However in the second half of 1989 Terry did return to fulfil his
contractual obligations to Chrysalis. Terry joined together with two
Americans - Blair Booth and Anouchka Groce - to form Terry, Blair and
Anouchka. Their first release was a single called 'Missing' which was
backed by two album tracks 'Happy families' and 'Beautiful people'.
There are numerous songs with similar titles and themes as 'Missing'
however Terry's version is a humourous tale of woe - "The kids are
The dog is dying,
and I just got the flu,
Oh how we're missing,
'Missing' was followed in early 1990 by the single 'Ultra Modern
Nursery Rhyme' closely followed by the ten track album 'Ultra Modern
Nursery Rhymes'. The album consists of bouncy, playful, almost
comical music and cheery vocals but with largely downbeat lyrics.
Terry has often stated that at this time he had no desire to release
records and was simply getting his contractual obligations out of the
way. During this time Terry said "I don't know what pop music is
anymore. People say Jason Donovan - that's what pop music should be
about. Disposable. I disagree. It should be memorable. Pop should
last forever." Terry also stated something which has pervaded his
lyrics in the 1990s - "I can only write about me, really. I can't
write about anything else." Terry, Blair and Anouchka is by no means
Terry's best work however it was an interesting stage in Terry's
diverse career and rather worryingly at the time looked like it might
be Terry's last recording.
In 1992 Terry was thankfully coaxed back into recording by the
former Eurythmics member, Dave Stewart who had to release a final
album for BMG/RCA. Together they recorded a one-off album project
under the name Vegas. The fact Vegas was a one-off project enabled
Terry to actually part company with Dave Stewart without the problems
leaving earlier groups had created. The first Vegas single was
'Possessed' which features a slightly eerie orchestral arrangement
and saw Terry's vocals clearer than ever. The first lines of the
single marking his return perhaps highlighted his reasons for keeping
a low profile in previous years -
"Got tired of being gifted and tormented.
Signed, sealed, delivered, then resented"
But now he was back - " Feels like I'm home again,
Feeling safe and sound again
I even feel like myself again
And it feels good."
The single came with an expensive video featuring Terry and Dave
in large pink dressing gowns. The single also saw Terry back into the
Top 40 after a very long wait. The second Vegas single was a cover of
Charles Aznavour's 'She' with Terry's slower detached vocals making
it an interesting reading of the classic song. A 'disco' mix was also
produced which strangely managed to bring out the poetry of the
song's lyrics. The promo video features Charles Aznavour himself who
was very pleased with Terry's version of his most famous song. Two
other interesting tracks were included on the nicely packaged CD -
'Tip of my tongue' and 'If you kill my cat, I'll kill your dog' with
the great lyric "I consider myself as one of your favourites". The
12" contains two rather superfluous mixes of 'She' in a very bright
The Vegas album was released featuring a cover photograph of Terry
and Dave sitting side by side on chairs looking somewhat bored. The
album contains 10 tracks (11 if you read the CD label) including
three singles. The album is slightly patchy however the high quality
of many tracks makes up for the weaker ones. 'The Thought of You' is
a highlight with the great self depreciating verse -
" I promise you a miracle,
I promise to be everything he is,
Please don't get hysterical,
can't you see I'm trying to take the piss"
Vegas was starkly different from previous work by both Terry and
Dave Stewart and therefore may have alienated many former fans. Many
reviewers were critical perhaps expecting something either in the
Colourfield mode and
not expecting to be challenged by something different.
The third and final Vegas single was the sublime 'Walk into the
Wind' which is totally transfixing. Terry's vocals are amazing and
the music is rather unique yet soothing. Nearly everyone I know is
impressed by it but it failed to get much airplay. The single also
came with two new tracks, 'Art Blind' which borrows the "ignorance
prevails when all else fails" coda from the
Wild Flame' and the great 'Truth is stranger than fiction' which is
better than many of the album tracks. Like many Vegas songs it has a
hypnotic effect with Terry's vocals floating over the music.
To correspond with Terry's return with Vegas, Chrysalis records
released a collection of records from Terry's previous incarnations.
'The Collection' as it was imaginatively called featured 18 tracks
from the Specials to
Terry, Blair and Anouchka.
'The Collection' did not consist solely of singles (and indeed it was
not very comprehensive in terms of single releases) since it
contained 'Friday night, Saturday morning', 'From Dawn to
Distraction' and 'Beautiful People'. The CD booklet also contains a
short history by Lestyn George. A US version of the Collection
contains a number of extra tracks including a couple of Vegas songs.
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