original 1987 CD
Though he goes by an entirely different name these days, Terence Trent Howard chose to go by the surname D'arby when he came out of seemingly nowhere with this ego strokin' mouthful of an album title back in 1987. Can't pin down when or where I heard it first but it was the track Wishing Well that made me want to buy the CD immediately. It was a revelation then, an amazing synthesis of all the great soulsters and funkateers that had come before and an informed look into the future of the genre, prophesying the neo-soul movement that would rise up. In all honesty, I listen to his one as often now as I did back then. All but two tracks were produced by Martyn "Teddy Bear" Ware, of Heaven 17 and British Electric Foundation (B.E.F.) fame. Heaven 17's vocalist Glenn "Duke" Gregory sings backing vocals on more than a few tracks.
Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #4
Tracks: Wishing Well is the most obvious stand out track but the whole album turned out to be solid. The other three singles are highpoints as well: If You Let Me Stay, Dance Little Sister and Sign Your Name. The final track is a cover of Who's Lovin' You and I hear more than a little Smokey and Michael Jackson in TTD's delivery.
Personal Memory Associated with this CD: I wonder if it was a record store find? Did I hear it there before the radio or MTV? I find it weird that some memories are crystal clear, in hi-def and other ones are as unsharp and unfocused as can be. In my defense, 1987 was a huge year for me personally, with both a marriage and a baby. Sadly, the album is not available on Spotify yet but below is a playlist with three of the album's four singles.