Terence Trent D’Arby – If you let me stay
1987 was a year full of musical masterpieces; in particular, in early March, the very beautiful debut single of an all-cool guy dancing like a God entered the charts. He comes from New York, but lives in England at the time; for this reason his success will begin in the Old Continent, and then land overseas.
We are talking about Terence Trent D’Arby, who will soon have, within a few months, an amazing success with his debut album: Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D’Arby, an album that basically talks about love and similar things, and from which he will release a number of singles that will have amazing and lasting success. Given the length of the title, the album was often shortened to “The Hardline”.
The album is on the list of the book “1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die” and, according to the BBC, crystallized the moment when the turning point of 80’s came to light: the transition from austerity to prosperity.
The first single was If you let me stay, in which a lover begs his girlfriend, fed up with him, not to leave, because he will change and he understands what he has to say (that he loves her). TTD, as we called him, assures that this song is not at all autobiographical, like the others.
This song brought Terence Trent D’Arby to success in Europe, while, to fully reach success in the US, he will need to wait for the next single Wishing Well. The other singles from the album are songs that also left a mark in 87/88 (according to student dating over the years): Sign Your Name and Dance Little Sister.
TTD took the idea of the concept album, that is, the album composed of songs that all together have a meaning and a flow of the story. TTD’s brilliance, however, transferred the idea of concept, for the first time, to videos. In fact, starting with Wishing Well, the videos will form a kind of sequence, telling the story of Terence and his partner (played by the beautiful model Kelly Brennan, present in all the videos) during the evolution of their story.
The good Terence was so successful that he also tried in 1987, to cover an iconic song, at least for us Dinosaurs, who watched Animal House and the advertising of Levi’s with Sam Cooke’s song: Wonderful World.
Time flows and Terence Trent D’Arby changed his life and name in 2001, becoming Sananda Francesco Maitreya; after all, he was born Terence Trent Howard, later changed his surname to D’Arby, an artistic cripple of his adoptive father Darby’s surname. He lives (mainly) in Milan, with his Italian wife and children.
Terence Trent D’Arby was certainly one of the most charismatic and original characters of the 80s. Legend has it that, entering a European country for one of the first concerts outside the UK, when asked by the customs officer if he had anything to declare, TTD replied: ‘Yes, I’m a genius!’
I don’t know if that’s true, but it certainly adds prestige to the figure of this absolute talent of the 80s.
Terence Trent D’Arby on Wikipedia