Thursday, June 24, 2021

"Sign Your Name" by Terence Trent D'Arby

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  3534
Date:  05/28/1988
Debut:  72
Peak:  4
Weeks:  21
Genre:  R&B, Soul

Pop Bits:  D'Arby's debut album, Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D'Arby, finally took flight after its second single, "Wishing Well," topped both the Pop and R&B charts. The hit would send the album soaring up to #4 at Pop and #1 at R&B. With momentum on his side, D'Arby then issued out this follow-up single. It would prove to be another winner getting to #2 R&B and #4 Pop. It also got to #13 at AC while a remix made it to #23 at Dance. The hit helped album sales and by the fall of '88 the album would be certified double platinum. This song would end up being D'Arby's last to reach the Pop Top 10.

ReduxReview:  This groovy mid-tempo track was a solid follow-up to the funky "Wishing Well." The song had a bit of Sade's exotic jazziness, which was perfect for the time period. It was a sleek, sexy tune that played well on radio. D'Arby's ego was far larger than either of his two big hits, but he did show that he had the goods to be a star and walked away with a 2x platinum LP. Unfortunately, he didn't have the ability (or perhaps want) to continue to make commercially viable songs and his time near the tops of the charts quickly came to an end. Still, there's no denying that his debut LP was pretty great.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  D'Arby would received a pair of Grammy nods from his debut effort. One for Best New Artist and one for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male. In his career, he would end up earning one more Grammy nomination. In 1995, he would get a nod for Best R&B Performance, Duo or Group with Vocal. This came from a collaboration he did with the R&B/funk band Booker T. & the M.G.'s. The two acts got together and recorded a version of "A Change Is Gonna Come." That song was written and recorded by soul star Sam Cooke in 1964. Released as a single, it would get to #9 R&B/#31 Pop. It became an anthem for the Civil Rights Movement and remains an enduring classic. The D'Arby/Booker T. version was done for the 1995 Discovery Channel documentary The Promised Land, which focused on the Great Migration of the 40s through the 70s when nearly five millon African Americans moved from the South to the North. For the series, many songs from the time period were selected to be used and a double-CD soundtrack was created. Some of the songs on the album were the original versions while more current artists, such as D'Arby, were tapped to do covers. There were also some original songs commissioned as well. The collection did not chart. Although the D'Arby/Booker T. track was not issued out as a single, it did get the attention of the Grammy folks and received a nomination.


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