For many, one of the most salient points of reissuing and compiling popular music is to help listeners rediscover lost gems that may have fallen into the cracks. Ordinarily, one would not consider a debut record that sold 12 million copies, spun off three Top 40 hits and won a Grammy a “lost gem.” And yet, it seems that at least one record, 1987’s Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D’Arby, has earned such a strange distinction.
Terence Trent D’Arby has always been something of an enigma. An American living in Europe in the 1980s, he seemed poised to grab the music-listening public by the balls, marrying old-school funk sensibilities to then-modern sonic textures. The fact that he wrote and arranged his own material and even played some of his own backing tracks – not to mention his stunning, video-ready physical features – made the comparisons to Prince, James Brown or Michael Jackson all too rampant. And audiences on both sides of the Atlantic were transfixed, thanks to catchy singles from the chart-topping “Wishing Well” and “Dance Little Sister” to smoldering ballads like “Sign Your Name,” a Top 5 hit.
But the thing that contributed to D’Arby’s eventual fall from favor wasn’t changing demographics or record label politics – it was himself. He possessed a wildly outsized ego in interviews, touting himself as a genius and claiming Introducing the Hardline… – a solid, if slightly dated LP – was greater than The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band. Eventually, that pretension spread too far into his work and audiences sought other channels for their soul-dance-rock fixation, namely Seal and Lenny Kravitz. D’Arby’s commercial prominence never recovered, but he’s still happily making music in Europe under a new name, Sananda Maitreya, and bypassing the major label/physical product industrial complex in the process.
While the man may have gone off the deep end from time to time, his unique presence and rather exciting debut would be a great subject for rediscovery in the halls of catalogue titles. As always, find the potential bonus content after the jump.
Assuming the title is done as one of those Legacy Editions in a digipak with an O-card and all, this is how I’d do it.
Disc 1: Original LP and B-sides
- If You All Get to Heaven
- If You Let Me Stay
- Wishing Well
- I’ll Never Turn My Back on You (Father’s Words)
- Dance Little Sister
- Seven More Days
- Let’s Go Forward
- Sign Your Name
- As Yet Untitled
- Who’s Loving You
- Loving You is Another Word for Lonely
- Sunday Jam (One Woman Man)
- What a Wonderful World
- Elevators & Hearts
- Greasy Chicken (Live)
- Under My Thumb/Jumpin’ Jack Flash (Live)
Tracks 1-11 released in U.S. as Columbia C 40964 and in U.K. as CBS 450911-1
Track 12 was the B-side to “If You Let Me Stay” – Columbia 38 07398
Tracks 13-14 appeared on “If You Let Me Stay” U.K. 12″ promo – CBS XPR 1338
Track 15 was the B-side to “Wishing Well” – Columbia 38 07675
Tracks 16-17 were B-sides to “Sign Your Name” U.K. 12″ single – CBS TRENT T4
Disc 2: Remixes and Rarities
- If You Let Me Stay (Shep Pettibone Remix)
- Wishing Well (The Cool in the Shade Mix)
- Dance Little Sister (Shep Pettibone Remix)
- Sign Your Name (12″ Extended Mix)
- If You Let Me Stay (Capital Radio Session)
- Wishing Well (The Darbinian Mix)
- Sign Your Name (Lee “Scratch” Perry Remix)
- If You All Get to Heaven (Lee “Scratch” Perry Remix)
- Rain (Lee “Scratch” Perry Remix)
- Dance Little Sister (Parts 1 & 2)
- Wishing Well (Three Coins in a Fountain Mix)
- The Incredible E.G. O’Reilly – The Birth of Maudie
- The Incredible E.G. O’Reilly – An Chúileann
Track 1 released on 12″ single – Columbia 44 07450
Track 2 released on 12″ single – Columbia 44 07543
Tracks 3 and 10 released as 12″ single – Columbia 44 07787
Tracks 4 and 7 released as 12″ single – Columbia 44 07877
Track 5 released on U.K. 12″ promo – CBS XPR 1338
Track 6 released on U.K. 12″ single – CBS TRENT G2
Tracks 8 and 9 released on U.K. 12″ single – CBS TRENT G4. Previously unreleased on CD.
Track 11 released on U.K. 12″ single – CBS TRENT T2
Tracks 12-13 released as U.K. 7″ single under the pseudonym “The Incredible E.G. O’Reilly” in 1989, not long before TTD’s second LP – CBS EGOR 1. Previously unreleased on CD.