Los Angeles native Gregory Darling is an enigmatic singer/songwriter with a distinctive, soulful croon and an equally colorful backstory. Darling's first professional gig was as a child in a choir conducted by Ennio Morricone for the soundtrack to 1977's Exorcist II: The Heretic. In the '80s, Darling did time in the L.A. hard rock/glam-metal scene, fronting the band Antix and later Darling Cruel, the latter of whom released an eponymous 1988 LP via Polygram that fell somewhere in-between Queen, David Bowie, Guns N' Roses, and Prince. The album sold well and spawned a pair of hit MTV videos, but with the grunge/alt-rock/rap-boom looming over the horizon, and a dust-up at Polygram, the band's planned follow-up never saw the light of day. Eager to be rid of all of the studio chicanery, Darling went the independent route, but was soon brought back to the machine via Julian Lennon, with whom he began co-writing with in the mid-'90s. Darling turned down a sizeable offer from Sony and inked a deal with the more artist-friendly FOD Records and released his solo debut, 2006's Shell, which was produced by Bob Rose. The album soared into the Top Ten in both Italy and Germany, as did his 2008 follow-up. Stew Americano, eliciting comparisons to Elton John, Elvis Costello, and Billy Joel. Working again with Bob Rose, Darling released his third studio long player, Coloured Life, in 2012, followed in 2016 by Songs from Under the Hat. ~ James Christopher Monger
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