listen My Brother" who released the singles "Only Love Can Make a Better World" and "Listen My Brother", and appeared on the second and fifth episodes of Sesame Street in November 1969. he went from there to write songs and sing backup for, among others, Roberta Flack, Delores Hall, Diana Ross, Gary Glitter, Carly Simon, Chaka Khan, Todd Rundgren's Utopia, Donna Summer, Bette Midler, Chic, and Barbra Streisand. He co-wrote "Fascination" for David Bowie's Young Americans, and went on to tour with him as a back-up vocalist in 1974. Vandross wrote "Everybody Rejoice" for the 1975 Broadway musical The Wiz and appeared as a choir member in the movie.

Vandross was part of a singing quintet in the late '70s named Luther, consisting of Anthony Hinton and Diane Sumler, Theresa V. Reed, and Christine Wiltshire, signed to Cotillion Records. Although the singles "It's Good for the Soul", "Funky Music (Is a Part of Me)", and "The Second Time Around" were relatively successful, the two albums tanked and he bought back the rights to these albums after Cotillion dropped the group, preventing their later re-release. But, he continued to support himself as a session singer and wrote jingles for commercials. Luther sang lead vocals for a disco band called Greg Diamond's Bionic Boogie on the song titled "Hot Butterfly." Also in 1978, he appeared on Quincy Jones's Sounds...and Stuff Like That!!, most notably on the song "I'm Gonna Miss You In The Morning" along with Patti Austin. Luther also sang with the band Soirée, (along with Jocelyn Brown and Sharon Redd,) , the group Mascara , and Charme's 1979 album Let It In, most notably on a remake of Toto's hit single "Georgy Porgy".

Luther VandrossLuther finally achieved "over night success" with the pop-dance act Change. Their 1980 hits, "The Glow of Love" (by Romani, Malavasi and Garfield) and "Searching" (by Malavasi), both featuring Vandross as lead singer. That led to a recording contract with Epic Records that same year but didn't stop him from doing some background vocals on the newly created act, The B. B. & Q. band in 1981. During that hectic year Vandross jump-started his second attempt at a solo career with his debut album,Never Too Much. In addition to the hit title track it contained a version of the Burt Bacharach / Hal David song "A House Is Not a Home". The song "Never Too Much", written by himself, reached number-one on the R&B charts.

And, as the saying goes, the rest is history. The overwhelming talent of the late Luther Vandross (1951-2005), eight-time Grammy Award®-winning singer extraordinaire, songwriter, producer, arranger, and soul. On Hidden Gems , the focus is on 15 seldom-heard deep album tracks and movie soundtrack songs. In 2010, National Public Radio included Luther in its "50 Great Voices" series.

Hidden Gems spans the timeline of Luther's major label recording career from 1981 to the new millennium. These range from a track from his Never Too Much solo album for Epic in 1981 ("You Stopped Loving Me"); to a pair of tracks from Dance With My Father , his final studio album in 2003 (which received four Grammy Awards), namely "Once Were Lovers," with a harmonica solo by Stevie Wonder, and "Buy Me A Rose." The latter was sung by Luther for Oprah Winfrey when she visited him for his final television performance. The bulk of HIDDEN GEMS is devoted to Luther's 15-year tenure at Epic Records from 1981 to 1996. Two of the tracks are songs that Luther recorded for original motion picture soundtracks, whose albums are long out-of-print: "Heart Of A Hero" (from 1992's Hero, starring Dustin Hoffman), and "The Thrill I'm In" (from 1995's Money Train, starring Wesley Snipes).

Vandross suffered from diabetes and hypertension, both of which ran in his family. On April 16, 2003, Vandross suffered a stroke at his home in Manhattan, New York. At the time of his stroke, he had just finished the final vocals for the album Dance With My Father . His collaborator on the album was pop star Richard Marx, whom Vandross had met in 1989 and has been friends with since. The two worked together on numerous projects over the years, with Vandross appearing on three of Marx's albums. Upon its release, it became the first and only Luther Vandross record to hit #1. It was also his biggest-selling studio album ever, selling nearly 3 million copies in the United States alone. The title track was also a hit, and won the 2004 Grammy Award for Song of the Year.

"2004 Grammy's Video Message"He appeared briefly on videotape at the 2004 Grammy Awards to accept his Song of the Year Award, where he said, "When I say goodbye it's never for long because I believe in the power of love". Other than an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show, he was never seen in public again.

The genius of his voice and talent as a song writer is legendary and, fittingly, Rolling Stone magazine ranks him among the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.

The Dirty Lowdown
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hidden Gems, June 2, 2013
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This review is from: Hidden Gems (Audio CD)
How does one not like Luther. Everything that he does is simply beautiful, relaxing and soothing to the soul. Thanks
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mellow, smooth, May 13, 2013
By 
Diyimnida (Honolulu, HI) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hidden Gems (Audio CD)
Great Luther Vandross . . . he's so mellow and easy to listen to. Beautiful voice. Too bad he's not around anymore!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing, March 23, 2013
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This review is from: Hidden Gems (Audio CD)
just when i thought i wasn't gonna hear any more luther....i found this cd and it made me cry with joy. I miss this mans amazing voice. thank you
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I miss Luther, September 6, 2012
By 
BONNIE MAXEY (SANTA ANA, CA, US) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hidden Gems (Audio CD)
I wish he could keep making albums. Luther is a classic, soulful, from~the~heart performer and this album contains some of his best work.
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5.0 out of 5 stars TOTALLY AWESOME, July 10, 2014
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This review is from: Hidden Gems (Audio CD)
TOTALLY AWESOME
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hidden Gems, Luther Vamdross, May 8, 2014
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This review is from: Hidden Gems (Audio CD)
My all time Fav Artist , so well missed . I have all his albums and this is one with a few gems not released . So what a treasure ... Loved Luther and he so very missed by myself and people around the world .....
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Hidden Gems
Hidden Gems by Luther Vandross (Audio CD - 2012)
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