Robert Luther Smith was born Robert Wheeler-Pemberton in Ash, Surrey in 1955 and grew up in St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England. He attended St. Albans School (other alumni include Rod Argent, Tim Rice and Steven Hawking). At the school he was classically trained but switched to popular music in the late 1960s.
Luther sings, plays guitar and keyboards, writes the music and lyrics and produces the records. In effect, they are classical pieces written as "pop music", that is to say he combined the on-beat of rock with the off-beat of funk or soul (etc) and the result was funk-rock. That is, a rock beat, with syncopation and, generally, a rock guitar.
Luther went on to tour in Germany and the UK in 1973 and recorded variously in London at Charisma , 20th Century Fox/Warner Brothers and Denmark Street. He has had an album out every four years, starting in 1974.
After signing with Charisma (1973) and then RCA (1978), he saw what a waste of time corporations are. He had learnt recording with Tony Arnold in 1975/6 having met Robert Fripp a couple of years earlier. Luther has always like abstract music as well as pop. He was introduced to Paul Beavis the drummer in 1977 at Tony's Penn Hill studio. He worked with John Kongas and toured with Errol Brown/Hot Chocolate in 1982; in that year he produced the album featuring "electricity" (his most popular song to date, in fact his new version is again outselling his other songs), as well as "one try love " and I'd rather be your friend". Since then he has toured and recorded variously.
arthouserecords.co.uk produce Luther's records in the in-house digital studio.
His lyrics are central and can be eloquent and forceful, as well as romantic. In 1994 he brought out the acclaimed "Funkygroovy" as a "best of " album having digitally re-mastered the original tapes. "Pop Art" was released in 1998. 2003 saw the release of his first album recorded entirely by himself in his own digital studio.
2009 has seen the release of his new LP, "art pop" recorded in his own studio. The ep "funkygroovy 2" has become available on itunes, emusic and others.