May 31, 1993 12:00 PM

>Terence Trent D’Arby


WHEN INTRODUCING THE HARDLINE According to Terence Trent D’Arby hit in 1987, its gifted 25-year-old creator won instant accolades—and, the next winter, a Grammy for best R&B vocal. But D’Arby’s increasingly arrogant and outlandish claims (“My album is better than Sgt. Pepper,” “I will be as massive as Madonna, as massive as Michael Jackson”), delivered in a high-toned accent the Manhattan-born musician acquired in his adopted hometown of London, gradually turned bouquets to brickbats. After his second album bombed, D’Arby withdrew, eventually resettling in L.A. “Well,” he says with a laugh, “the press got what they wanted!”

Now 31, he’s starting over. “Maybe [some critics] missed the fact that half the time what I said was meant to be funny and ironic. But the fact is, I played a media game and got my fingers burned, and I have no one to blame but myself. I thought The Hardline was good, but I knew that a lot of people make good records that never get heard. I was going to do everything in my power to make sure that didn’t happen. I did my job—perhaps a little too well.”

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