Friday, May 25, 2012

Terence Trent D'Arby - Wishing Well

Mixing old school R&B with modern pop and rock elements, Terence Trent D'Arby briefly looked like The Next Big Thing in music.  His debut album, Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D'Arby hit #4 on the U.S. album charts, and was a huge international hit as well.  However, his follow up efforts did not generate much commercial success, leaving him as an interesting one album wonder.

D'Arby was  born in New York City (as Terence Trent Howard), but grew up with his stepfather, which is where the Darby comes from.  As a young man, he was a boxer and joined the U.S. Army, a path that led him to Germany and eventually London, after he left the army.  Several years of working the London music scene led to a recording contract, and his first album was released with a ton of publicity and immediately became successful in Britain.

Although success in the U.S. was slower, his material gained traction in late 1987 and into 1988.  "Wishing Well" was his big hit, and it reached #1 (for 1 week) in May 1988.  From there, his career slowly fell apart, due to arrogance (he once proclaimed that his album was the most important LP since Sgt. Pepper), and weaker material that did not connect with his audience.  He eventually changed his name to Sananda Francesco Maitreya, but continues to write and record music.

Cool trivia fact:  D'Arby (Maitreya) was the guest lead singer of INXS in 1999, when they performed prior to the Sydney Olympics (their original lead singer, Michael Hutchence, died in 1997).

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