Luther Ingram

Absolutely the Best of Luther Ingram: If Loving You is Wrong, I Don't Want To Be Right

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Luther Ingram isn’t as well-known as he ought to be, although he had well over a dozen chart hits between 1966 and 1978 for Johnny Baylor’s Ko Ko Records label, including the career-defining “(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don’t Want to Be Right” in 1972. With a voice that blended Sam Cooke and Marvin Gaye, and working with the best Memphis and Muscle Shoals session players, Ingram recorded sides during his peak years that were impeccably arranged and recorded, and most importantly, wonderfully sung. Anyone with a voice this good and with a sense of phrasing and nuance this sharp and natural should be placed high in anyone’s list of the greatest pop and soul singers of the 20th century, right up there with Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke, and Al Green -- and Ingram was a contemporary of all of them. This set collects Ingram’s 17 chart hits for Ko Ko, and tracks like the delightful (to the point of being a piece of soul heaven) “My Honey and Me,” the horn-driven stomper “It’s Too Much,” and of course “(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don’t Want to Be Right,” a recording so perfect it seems always to have existed, give ample proof that this man was a front-line singer. There’s not a track here that doesn’t prove the case. Ingram’s death in 2007 was an immeasurable loss.

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