Since Luther Vandross’ death in 2005 there’s been any number of retrospective compilations and like most other posthumous efforts on other artists my guess is that they were cobbled together by a marketing team hoping to wring a bit more cash from the great man’s back catalogue. This new double CD 29 tracker is a bit different though – chiefly because it’s been put together by Steve Ripley with assistance (and sleeve notes) from David Nathan. Both men knew Luther (Nathan, indeed, once lived in the flat next door to him in NYC) and both love soul music – and understand the soul crowd, and though Luther himself said his aim was to be a mainstream artist, he was at heart a soul singer and that’s the premise behind this collection. Ripley has chosen the music to show just that; with the tracks coming from nine of Vandross’ ten Epic albums there’s ample proof here that the big man was one of THE greatest soul voices of all time. There’s plenty of up-tempo dance material like ‘I Wanted Your Love’ and the ever-magical ‘Never Too Much’ but the proof of a soul singer’s true greatness lies in the handling of ballads and in the long-neglected ‘Make Me A Believer’ we have one of the best. Then again, there’s the lovely ‘It’s All About You’, the lush ‘Once You Know How’, the pretty ‘Wait For Love’, the cover of ‘Since I Lost My Baby’ and the still-amazing ‘So Amazing’. Still in doubt? OK … go straight to the epic, song-defining version of ‘A House Is Not A Home’ – turn the lights right down (just as Luther did when recording the song) and believe in the emotions, the commitment… the soul.