Album covers analysed: Luther, Luther

Don’t be fooled by the cover…


Whoever first coined the phrase about not judging books by covers should also have pointed out that the exact same thing applies to records. By the 70s, album covers were abiding by certain rules – funk (at that time moving towards P-Funk) must be cartoonish, serious rock albums must be straight faced, soul records should include at least one gargantuan afro. Hence, the above soul cut, from 1976, flew in the face of convention – looking more like a Black Sabbath/Spinal Tap album, with the big gothic letters and creepy dark background. But, in reality, it was Luther Vandross’ first outing as the star of the show, albeit as a member of the band, Luther. At the time, he was more of a lardy backing vocalist for people like David Bowie and Chaka Khan, and this record didn’t propel him into the limelight – probably because tattooed maniacs picked it up expecting heavy metal, and got only smooth grooves and a syrupy vocal. It was, however, his first step towards the slimline, shiny haired, smoothie that we came to adore. A confusing record.

Enjoy the opening number after the jump…

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