Terence Trent d'Arby

WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Terence Trent D’Arby

Terence Trent D’Arby – “Neither Fish Nor Flesh”! 80’s star, 90’s guru, then what…?

by Christopher Smith

Terence Howard isn’t exactly the most catchy name for a world class singer. So it’s hardly surprising that the New York born singer (born in 1963) adopted a new name for the stage and his inevitable fame. Keeping his middle name of Trent, he selected D’Arby, a variation on his step father Bishop James Darby’s surname. Moving around the US as a child, his family settled in Orlando at the beginning of the 1980’s where Terry (to his friends) trained as a boxer and won the Florida Golden Gloves lightweight championship in 1980!

Terry enlisted in the US army soon after and was posted in the former West Germany when he was court martialed in 1983 after going absent without leave. The reason, he was playing with the band The Touch, with whom he recorded the album “Love On Time” in 1984. Terry, or Terence, left the group soon after to pursue a solo career and in 1986 was signed to Columbia Records. He released his debut single “If You Let Me Stay” in May 1987 which became a moderate hit charting at No.68 in the US and breaking the top 40 across Europe. But it was in the UK that the single saw its greatest success reaching No.7 there.

Two months later, Terence released his debut album that must rank as one of the longest album titles ever – “Introducing The Hardline According To Terence Trent D’Arby”! The album would prove an enormous success topping the UK album chart for nine weeks and selling over one and a half million copies there. It also topped the charts in Australia and across Europe and eventually reached No.4 in the US in 1988, where it has sold over two and a half million copies. Terence released “Wishing Well” as the second single which topped the US singles chart and made the top ten in fifteen other countries including the UK where it peaked at No.4.

His third and final release of 1987 was “Dance Little Sister” which followed suit in making the top ten across much of Europe, No.20 in the UK and No.30 in America. In early 1988 a fourth single was released, the sublime “Sign Your Name”, which would perform much stronger than its predecessor in reaching No.4 in the US, No.2 in the UK and charting top ten in a further twelve countries including Australia and Canada.

1988 would bring more success with both Grammy and Brit best artist Awards and Terence began writing and recording for his second album. The first taste of which came in September 1989 with the single “This Side Of Love” which sadly failed to make any impact on a predicted, eager following that had been assumed. It just managed to crawl into the top 100 in the UK but did nothing Stateside. It was a similar and worrying tale for the album, “Neither Fish Nor Flesh” when it was released the following month, peaking at No.12 in the UK and failing to replicate the success of his debut elsewhere. It made No.61 in the US. A second single “To Know Someone Deeply Is to Know Someone Softly” did marginally better in the UK where it reached No.55 at the end of the year.

Terence wisely spent time rethinking his next move as his third studio album “Symphony Or Damn” would materialise until 1993. The album performed better, albeit not the runaway success of his debut, and once again it was the UK that brought the biggest following for the album and the four consecutive top twenty singles from it. “Do You Love Me Like You Say?” was the lead single making No.14 in the UK, followed by “She Kissed Me” (UK No.16) and “Let Her Down Easy” (UK No.18). He recorded the duet “Delicate” with British singer Des’ree for the album which made No.14 in the UK and, hooray, did break the US singles chart, reaching No.74 there! However, this would be his last showing there to date. “Symphony Or Damn” peaked at No.8 in the UK gaining a Gold certification for sales of over 100,000 copies, equalling this position in Australia. It made No.119 in America.

He followed this with his fourth album “Vibrator” in 1995 that included the top twenty hit “Holding On To You”. The album charted at No.11 in the UK and, again, gained a Gold certification there. It could only peak at No.178 in the US where it would become the last US chart appearance of his career. Terence parted ways with Columbia at the end of 1995.

That same year he adopted a new name for himself, Sananda Francesco Maitreya, which he says he can relate to a series of dreams that year. In Sanskrit, Sananda Francesco Maitreya means rebirth and possessed of happiness. In an interview given in 2001 ‘Sananda’ explained “Terence Trent D’Arby was dead…he watched his suffering as he died a noble death. After intense pain I meditated for a new spirit, a new will, a new identity”! Later that same year he released his ‘debut’ album “Wildcard”.

Since 2001, he has released a further seven albums under this name and a total of fourteen singles, the most recent being the album “Prometheus & Pandora” in 2017 and the single “Hail Mary” in 2018. He only broke with his ‘Sananda’ identity in 2002 to release “The Greatest Hits Of Terence Trent D’Arby”, a double CD compilation, putting to rest the life and work of the late Terence Trent D’Arby (1986-2001).

For more about Sananda, check out his WEBSITE and his FACEBOOK page

Take a look at all our other Where Are They Now posts and don’t forget to follow the playlist!

If you enjoy what you read on this site – feel free to donate and show your support…click to donate any amount you like, every little helps – and don’t forget to download the App!

Written by Christopher Smith

So perhaps you’ve read an article or two that I’ve written and wondered “just who is this character?”! Well I thought maybe it would be time to introduce myself and what I’m all about. Well it’s all about the music! Having been born in the late 1970’s I was heavily influenced by my parent’s love of ‘popular’ music and rock and roll of the 1950’s and 60’s. My Mother always said she should of married Elvis and my father was, and is still, in love with Sandie Shaw! But while my Dad’s tastes stopped in about 1967, my Mum carried on loving music throughout the 70’s, 80’s and beyond. My first memory was playing on the floor whilst my Mother was ironing one day with the radio on, and hearing ABBA’s “Super Trouper” dancing my nappy off to it! Maybe that’s where it all went wrong…?! Having been subjected to all and sundry in my infant years, I finally found my feet in the mid-1980’s and began ‘partying’ to the likes of Culture Club, Stevie Wonder(!), Elkie Brooks and Bananarama to name but a few! The year 1987 would have a profound effect on my listening tastes and from thereon in my life would be dominated with buying and listening to music. Any number of outstanding songs were released and listened to that year, most notably “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “La Isla Bonita”. That Summer my mind was completely taken over with music and sounds I’d never heard before and I was totally taken in by it all. My father would say “whaaar rubbish you got on naaaaao?” (I’m from Norfolk!) but I was hooked. And it continued so for the rest of the decade and the next. At the beginning of 1988 I ‘met’ my true love and the singer I’ve worshipped more than any other artist or group. You may know of her. She’s from Australia…! Aside from pop music, my tastes are many and varied and continues to grow and expand as I ‘mature’ in age. I’ve always been heavily interested in films and in particular the mechanics of film making and of course film music, so scores and subsequently orchestral music takes up a lot of my tastes and collection. 90’s dance and club tunes also takes up much of the space in my head and I’m surprised my brain has stopped shaking from the years of abuse it took being dragged to nightclubs, often three times a week in my 20’s! I find with each year that passes I regress back to my youth and of course the 1980’s. 80’s music dominates and the lust to see as many 80’s acts and singers play live now is insatiable. I’m still getting into the groove as much as every breath I take, but I’m never gonna give up listening to my heart and pumping up the volume, simply because I LOVE MUSIC…any kind of music!