Missed Connections: Terence Trent D'Arby & INXS!

As I was working on the above remix, it dawned one me just how much we music fans miss Terence Trent D'Arby. After all, anybody who digs funk or soul music knows how special a track "Wishing Well" is, but the man who sang the absolute shit out of this tune in 1987 is nowhere to be seen on today's musical landscape.

In an age where otherwise one-and-done pop stars are forced upon us by mainstream record labels and then refuse to leave, D'arby's absence from the current music scene is made all the more glaring by the fact that neither Michael Jackson nor Prince are here to properly "represent" due to their untimely deaths.

Perhaps D'Arby was savvy enough to anticipate the brutally high price of such mega-fame and chose to commit career suicide years ago in true Artist Formerly Known as Prince-ian fashion by changing his name to Sananda Maitreya after the failure of his fourth solo album for Columbia Records and languishing in self-imposed musical exile ever since.

Since then, the closest he came to making any serious return to the spotlight was when he was briefly in the running to front INXS in 1999.

While there will never be a better frontman for INXS than the late Michael Hutchence, D'arby's ambitious stab at filling Hutchence's shoes was not without its merits. As one can see from the above clip of D'Arby performing with the band, put a soul singer out in front and INXS become one of the most potent funk bands around. Truth be told, their own musical leanings always threatened to turn these Aussies into a gen-u-wine funk band anyway, but, at the end of the day, I think going down that path full-throttle scared them.

Of course, this is a band whose fear of the unknown after the passing of Hutchence in 1997 has, quite frankly, stunted their forward progress and left them prisoners of their own self-consciousness.

Fellow Aussies AC/DC lost a one-of-a-kind singer, too, but their seemingly unthinkable return to the world stage with a new singer and album less than a year after Bon Scott's passing proved to be the most savvy thing they ever did and ensured that their career would have a very successful second act.

By comparison, INXS's second act took place on American TV in the form of NBC reality show "Rock Star: INXS", whatever career boost they'd hoped to gain out of the process seemed to come at the expense of their dignity. While the show endeared them to a huge, but notoriously fickle TV audience that ultimately didn't buy their next album, Switch, longtime fans like myself have found it difficult to continue following the band.

Perhaps its time to give Sananda Maitreya another shot.

Superior St. Rehearsal Facility

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