SotD Throwback - Terence Trent D'arby

Terence Trent D'arby - Vibrator

Song of the Day (SotD) is our choice of a single or album track that we think you need to hear. However, instead of the new music featured through the week, Saturday Throwback is a track from back in the day to kick off your weekend in style. Today Steve Taylor-Bryant remembers Terence Trent D'arby...

"I left the rough side for a seaside baby
a chamomile smile that pouts on cue
for every moment I breath her sigh
her bosom contains my sweet alibi
in an emotional mist she breathes in fog
and breathes it out as garden flowers
why me of all the tough talking boys?
I guess she heard my heartbeat through the noise"


Sananda Francesco Maitreya,better known by the stage name Terence Trent D'arby, burst into my life a long time ago with his epic debut album Introducing The Hardline According To. The album had some poppy/R&B/Rock sounding tracks and some writing not usually found in the charts at the time and songs like Sign Your Name and Wishing Well rightly threw TTD into the worlds eye. The next two studio releases though, Neither Fish Nor Flesh in 1989 or Symphony Or Damn in the early 90's (although in the UK we embraced the genius and both albums were highly charted) didn't build on this success despite both albums being musically and lyrically superior to the mainstream releases forced into our ears by modern radio and it took until 1995 for TTD to once again hit worldwide fame.

Vibrator was an album that has stayed with me all this time. The lyrics are superb throughout, musically it's combines every element you would want. It's a Funk/Soul/Rock/Blues/Pop combination that so easily pleasing it borders on ridiculous that not more people listen to this album. Vibrator and Supermodel Sandwich are a mixture of Prince and The Doors, the 'come and go with me' part of Vibrator about 3 minutes in is straight from Jim Morrison's soul, and the rock/funk mix suit TTD's distinctive voice so well. Read My Lips (I Dig Your Scene) is a dance/orchestral beauty that morphs into a wah wah guitar driven brilliant song that is just what poetry in music form should sound like. Undeniably and We Don't Have That Much Time Together are more along the lines of Introducing The Hardline's playlist so please the occasional fan and TTD's Recurring Dream is excellent in its structure if your willing to try something a bit different. But there is one song on Vibrator that evokes emotion and memory like no other and that's Holding On To You.

It has a brass and backline reminiscent of Wilson Pickett era soul, percussion subtly adding to the occasion with xylophone in particular pleasing me, but a heavier guitar part that launches the entire song to another level. You have to have a remarkable singing voice to dare try and top what's happening musically and TTD has never sounded better. His New York accent adds weight to the lyrics but he hits every note across the spectrum perfectly and shows his ability as a true great as he runs up and down some serious scales. Lyrically it's beautiful and digs deep into your psyche like not many songwriters can do. As far as perfection in music is supposed to be unattainable, in this case I don't believe that to be true. Musically and lyrically epic with a voice I want in my life evermore.



Image - Wikipedia.