'Take You Out'
'Take You Out' was the first single from Luther's self-titled 2001 album, his first for Clive Davis' J Records. Peaking at No. 26 on the US pop chart, the song was the first Top 40 hit for Vandross since his duet with Mariah Carey seven years earlier. Superstar rapper Jay-Z borrowed the song's chorus for his hit 'Excuse Me Miss.'
'Think About You'
'Think About You' was a simple ballad about being unable to get a special someone out of your mind. The phrase "I thought about you" appears after every line of the chorus, and the song's lyrics made passing mention of another R&B superstar, Alicia Keys. Vandross wrote the song with James Porte for the 2003 release 'Dance with my Father.'
Vandross had established himself as a star by the time he released 'Give Me the Reason' in 1986. Four of the album's nine tracks became smash hits on the R&B charts, but one that slipped under the radar was 'So Amazing.' In 2005, this smooth ballad provided the title of the tribute album recorded after Vandross passed away.
'If This World Were Mine'
Vandross had a talent for reinterpreting old songs. His 1982 duet with Cheryl Lynn, 'If This World Were Mine,' was a remake of a 1967 song by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. Following in the footsteps of Gaye is not an easy task, but Vandross made the song a hit. The song gained new life in 2005 when Alicia Keys and Jermaine Paul recorded it for the Vandross tribute album, scoring a Grammy nomination in the process.
'Never Too Much'
Taken from the album of the same name, 'Never Too Much' was the first single Vandross ever released, and it shot to No. 1 on the R&B chart. Like many songs from the early '80s, 'Never Too Much' displayed slight remnants of the disco era with its prominent bass and funky guitar beat. Vandross wrote and produced the track, which later appeared on the soundtrack for the Grand Theft Auto: Vice City video game.
'Here and Now'
Vandross' first Top 10 hit on the pop charts, 'Here and Now,' reached No. 6 in April 1990. The beautiful love song -- written by David L. Elliott and Terry Steele -- was one of two new songs on 'The Best of Luther Vandross ... The Best of Love.' One of the most beautiful wedding songs of the '90s, 'Here and Now' rightfully earned Vandross his first Grammy Award.
'Dance With My Father'
'Dance With My Father' was the title track from Luther's only Billboard 200 chart-topper, an album that captured four Grammy Awards. Vandross shared the prestigious Song of the Year award with co-writer Richard Marx for this track, which was dedicated to Vandross' late father. Vandross was unable to attend the Grammy ceremony, having had a stroke just before the album's release, but Celine Dion filled in to perform the song.
'Superstar/Until You Come Back to Me (That's What I'm Gonna Do)'
In 1984, Vandross had a hit with this medley, with songs made popular by the Carpenters and Aretha Franklin, respectively. Off the album 'Busy Body,' the song hit the Top 10 on the R&B charts, despite its running time of more than nine minutes. Eventual 'American Idol' winner Ruben Studdard performed the Vandross arrangement of 'Superstar' while competing on the show, to great acclaim.
'If Only for One Night'
Many of the best Luther Vandross songs have served as lovemaking music. 'If Only for One Night' was a great example, with gentle, romantic vocals from Vandross and lyrics imploring, "Let me hold you tight/If only for one night." The tender ballad, written by Brenda Russell appeared on Luther's 1985 album 'The Night I Fell in Love.'
'A House Is Not a Home'
The only song on Vandross' debut album, 'Never Too Much,' that he did not write, 'A House Is Not a Home' was penned by Burt Bacharach and Hal David in the '60s and was originally only a minor hit for Dionne Warwick. This capper to the Best Luther Vandross Songs list sees the soulful singer belt out the bittersweet words while piano and strings create a dramatic mood.