Luther Vandross

The Ultra Selection

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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann

Despite a title that makes it sound like a hits collection, Dutch reissue label Disky's Luther Vandross album The Ultra Selection is really no more nor less than Vandross' 1998 album I Know with the tracks in a different order. Disky frequently licenses its material from EMI, parent company of Virgin, for which I Know was recorded. It was Vandross' only album for Virgin, after his 1981-1997 tenure at Epic Records and before he spent the last few years of his career at J Records. I Know was his least successful recording, which is to say that it only went gold upon release in the U.S., while every other album he issued went at least platinum. That said, it is a fairly typical effort for him, introducing some hip-hop elements, including guest rappers, but also finding plenty of room for his patented love ballads and reinterpretations of pop standards, in this case the 1977 Leo Sayer hit "When I Need You." I Know is not a bad album by any means, but Disky, by implying that its version is a best-of collection, deceives the consumer.

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