3 extremely underappreciated albums from the 1980s

There was so much excellent music in the 1980s that some of it went underrated. Here are three albums that need more notice.

Steve Jennings/GettyImages
3 of 3

Terence Trent D'Arby - Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D’Arby (1987)

For those who weren't around when ...Hardline first came out, there was a lot of hype that Terence Trent D'Arby was going to be a mixture between Prince and Michael Jackson but maybe even bigger. That never turned out to be the case, but then D'Arby's debut attempt was still a very worthy listen. Influenced by soul but with the attitude of heavy metal, ...Hardline may be the greatest debut album by an artist who would never come close to reaching that kind of success again.

Other music news and analysis


The album received mass appeal nearly everywhere. It reached number 1 in the UK, the US, and Australia. Singles "Wishing Well, "If You Let Me Stay," and "Sign Your Name" all peaked in the top-ten. For all that people were promised about how glorious the LP would be, it appeared to deliver. And yet, it also seemed to unique.

...Hardline just didn't sound like anything else on the radio. While D'Arby was from New York City and the record was more R&B than anything else, there felt as if there was also something British about it all. In fact, D'Arby won the Brit award for Breakthrough International Act in 1988 as well as the Grammy for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. But calling this just an R&B record isn't correct.

Through it all, D'Arby sang and performed with the confidence of someone who had been a success for 30 years, not just one. He was the embodiment of swagger and confidence. And this likely helped sell the record but might have turned some people off as well. There was no way in the 1980s without social media and the artist having the ability to constantly be in your space that D'Arby's level of hubris was sustainable. Luckily, Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D'Arby is timeless and still worth your multiple listens.

Next. 3 albums from the '80s that did not age well. 3 albums from the '80s that did not age well. dark