Monday, November 14, 2016

ABCs of My Vinyl Collection (Letter D, Part 2)

Another in a long line of uncomfortable confessions. Yes, I have some Terence Trent D'Arby on the shelf. What can I say, really? This artist has come up a few times in recent years on the blogs I read, particularly CC at Charity Chic Music. With only a few exceptions, I was pleasantly surprised at the response. My favorite comment came from the Swede with "total bonkersness interspersed with utter brilliance." Truth is, I didn't know about his arrogance and eccentricities for a bit, and I was able to just enjoy the music without all of the noise. If I had known some of the outrageous claims about his importance in the history of pop, perhaps I wouldn't have made it past the debut album, which the artist said was better than 'Sgt. Pepper.' As it is, I only know his first three works. My two-sentence review: Each has a handful of top tunes, but I'm not sure I could recommend any of D'Arby's albums. Pick a few songs from your favorite online source, or wait for a nice best-of package.

"Wishing Well" made it to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in 1987, and D'Arby nearly matched the feat in the UK. Still sounds pretty good to these ears, and I have to say Martyn Ware did quite a job producing 'Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D'Arby.' Let's listen to the epic eight-minute version from my 12" released in the American market. Not too many of the '80s bells and whistles, and I imagine this was fun to dance to in the clubs.

"Wishing Well" (The Cool in the Shade Mix)

7 comments:

Echorich said...

I feel much the same about TTD. I lost track of him after the 3rd album and then picked back up on his career with his guest appearance on Ben Watt's Stronger Man featuring one Sananda Maitreya. This turned out to be the new incarnation of TTD. It seams he went Prince one better and didn't just divorce him self from his previous self and persona, but for TTD, Terrence Trent Darby was "dead." But on Ben Watt's pulsing, house belter, TTD's unmistakable voice shines from the first note he sings.
TTD did a lot to feed my seemingly insatiable appetite for all things pretentious in art and music. He was so much his own best and worst enemy when he opened his mouth at the beginning of his career, ever Ian "Mac The Mouth" McCulloch had to have been impressed. His most recent album, from 2015, The Rise of The Zugebrian Time Lords was a sprawling affair over 2 CDs and included 3 Beatles covers. The album is filled with drama and some of that TTD soulful urgency. My favorite track from it is We Can All Go Home which channels The Temptations, Robetta Flack and maybe a bit of Nina Simone...

kevinpat said...

Sometimes it's just about the music. Often ya gotta take the crazy with the gift, and this guy got amply supply of both. Although I am most familiar with his first album (which I do like very much) I really didn't know too much about his crazy. Just that voice. It seem to lead the musical way. Beautiful. "Soulful urgency" as Echo puts it. Perfect. I really enjoy the 12 incher Brian, had not heard that. But I must admit my favorite TTD track is "Sign Your Name" where his voice is like the whip cream topping on a delicious Sunday...Ha! Haven't had any coffee yet...Sorry! Nice post Mr. LTL. Gotta dig out those albums. :))

Brian said...

Echorich, It's funny where D'Arby has popped up over the years. We tease him for his wild proclamations, but he is obviously well respected by his peers. Did you know he shows up on Brian Wilson's 1988 solo album for his vocals? I consider myself a fan of Ben Watt, but I lost track of him during that period. Will check Stronger Man today.

Kevinpat, Sign Your name is my favorite too. Beautiful.

charity chic said...

Like the curates egg - good in parts

The Swede said...

Haha! I'd totally forgotten about that comment, but I stick by it. After the massive success of 'Introducing the Hardline...' CBS were rubbing their collective hands together in anticipation of a mega-huge follow-up. What they got was 'Neither Fish nor Flesh', a difficult album the record company never really got to grips with, even though it includes 'This Side of Love', which (along with 'Sign Your Name') might be my favourite TTD tune.

Rol said...

Anyone who can open an 80s pop-soul record with the line, "Get up out of your rocking chair, grandma!" (followed by a more formal alternative) can't be all bad.

thenewvinylvillain said...

Okay.....I'm really really late here.

TTD's debut LP was more than decent but suffered a very quick reassement on the back of some bonkers and outrageous media statements. The follow-up LP wasn't what anyone was expecting - critics, fans and record label bosses - and before long it was a staple ingredient in all bargain bins.

I had no idea in what what happened to TTD after that, so thanks to Echorich for such a comprehensive update.