“Here And Now” by Luther Vandross (1989)

Luther Vandross owes his first major pop hit to a game of Pac-Man.

As the story goes, Luther was at home, playing video games with his friend/collaborator/idol Dionne Warwick, when her son David came to pick her up and take her home. David asked Luther to check out a couple of songs he’d written, and one of them happened to be “Here And Now”. When you consider that Luther wrote and produced almost all the material on his first several albums (with the exception of his famous reworkings of already well-known songs), he must have felt some kind of way about “Here And Now” to record it. Those feelings paid off; “Here And Now” became Luther’s first top ten pop hit (and keep in mind that LV had almost a decade-long run of Platinum albums by this point) and won him his first Grammy Award.

“Here And Now” is a wonderfully openhearted love song. It’s become a staple of weddings over the course of its three decades in existence. Luther once remarked that the pause following the declaration in the song’s chorus “here and now…I promise to love faithfully” was what falling in love sounded like. It’s a beautiful sentiment in a beautiful song. And of course, considering this is a Luther Vandross song, it’s performed…beautifully.

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