Moment of Truth (Terri Nunn album)

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Moment of Truth
Studio album by Terri Nunn
Released 1991 (US), 21 January 1992 (Europe)
Genre Pop-rock, Pop, Rock
Length 53:46
Label DGC, Mercury
Producer David Z, Steve Brown (track 1)
Terri Nunn chronology
- Moment of Truth
(1991)
-

Moment of Truth is the début and sole solo album from American singer and actress Terri Nunn, best known as lead singer of the American New Wave/Synthpop band Berlin.

Background[edit]

Following the original Berlin's split in 1987, Nunn recorded and released Moment of Truth.

The album was a commercial failure, whilst the lead and sole single "Let Me Be the One" also suffered a similar fate after being released in January 1992.[1] "89 Lines" was released as an American promotional single only.[2]

Due to the failure of the album, Nunn would not record another solo album[3] although she would later retain the legal rights to usage of the band's name after legal wranglings with the founding member of the group, John Crawford. Nunn recreated Berlin, with a new line-up of musicians, in 1998. In a late 1990s interview with Nunn for Electrogarden, Nunn explained that she originally left Berlin as she wanted to try new styles of sound and music.[4]

In an article based on Nunn in Hollywood Bowl, the article mentioned the album, writing "Moment of Truth allowed Terri to branch out creatively and experiment with a variety of styles including rap, pop ballads and straight up rock 'n' roll."[5]

In a 1996 article by The Telegraph-Herald based on the reformed version of Berlin, it stated that Nunn "dismisses Moment of Truth as a transitional album."[6]

Writing[edit]

The album's songs were written from 1988 to 1991 by various composers, with Nunn receiving writing credit for six of the eleven tracks.[7]

In a March 1992 interview/article with Beaver County Times, Nunn spoke of the album's writing and her musical growth. "When I wrote this album, I'd planned to expose myself a lot more with my writing. All of the musicians I grew up idolizing and loving, that's what I loved about them - David Bowie, Grace Slick, Bonnie Raitt. They exposed themselves and how they were growing through their music. That helped me as a person, as well as listening to the music and getting off on the oral high. It was a communication."[8]

On an interview whilst promoting the album for CNBC, it is revealed that the album was lyrically more personal to Nunn than the Berlin albums. "Desire Me" was based on sexual desire. When asked in the interview how Nunn got into the mood of writing "Desire Me", Nunn replied "It came out of two weeks of being extremely horny. There wasn't anybody around at the time, I wasn't in a relationship, and so at least something came out of it."[9]

The song "Once Upon a Time" was written based on Nunn's own father's suicide, whilst "Diane" speaks of domestic abuse (from husband to wife). In interview/article with Beaver County Times, Nunn spoke of both tracks, stating "The hardest song was the song about Dad. That took me three years, just pulling it out, trying new things. I got to resolve a lot through the process. Wife abuse ("Diane") is a definite message to a friend. The truth helps write the song and the song helps bring the truth around."[8]

The song "89 Lines" speaks of racism, with Nunn portraying a black male.

In the Albany Herald of January 20, 1992, the newspaper described the album as having "darker songs than her old group used to make," also noting that there was a song about her father's suicide and another about an affair with a married man. Nunn had been quoted " realized that if I was going to get any better, I would have to expose myself." She also expressed her wish to shake her image as a sex object.[10]

Recording[edit]

The album was recorded at Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen, whilst "Confession Time" was recorded at Ocean Way Recording. It was mixed at Paisley Park Studios and Ocean Way Recording in Los Angeles.

Moment of Truth was produced by and mixed by Prince's Paisley Park Records producer, David Z., with additional engineering by Tom Garneau. The track "Confession Time" was produced by British engineer and music producer Steve Brown.

Release[edit]

The album was released in America via DGC Records during late 1991 and in Europe via Mercury Records during early 1992. In America, the album was released on cassette and CD, whilst in Europe the album was only released on CD.[11]

In 1991, a special American CD promo sampler was released featuring a total of eight tracks. Four Berlin hit tracks were used; "Take My Breath Away", "No More Words", "Sex (I'm A...)" and "The Metro", whilst four tracks from the Moment of Truth album were used; "Let Me Be the One", "89 Lines", "Who's Gonna Take You Home Tonight" and "Fly by Night".[12]

The single "Let Me Be the One" was released in America, the UK and Japan,[1] whilst the promotional single "89 Lines" was released in America only. Both singles were released on CD only.[2]

Today, the album remains available both brand new and second-hand from online stores for cheap prices.[13] It is also available on iTunes as a download.[14]

The song "Confession Time" was later performed live and released on the Berlin live album Live: Sacred and Profane, released in 2000. It remains the only song to be taken from Nunn's solo career and added to Berlin's live set.[15]

Promotion[edit]

Overall, the album received limited promotion.

