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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 15 January 2006
1987 was the year of Stock, Aitken & Waterman, synth pop was at its most commercial - yet suddenly appeared Terence... He was Hendrix, Prince and James Brown rolled into one but with an inimitable style all his own, incredible songs and an ego to match. Nothing sounded like this at the time and it has aged really well - I defy anyone to classify this as an '80's' album - I think it would stand out no matter what era we were in. His raspy, soulful vocals lend such energy and passion to the songs that even when the lyrics are unfathomable (which they occasionally are) you always get a sense of what he is singing about whether it be anger, love or loss. The album opens with a dim, crackling pulse, first time I played it I thought my stereo needed adjusting and then bang it hits you from both speakers! As the album progresses there is a mix of strange but wonderful (If You All Get To Heaven), downright danceable (If You Let Me Stay, Dance Little Sister), beautiful love songs (Let's Go Forward, Sign Your Name'), a fantastic cover version of Who's Loving You (I think this was done by the Jackson 5) and the very bizarre but heartfelt accapella of As Yet Untitled, which really grew on me after a few listens (anyone who thinks singing unaccompanied like that is easy should try it). And the list goes on. TTD's strength is in mad egotism, innate sensuality and intelligence. He manages to distill some big ideas into some disarmingly descriptive phrases ('old men's cigars puff up the wars, to protect their f***-ups again, young men must die to keep the old ones alive just to prove their studs once again'), injects a little humour ('Get up off your rocking chair grandma! Or rather.. would you care to dance grandmother?') and packages it all up with some original instrumentation, great melodies and that voice. The guy's got soul and this is an essential album.
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on 24 November 2012
Terence Trent D'Arby (or Sananda Matreiya, as he is now known) has, simply put, one of the greatest soul voices of his generation. Absolutely stunning live performances and a high tenor voice with both power, fragility, tone and range meant that Terence Trent D'Arby seemed to have the world at his feet when he exploded onto the 1987 music scene with 'Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D'Arby'. Yet he never quite took off as expected. A combination of bad timing on the release (1987, the prime-time of Prince and Michael Jackson), reports of an out-of-control (justified?) ego, much-ridiculed statements that his debut album would have been 'the most important debut since the Beatles released 'Please Please Me' and record companies not quite knowing exactly where to place and promote D'Arby worked against him becoming a household name. A weak sophomore effort 'Neither Fish Nor Flesh' and further experimental records subsequently which were never quite as consistent sonically as 'Introducing the Hardline' meant that his music will always be overshadowed by his ego. Possessing a significantly richer voice than Michael Jackson, and much more versatile vocally than Prince, it really is quite a shame that D'Arby is so overlooked.

'Hardline' opens with some strange static before bursting through your speakers with 'If You Go to Heaven'. 'If You Let Me Stay' and 'Wishing Well' are tracks two and three, and are probably some of his most well-known tracks, and two of the most successful singles on the album. The searing highs of the chorus of the former and the incredibly catchy latter will remain in your head for a while (in particular, the synth lines of 'Wishing Well' - you'll be whistling them for days!). The guitar driven 'I'll Never Turn my Back on You' is followed by 'Dance Little Sister', another hit from the album which opens with a bit of humour. The next three songs are often overlooked but 'Seven More Days', 'Let's Go Forward' and 'Rain' (a peculiar, soulful remake of a classic nursery rhyme - it shouldn't work, but it does!) are worthy additions to the album. 'Sign Your Name', the third single from the album, went straight to number 2 in the Uk and number 4 in the US, and is a ballad that really shows off Terence's voice. 'As Yet Untitled' is a track that divides opinions - as a completely acapella 5 and a half minute song in the midst of an album full of danceable soul, it is understandable, and perhaps an early indication of the strange decisions that would later come to punctuate his unsteady career. That being said, the multi-tracked vocal without accompaniments shows the incredible control and power that D'Arby possessed. Finally, the closer, a cover of the Smokey Robinson's (Made famous by a young Michael Jackson in the Jackson 5) 'Who's Loving You' is without a doubt my favourite track from the album. With just the right amount of vocal acrobatics and buckets and buckets of soul, it is probably the most complete version of the song around.

Although a 'Greatest Hits' collection is also available covering five of the hits from "Introducing the Hardline', I would recommend picking this album up as well because as a whole, it really is quite spectacular. While history made sure that it wasn't the most 'important' debut of since the Beatles, it was arguably one of the best.
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on 20 September 2010
Although this isn't a newly released album, I just had to order it as it's just sooooo brilliant. I totally love listening to it really loud when I'm at home or driving, it takes me right back to when my sister & I went to watch him perform live in Leeds ~ Fantastic!
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on 5 April 2015
This is less a review of this seminal 1980s album and more of an open letter to whoever produces the inevitable expanded reissue, which ideally would consist of two CDs and a DVD. It also serves as a handy guide for collectors, as it's a roundup of all Terence Trent D'Arby's 1987/1988 Hardline-era non-album material. That said, here we go:

Loving You is Another Word for Lonely 2:22 - If You Let Me Stay b-side.
(Sunday Jam) One Woman Man 3:31 - If You Let Me Stay 12' double pack and Dance Little Sister b-side.
Wonderful World 3:55 - If You Let Me Stay 12' double pack and Wishing Well b-side.
Elevators and Hearts 3:56 - Wishing Well b-side.
Heartbreak Hotel - Dance Little Sister cassette single b-side.
Walkin' the Line 2:40 - Brian Wilson's 1988 eponymous album; features TTD on backing vocals.

