Terry's productions extensively used samples blending the sounds of classic disco, the Chicago sound, and elements of hip-hop.
Terry began in the 1980s by DJing at parties in New York, playing Italian disco and hip hop, and later house music when it emerged in the middle of the decade. Much of Todd Terry's early work in the late 1980s is considered a milestone in the development of both progressive and modern deep house. Todd Terry has been responsible for releasing two of the most respected crossover remixes of the house era: "I'll House You" by the Jungle Brothers and "Missing" by Everything but the Girl by the mid 1990s.
Todd's tracks "Something Goin' On" and "Keep on Jumpin'" were both UK Top 10 hits, with the vocals on the latter provided byJocelyn Brown and Martha Wash. Freestyle diva Shannon was the featured vocalist on the UK top 20 hit "It's Over Love" in 1997, which also topped the Billboard Dance/Club Play Songs Chart in the US, as did "Just Wanna Dance"/"Weekend". "All right, All right" also was featured on the British import Chicago House compilation Jackmaster Volume 1 in 1987.
In 1999, Todd Terry released Resolutions on Astralwerks Records, which successfully embraced the then still avant-garde drum 'n' bass aesthetic. He also mixes on the albums One Half of a Whole Decade and Live & Remastered.
Terry also used several aliases such as Hardhouse, Swan Lake, Orange Lemon, Royal House, and Black Riot. He has also recorded as CLS, Masters at Work (with Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez & "Little" Louie Vega), Dredd Stock, House of Gypsies, Limelife, Hard House, Tyme Forse, and the Gypsymen (where under that alias, scored a number-one Billboard Hot Dance/Club play hit in 1992 with "Hear the Music").
Terry co-produced the song "Shake" on P.M. Dawn's debut album, Of the Heart, of the Soul and of the Cross: The Utopian Experience. The song ended with the repeated lyric "Everyone thank Todd Terry". He also produced "The House of Isis" from Isis' 1990 album Rebel Soul.
In October 2004, "Weekend" by the Todd Terry Project appeared in the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, playing on House Music radio station SF-UR.
Todd Terry is one of the producers who helped to define New York's house music during the 1980s. Terry's productions can be described as a varied collection of samples blending the sounds of classic disco, the more introspective Chicago sound pioneered earlier in the decade, plus plenty of hip-hop attitude and sampling.
Todd has been engulfed in dance music since he first started listening to European dance music records while growing up in Brooklyn. Already devoted to turntables, he heard something different in those tracks and he 'went for the difference. I never got a break in New York, but England happened right away so I catered to them.’ In any event, the Todd Terry sound was born. By 1988, Todd Terry hit big in Europe and his notoriety was making its way back to US. In addition to DJ appearances, Todd was cutting his classic underground tracks ‘A Day In The Life’, ‘Weekend’ and’ Can You Party’, released under monikers such as the Todd Terry Project, House Of Gypsies and Royal House, all considered essential and ground breaking. Nowadays Todd is one of the world’s most celebrated figures in dance music. With almost two decades of dance floor domination under his belt, the quality of his productions goes from strength to strength. And he releases on esteemed labels like Clone as well as many others.