As no music videos were produced for the album's single "Let Me Be the One", Nunn performed the song, on playback with live vocal, on CNBC as well as giving an interview. The appearance was dated November 11, 1991.[9]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Confession Time"   Karl Hyde, Terri Nunn, Rick Smith 4:27
2. "Desire Me"   Terri Nunn, Michael Caruso, John Keller 4:28
3. "Once Upon a Time"   Terri Nunn, Karl Hyde, Darrell Brown 4:50
4. "Moment of Truth"   Terri Nunn, Karl Hyde 5:27
5. "Let Me Be the One"   Mark Leonard, Sue Shifrin 4:16
6. "89 Lines"   Tina Harris, Daniel O'Brien 6:16
7. "Who's Gonna Take You Home Tonight"   Martin Page 3:54
8. "Go Ask the Lonely"   John Keller, Marcy Levy 4:17
9. "Too Far to Fall"   Terri Nunn, Karl Hyde, Darrell Brown 5:38
10. "Fly by Night"   Ric Ocasek 4:27
11. "Diane"   Terri Nunn, Michael Caruso, John Keller 5:43

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars[16]
Orlando Sentinel 1/5 stars[17]
Chicago Tribune 1.5/5 stars[18]
Trouser Press unfavorable[18]

Allmusic wrote "With Berlin having hit an artistic high note on 1986's Count Three and Pray, it was most regrettable when the trio broke up. Moment of Truth made the breakup seem all the more regrettable. Minus the input of her colleagues from Berlin, Nunn delivers a run-of-the-mill pop/rock offering that isn't terrible, but pales in comparison to her inspired performances on Berlin gems. Despite a few decent spots, including the rap/rock protest song "89 Lines" and the single "Let Me Be the One," the album really isn't worth the price of admission. Any one of Berlin's three albums would be a much better investment."[16]

On February 14, 1992, Orlando Sentinel wrote "Singers are always leaving bands to pursue their own musical identities. But Terri Nunn apparently took the singular route of defecting from Berlin to pursue an identity crisis. On her solo debut, Nunn can't make up her mind whether to be the poor man's Johnette Napolitano (Confession Time), Pat Benatar (Once Upon a Time), Ann Wilson (Let Me Be the One and Who's Gonna Take You Home Tonight) or Debbie Harry (89 Lines). Nunn doesn't achieve an outright facsimile of any of them, mind you, but she has that cover-band-singer's ability to avoid establishing any fixed vocal personality of her own. Nunn's songwriting is strictly of the generic-confessional variety, and the songs by outside writers are just as formulaic and pedestrian. The host of backing musicians, including producer David Z. (Fine Young Cannibals, Prince, Madonna), provide a thoroughly unexceptional setting, and although the credits list drums, the rhythms all sound as if they were programmed by a particularly uninspired technician."[17]

On December 12, 1991, Chicago Tribune wrote "Former Berlin "Take My Breath Away" songstress Nunn relives that hit over and over again here. Where is the girl who went "Riding on the Metro"? Gone for good, sadly, even if she still has a wonderful voice. Songs like "Let Me Be the One" and "Who`s Gonna Take You Home Tonight" are nearly indistinguishable from Heart hits like "Alone" or "Who Will You Run To". The "Moment of Truth" is that Nunn wants to make some bucks-even if it is in adult contemporary radio."[18]

Trouser Press wrote a review of the album along with three releases from the band The Big F, which featured ex-Berlin key member John Crawford. The review of the Moment of Truth album wrote "For her futile second act, Berlin singer Terri Nunn hooked up with onetime Prince associate David Z., who produced and drummed, and Underworld guitarist Karl Hyde, who played and co-wrote four numbers. This dull-as-dirt generic rock pancake fails to establish Nunn as anything but...the former singer of Berlin. On "89 Lines," she makes her borrowed political statement: "When I flag down a cab it doesn't stop/Not because I look dangerous or nothing like that/It's not 'cause he's off duty/It's 'cause I'm black." (Shades of Steve Martin...) In the more relevant "Desire Me," Nunn runs down her trusty list - "Birth/Love/Pain/Sex/Desire" — as if it were the pinnacle of wit and insight. In the little world of Moment of Truth — which more than anything sounds like late-'80s Pat Benatar outtakes — it is."[19]

Personnel[edit]

Instrumentation[edit]