Seven More Days (Remix) 4:32
If You Let Me Stay (Extended Remix) 6:03
*If You Let Me Stay (Shep Pettibone Mix) 7:25
*If You Let Me Stay (Shep Pettibone Dub) 6.30
*If You Let Me Stay (Shep Pettibone Voice Version) 3:20
*If You Let Me Stay (Shep Pettibone Radio Edit) 3:58
Wishing Well (Three Coins in a Fountain Mix) 6:13 - Original full length version; the 3:30 7'/album version is an early fade of this.
Wishing Well (Cool in the Shade Mix) 7:50
*Wishing Well (Darbinian MIx) 8:27
*Wishing Well (Pettibone Remix)
Dance Little Sister (Parts I and II) 8:40 - Original full length version; the 3:55 7'/album version is an early fade of this.
If You All Get to Heaven (Lee "Scratch" Perry Upsetter Mix) 4:54
Rain (Lee "Scratch" Perry Upsetter Mix) 2:54
Sign Your Name 5:48 - Original full length version; the 4:37 7'/album version is an early fade of this.
Sign Your Name (Lee "Scratch" Perry Upsetter Mix) 5:18
*Sign Your Name (Connection Remix) 6:27 - Appeared on an Italian DJ remix service 12'.

*If You Let Me Stay 3:06 - Live UK Capitol Radio session, 1987.
*Soul Power, Under My Thumb, Heartbreak Hotel, Mannish Boy - Live UK radio Peel session, 2.8.87.

1987/88 live tracks that were released as b-sides on various singles between 1987-1990, usually bearing the legend: "Recorded live somewhere on the road in the early days and mixed by Phil Legg."
Greasy Chicken 4:40
Under My Thumb 4:50
Jumping Jack Flash 4:30
Dance Little Sister 8:15
Rain 3:15
*I'll Never Turn My Back On You 4:06
Wishing Well 6:50

Promo videos for: If You Let Me Stay, Wishing Well, Dance Little Sister and Sign Your Name.
If You Let Me Stay and Wonderful World - Live on The Tube, UK TV, 17.7.87.
If You Let Me Stay - Top of the Pops, UK TV, 27.3.87.
If You Let Me Stay - Top of the Pops, UK TV, 9.4.87.
If You Let Me Stay - Top of the Pops, UK TV, 23.4.87.
Wishing Well - Top of the Pops, UK TV, 25.6.87.
Dance Little Sister - Top of the Pops, UK TV, 15.10.87.
Sign Your Name - Top of the Pops, UK TV, 14.1.88.
Wishing Well and Under My Thumb - Saturday Night Live, US TV, 13.2.88
If You Let Me Stay 4:40 - Live at the Grammy Awards, 2.3.88; TV transmission and included on Grammy's Greatest Moments Volume II album.

In addition to all the above, a complete Hardline era live show wouldn't go amiss. We certainly got numerous snippets on various commercial and promo videos, but these were generally spoiled by being truncated or having interviews and unrelated footage spliced in.

Other great unreleased cover versions regularly performed live in concert around this time were Wicky Wacky (Fatback Band), Soul Power (James Brown) and Funky Broadway (Wilson Pickett).

That's the lot - phew! If you're interested, there's a similar list for Neither Fish Nor Flesh here:

*These tracks have never been issued on CD anywhere in the world, so the inclusive of many of them is particularly desirable.
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on 29 April 2016
My girlfriend loves this , im not so sure but I think it will grow on me, nothing wrong with it just personal taste, the quality of the sound is good and the tracks varied so a solid 4 stars and a classic album according to her.
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on 15 November 2009
The music is still amazing 22 years the release of the CD.
This is THE album from Terrence. I consider most of the tracks as evergreens.
A highly recommended CD for new or old Terrence fans.
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on 31 May 2013
Bought this while browsing what zoverstocks had for sale and they never fail to dissapoint! I love getting all these old albums which I once had on LP and tape, my collection is coming along nicely now thanks to their bargain prices!
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on 16 September 2011
Another top draw CD that is available at bargain basement price from some Amazon dealers.

This multi talented artist wrote every track on this. In some cases his vocals are nothing sort of awesome (Dance Little Sister and Wishing Well). Was there ever a smoother track Sign Your Name? I doubt it.

So, the album contains 4 chart singles and at least 4 other outstanding tracks, none of which seem to have dated since their being recorded in the late 80s.
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on 4 May 2010
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on 22 March 2012
Arrived in a great time, well packed and in perfect quality. Such a small price to pay for a great album, and it really pleased my mum for her birthday anyway. A good product, and will be shopping with these guys again.
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