In Praise Of Terence Trent D’Arby

The current issue of Classic Pop magazine has a feature on Terence Trent D’Arby’s debut album, Introducing The Hardline According To Terence Trent D’Arby, which was released 30 years ago this month.  It’s a great piece, and reminded me just how good the LP actually is.  Not only that, it led me to revisit all of the Terence output that resides in my music library.

Having re-immersed myself in all things Tel, I decided it would be a good idea to highlight his catalogue to those who may be unfamiliar. Here’s his career in a nutshell:

1986: Signed to CBS Records, writes and co-produces debut album Hardline from which 5 hit singles are taken

1989: Releases follow-up Neither Fish Nor Flesh, which is neither as good as Hardline, nor a hit.  It’s a bit bonkers, but shows Terence to be far more than a one-trick pony creatively.

1993: D’Arby releases third album Symphony Or Damn.  With his commercial instincts fully re-engaged, Terence finds himself with a Top 5 Album in the UK, and 4 hit singles.  Appears on the front cover of Q Magazine in the nip

1995: Releases 4th album Vibrator, which is a bit cack, and not a hit

1996: Terence and CBS Records decide they’ve had enough of each other.

2001: On October 4th, D’Arby changes his name to Sananda Maitreya as a result of a series of dreams he had. Sananda declares Terence Trent D’Arby officially dead.  Despite being dead, Terence releases a new album called Wildcard a week later.

2002 – to date: Sananda moves to Milan and begins working as an independent artist.  Since 2005, he has released 7 further studio albums.  His official website is

Sananda’s albums are well worth checking out, particularly Nigor Mortis and The Sphinx, but as this article is focusing on the TTD years, we’re going to stick to those for our playlist, chucklingly titled If You Let Me Play:


Terence Trent D’Arby should’ve been huge.  For a time, 1987 – 88, he was.  He was like a cross between James Brown and Prince onstage, and had the writing and producing chops of a master.  Check out our playlist, then his albums, then the Sananda material.  Then tell us what you think.