  • Bass – Bob Griffin (tracks: 2, 3, 6, 9, 11)
  • Drums – Billy Ward (tracks: 3, 5, 7, 11)
  • Drums - David Z (tracks: 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11)
  • Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, 6-string Bass, Backing Vocals – Karl Hyde
  • Additional Guitar – David Z (tracks: 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 11)
  • Additional Guitar - Tim Pierce (tracks: 2, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11)
  • Additional Keyboards – Ricky Peterson (tracks: 2, 3, 5, 6, 7)
  • Additional Background Vocals - St. Paul Peterson (tracks: 2, 3, 7)
  • Additional Drums - David Z (tracks: 3, 8)
  • Additional Percussion - David Z (tracks: 3, 8)
  • Piano, Organ, Keyboards – Andrew Flashman
  • Sitar - David Z (tracks: 2, 3, 4, 10)
  • Sitar - Karl Hyde
  • Vocals - Terri Nunn
  • Drums on "Confession Time" - Randy Castillo
  • Harmonica on "Desire Me" - Bruce Kurnow
  • Acoustic Guitar on "Once Upon a Time" - Tim Pierce
  • Bass on "Moment of Truth" - Levi Seacer, Jr.
  • Saxophone on "Moment of Truth" - Kenny Holman
  • Background Vocals on "Let Me Be the One" - The Steeles
  • Bass on "Let Me Be the One" - Mark Leonard
  • Keyboards on "Let Me Be the One" - Mark Leonard
  • Guitar Solo on "Let Me Be the One" - Levi Seacer, Jr.
  • Distorted Bass on "89 Lines" - David Z.
  • Additional Background Vocals on "Who's Gonna Take You Home Tonight" - David Z., Levi Seacer, Jr., Patti Peterson, Ricky Peterson,
  • Bass on "Who's Gonna Take You Home Tonight" - Mark Leonard
  • Background Vocals on "Go Ask the Lonely" - The Steeles
  • Bass Solo on "Go Ask the Lonely" - Levi Seacer, Jr.
  • Bass on "Go Ask the Lonely" - St. Paul Peterson
  • Guitar on "Go Ask the Lonely" - St. Paul Peterson
  • Keyboards on "Go Ask the Lonely" - Ricky Peterson
  • Bass (credited as Psychochrist Bass from Hell) on "Too Far to Fall" - Mark Leonard
  • Additional Drums on "Too Far to Fall" - Billy Ward
  • Bass on "Fly by Night" - St. Paul Peterson
  • Additional Drums on "Fly by Night" - Billy Ward
  • Additional Guitar on "Fly by Night" - Levi Seacer, Jr.
  • Saxophone on "Fly by Night" - Jason P. Delaire

Recording and Production[edit]

  • Additional Engineer – Tom Garneau
  • Mastered By – Bernie Grundman
  • Producer – David Z. (tracks: 2 to 11)
  • Recorded By, Mixer – David Z.
  • Producer on "Confession Time" - Steve Brown

Art and Design[edit]

  • Art Direction – Larry Vigon
  • Album Coordination – Debra Shallman
  • Creative Director – Robin Sloane
  • Design – Brian Jackson, Larry Vigon
  • Photography – Horst Stasny

Management[edit]

  • Management – Anita Camarata, Larry Mazer
  • Management (International Representation) – Bas Hartong

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Terri Nunn - Let Me Be The One at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2012-07-25. 
  2. ^ a b "Terri Nunn - 89 Lines (CD) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2012-07-25. 
  3. ^ "Terri Nunn Discography at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2012-07-25. 
  4. ^ "Terri Nunn / Berlin Feature Interview - Electrogarden Network". Electrogarden.com. Retrieved 2012-07-25. 
  5. ^ Hollywood Bowl. "Terri Nunn". Hollywood Bowl. Retrieved 2012-07-25. 
  6. ^ http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=U3NaAAAAIBAJ&sjid=2LsMAAAAIBAJ&pg=6756,4239602&dq=terri+nunn+moment+truth&hl=en
  7. ^ "Terri Nunn - Moment Of Truth (Cassette, Album) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2012-07-25. 
  8. ^ a b http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=aLgiAAAAIBAJ&sjid=MbUFAAAAIBAJ&pg=4498,4704756&dq=terri+nunn+moment+truth&hl=en
  9. ^ a b YouTube (1991-11-11). "Terri Nunn CNBC Interview Nov 11th 1991". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-07-25. 
  10. ^ http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=5i5DAAAAIBAJ&sjid=OK0MAAAAIBAJ&pg=3806,3049476&dq=terri+nunn+moment+truth&hl=en
  11. ^ "Terri Nunn - Moment Of Truth at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2012-07-25. 
  12. ^ "Special Terri Nunn Sampler by Terri Nunn : Reviews and Ratings". Rate Your Music. 2004-03-18. Retrieved 2012-07-25. 
  13. ^ Moment of Truth. "Moment of Truth: Music". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2012-07-25. 
  14. ^ "iTunes - Music - Moment of Truth by Terri Nunn". Itunes.apple.com. 1961-06-26. Retrieved 2012-07-25. 
  15. ^ "Berlin - Live: Sacred And Profane (CD, Album) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2012-07-25. 
  16. ^ a b Henderson, Alex. "Moment of Truth - Terri Nunn : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-07-25. 
  17. ^ a b "Terri Nunn - Orlando Sentinel". Articles.orlandosentinel.com. 1992-02-14. Retrieved 2012-07-25. 
  18. ^ a b c Brenda Herrmann (1991-12-12). "Terri Nunn Moment of Truth (DGC) (STAR) 1/2... - Chicago Tribune". Articles.chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2012-07-25. 
  19. ^ "Big F". TrouserPress.com. Retrieved 2012-07-25.