The year was 1988. Terrence Trent D’Arby hit it to #1 for one week in May with “Wishing Well“.
This is a weird video. Terrence Trent D’Arby is everything you might think a young man in the late 80’s would be. Stylish in a slim-fitting suit, smooth vocals, got a hot mix of James Brown and Michael Jackson style dance moves. He is however wearing a Old West style sheriff’s star badge, not sure what that is about.
But joining him in the video is a weird assortment of uncomfortable looking backups. To his right, a trio of two guitarists and a bass player, all wearing sunglasses and doing some coordinated, though generally very understated, dance moves. Some swaying, pointing of guitars, etc.
To his left, a duo of white dudes in super white turtlenecks and sunglasses doing backup vocals, dancing and doing some dramatic interpretive re-enactments of some of the lyrics. Also during the one instrumental stretch they are shown doing their own coordinated and understated “dance” movements. Strange.
There’s also a drummer holding it down in the back and he’s got sunglasses on, but otherwise generally not notable.
The song itself is equally weird. The lyrics are pretty awful – “Hugging like a monkey see monkey do / Right beside a riverboat gambler / Erotic images float through my head / I wanna be your midnight rambler” but are sung in TTDA’s pretty sweet voice. It’s actually pretty nice, but then there is the weird whistle-y DOOT DOOT DOOT instrumental interlude that is kinda annoying.
Reactions by people I told today that this was my song ranged from my co-worked telling me how much he absolutely hates the song to two of my father-in-law’s close friends telling me how much it is one of their favorites. My opinion is somewhere in the middle.
Anyway, here’s the picture…TTDA looks like hell but I think I did a great job at catching the essence of the poindexters doing the backups.