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How To Make Dire Straits Sound Like The Police

Especially the intro and the outro… Live Aid 1985.

Sting – Ten Summoner’s Tales

I’d told the story recently about how I ordered this album online and, instead of the proper CD inside, I got the Fields Of Gold hits compilation CD in the TST packaging. The seller couldn’t be arsed to correct the error, so that was it for me ordering from them. Anyway, I wasn’t long in finding a replacement copy that actually had the correct CD in it, so here we go!

My Mom has always told me that the first song here, If I Ever Lose My Faith In You, totally reminds her of me. I suppose that’s a compliment? Haha. I’ll take it. This disc also has Fields Of Gold on it, which was a hit but which I find monotonous. There’s also It’s Probably Me, which features Eric Clapton. It was from the Lethal Weapon 3 soundtrack. And the other one you may know is Shape Of My Heart.

But all of the other tracks here are just as strong. In fact, Wiki tells me Seven Days, and Nothing ‘Bout Me were also singles. It’s just a solid 90s record from the man, so you know what you’re getting – catchy tunes, great songwriting, interesting instrumentations…

It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I spent a lot of time with this record and for good reason.

Sting – Fields Of Gold: The Best Of Sting 1984-1994

I ordered Ten Summoner’s Tales from a used place online, and I received the packaging for it, but the CD inside was this one. Ah well, I got another copy of TST easily. Plus, now I’ve got this Hits disc, so it’s all good.

Up front, I’ll tell you that Dream Of The Blue Turtles was a big album for me, as a kid. I knew all the songs inside and out. I’ll review it (and Ten Summoner’s) some other time.

And this CD? I’d wager that you know all of these songs. Even if you don’t know them by title, I could play the first ten seconds of any of them and you’d go “oh yeah, I know that!” Therein lies the power and strength of Sting. Since the end of the Police, many joke that he’s just a yoga-doing, pap-recording schtick artist popular with the baby boomers. Admitting I like to listen to him, to some, would crush any dubious rock cred I might’ve had. That’s OK with me. I’ll just put the headphones on around you, then. 🙂

When We Dance is gentle candlelight music with a very memorable melody line. If You Love Somebody (Set Them Free) was a huge hit, and is a total classic. Fields Of Gold is another big one, though I always found it to be one good few-bars idea that got stretched out into a full song.

All This Time is another big one, but with a lighter heart and an almost Celtic bounce to it. Fortress Around Your Heart is a key track from Turtles and was a single. Great tune. Be Still My Beating Heart is also good, though I can’t shake the thought that it sounds like it’s a Peter Gabriel tune. They Dance Alone (Cueca Solo) is a Lite FM slow dance.

If I Ever Lose My Faith In You is one of the best songs he ever did. When I review Ten Summoner’s Tales, I’ll go deeper into my relationship with that song. Suffice to say here, it’s a biggie. Fragile is another Lite FM jam, for which I love the guitar line. Why Should I Cry For you? is another Lite FM drift-off track, and that Celtic feel comes back here again too.

Englishman In New York is a classic, very jazzy. We’ll Be Together is yet another classic, a total party dance track. Russians is another single from Blue Turtles and such a perfect song about politics, fear and paranoia (and perestroika… see what I did there? I’m so clever haha). Anyway, I’m really glad it’s here. And finally we have This Cowboy Song, which was a new song for this compilation. It’s decent, but I’d rather have had Love Is The Seventh Wave, or Mad About You, or The Soul Cages.  And there’s plenty more… Ah well.

In Sum:

Of course this is a very good compilation, look at how strong the songs are. So many memorable tunes. I would say this could have been a 2CD set – there’s lots that got left out – but such is the way of things. Nobody ever asks me, when they’re making these things.

If you don’t wanna own all the records, this is an excellent compilation to fill your needs.

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