Introducing The Hardline According To Terence Trent D'Arby
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Comprised of 10 of his compositions (produced and for the most part played by him), and an outstanding cover of the Smokie Robinson classic `Who's loving you', the album found success in the UK first hitting #1 and spinning off 4 top 20 hits. The success crossed over to the US in 1988 with the album hitting #4, selling over 2 million copies, and spinning off two top 5 singles, and winning the Grammy for best male R&B vocal performance.
D'Arby's rich gravelly yet elastic voice coupled with a retro soul/funk hybrid hearkened back to the soul greats of yesterday; Marvin, Stevie, James Brown, as well as contemporaries like MJ and Prince, a point he was never shy to loudly proclaim. He even proclaimed it the most important album since the Beatles' `Sgt. Pepper', cockiness that ultimately backfired.
Still, this is a stunning collection of music.
Opening track `If we all get to heaven' is a sweeping majestic questioning protest midtempo number, with his gravelly voice hitting some unbelievably high notes. It also features some Arabic influences.
`If you let me stay' is a retro sounding funky, energetic number, featuring a heartfelt plea to a lover. Wow!
Next is the US #1 `Wishing well', an upbeat dance number with razor sharp synths and that distinctive whistle.
`I'll never turn my back on you (Father's words)' is a lilting midtempo number with a reggae feel, and lyrics about a strained relationship between father and son.Read more ›
Like Prince,TTD was a hypercreative genius who pushed boundaries and let his eccentricties be shown.In fact,the London-based,New York-born,Flordia-raised singer was dubbed "The British Prince".
It started started with this 1987 debut right here.TTD proclaimed that it was the best solo album by a male artist in 20 years.Bragging that it was superior to "Sgt. Pepper Lonely Hearts Band" and comparing himself to the Purple One and Sam Cooke.The funny thing is that he was RIGHT.This is one egomanaic who knew what he was talking about! "Introducing The Hardline According To Terence Trent D'Arby" is a genius album.
Filled with diversity and just straight-up great prduction.TTD bragged that he was passonaite about his music.And the boy wasn't lying.There's not uninspired moment on this classic.From the #1 hit "Wishing Well" with it's funky drums to the smoldering cover of "Who's Lovin' You"(better sung by a grown man in my humble opinion) to the tender "Let's Go Forward".And then there's the calypso/African-rhythmed "Rain",old school styled "If You Let Me Stay",my favorite "Seven More Days",and the powerful opener "If You All Get To Heaven".All are highlighted by TTD's gritty,soulful voice.That's right there'd be NO Maxwell.No D'Angelo.No Remy Shand.No Lenny.No Seal.Without TTD.Along with Prince,TTD set the way.The man is a genius and it's sad that's he's forgetten in the US.
Now christening himself Sananda Maitreya and residing in Italy,
TTD is basking in his own greatness.But this one guy whose huge ego is justified.Don't believe him? Just listen to this disc.
Needless, to say, Craig David really is flattering - and kidding - himself to an inconceivably crazy extent if he truly believes that he is the new TTD. There is nothing to choose between them. This record still sounds great some seventeen years later, unlike Craig's own debut of just three years ago, which has completely lost it's novelty value, and now sounds weak, tired and bored with itself.
The opening track, the thundering "If You All Get To Heaven", sounds rather uncannily like The Christians (another popular band of that era), while hit single "If You Let Me Stay" has a hard, rocky edge to it, but still remains rooted firmly to Terence's soul influences.
"Wishing Well" (another of Terence's big hits) is a cool, laid-back groove that anticipates the bluesy soul-funk of Maxwell and D'Angelo by a good decade or so. Terence also scored another hit single with "Dance Little Sister" from this album, which, like "If You Let Me Stay" sounds like Stevie Wonder with an electric guitar behind him.
"Seven More Days" is a terrific ballad, about two lovers separated by distance, but who still care about each other, while my personal favourite from this album - "Let's Go Forward" - is an emotional, heart-wrenching number which sees Terence perfect his crooning skills to a glistening sheen.
There's "Rain" and "I'll Never Turn My Back On You (Father's Words"), with a seductive, Carribbean-esque lilt, and the starkly contrasting block harmony opus, "As Yet Untitled" (was that title meant to be a joke?!).
The unforgettable "Sign Your Name" - his best-known song - which was played to death on radio between 1987 and 1989 (and still gets played today!Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A throw back album with some James Brown type grooves. Like that it didn't have that techno sound that was big in the 80s.Published 2 months ago by buzzard6
Glad I bought it, it takes me back to memory lane...in a good wayPublished 7 months ago by cyril harris
I'm happy to own it. Great album but not quite in good condition as advertised.Published 9 months ago by Nikole Ticcino
This is less a review of this seminal 1980s album and more of an open letter to whoever produces the inevitable expanded reissue, which ideally would consist of two CDs and a DVD. Read morePublished 9 months ago by GoVegan4Life
I really like this CD, Terence is good, as I recall listening to two of the songs, wishing well, and sign your name, which was really goodPublished 12 months ago by Jereme Semien