Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner CBE (born 2 October 1951), known as Sting, is an English musician and actor. He was the principal songwriter, lead singer, and bassist for the new wave rock band the Police from 1977 to 1984, and launched a solo career in 1985. He has included elements of rock, jazz, reggae, classical, new-age and worldbeat in his music.
As a solo musician and a member of The Police, Sting has received 17 Grammy Awards: he won Song of the Year for “Every Breath You Take”, three Brit Awards, including Best British Male Artist in 1994 and Outstanding Contribution in 2002, a Golden Globe, an Emmy and four nominations for the Academy Award for Best Original Song. In 2019, he received a BMI Award for “Every Breath You Take” becoming the most played song in radio history. In 2002, Sting received the Ivor Novello Award for Lifetime Achievement from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors and was also inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Police in 2003. In 2000, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for recording. In 2003, Sting received a CBE from Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace for services to music. He was made a Kennedy Center Honoree at the White House in 2014, and was awarded the Polar Music Prize in 2017.
With the Police, Sting became one of the world’s best-selling music artists. Solo and with the Police combined, he has sold over 100 million records. In 2006, Paste ranked him 62nd of the 100 best living songwriters. He was 63rd of VH1’s 100 greatest artists of rock, and 80th of Q magazine’s 100 greatest musical stars of the 20th century. He has collaborated with other musicians on songs such as “Money for Nothing” with Dire Straits, “Rise & Fall” with Craig David, “All for Love” with Bryan Adams and Rod Stewart, “You Will Be My Ain True Love” with Alison Krauss, and introduced the North African music genre raï to Western audiences through the hit song “Desert Rose” with Cheb Mami. In 2018, he released the album 44/876, a collaboration with Jamaican musician Shaggy, which won the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album in 2019.
The Dream of the Blue Turtles is the first solo album by English musician Sting, released in the United States on 1 June 1985. The album reached number three on the UK Albums Chart and number two on the US Billboard 200.
In the US the album spawned four singles, “If You Love Somebody Set Them Free”, “Fortress Around Your Heart”, “Russians” and “Love Is the Seventh Wave”. The album earned Grammy nominations for Album of the Year, Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, Best Jazz Instrumental Performance and Best Engineered Recording.
The album is named after a dream of Sting’s.
Although the single “If You Love Somebody Set Them Free” reached No. 3 in the US, it only reached 26 in the UK, where the album’s track “Russians” (about Cold War nuclear anxieties, which had peaked in the 1980s) proved more popular.
In the UK the album was kept off No. 1 in the week of its release by Marillion’s Misplaced Childhood and Born in the U.S.A. by Bruce Springsteen occupying the top two places. However, in the US, the album reached No. 2 on the Billboard 200.
The movie Bring on the Night documents some of the recording work that produced this album, as well as the subsequent tour
The songs include “Children’s Crusade” (paralleling the destruction of the younger generation in World War I to the devastation brought about by heroin addiction in modern-day London); the original uptempo arrangement of The Police song “Shadows in the Rain”; “We Work the Black Seam” (about the UK miners’ strike of 1984–85); and “Moon over Bourbon Street”, a song inspired by Anne Rice’s novel Interview with the Vampire. “Consider Me Gone” references the first quatrain of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 35. (by wikipedia)
The Police never really broke up, they just stopped working together — largely because they just couldn’t stand playing together anymore and partially because Sting was itching to establish himself as a serious musician/songwriter on his own terms. Anxious to shed the mantle of pop star, he camped out at Eddy Grant’s studio, picked up the guitar, and raided Wynton Marsalis’ band for his new combo — thereby instantly consigning his solo debut, The Dream of the Blue Turtles, to the critical shorthand of Sting’s jazz record. Which is partially true (that’s probably the best name for the meandering instrumental title track), but that gives the impression that this is really risky music, when he did, after all, rely on musicians who, at that stage, were revivalists just developing their own style, and then had them jam on mock-jazz grooves — or, in the case of Branford Marsalis, layer soprano sax lines on top of pop songs. This, however, is just the beginning of the pretensions layered throughout The Dream of the Blue Turtles. Only twice does he delve into straightforward love songs — the lovely measured “Consider Me Gone” and the mournful closer, “Fortress Around Your Heart” — preferring to consider love in the abstract (“If You Love Somebody Set Them Free,” one of his greatest solo singles, and the childish, faux-reggae singalong “Love Is the Seventh Wave”), write about children in war and in coal mines, revive a Police tune about heroin, ponder whether “Russians love their children too,” and wander the streets of New Orleans as the vampire Lestat. This is a serious-minded album, but it’s undercut by its very approach — the glossy fusion that coats the entire album, the occasional grabs at worldbeat, and studious lyrics seem less pretentious largely because they’re overshadowed by such bewilderingly showy moves as adapting Prokofiev for “Russians” and calling upon Anne Rice for inspiration. And that’s the problem with the record: with every measure, every verse, Sting cries out for the respect of a composer, not a pop star, and it gets to be a little overwhelming when taken as a whole. As a handful of individual cuts — “Fortress,” “Consider Me Gone,” “If You Love Somebody,” “Children’s Crusade” — he proves that he’s subtler and craftier than his peers, but only when he reins in his desire to show the class how much he’s learned. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)
Robert Ashworth (guitar)
Eddy Grant (percussion)
Omar Hakim (drums)
Darryl Jones (bass)
Kenny Kirkland (keyboards)
Branford Marsalis (saxophone, percussion)
Frank Opolko (trombone)
Danny Quatrochi (synclavier, background vocals)
Sting (vocals, guitar, synthesizer, bass on 09.)
Dolette McDonald – Janice Pendarvis – Pete Smith – Elliot Jones – Jane Alexander – Vic Garbarini – Pamela Quinlan – The Nannies Chorus – Rosemary Purt – Stephanie Crewdson – Joe Sumner – Kate Sumner – Michael Sumner
01. If You Love Somebody Set Them Free 4.16
02. Love Is the Seventh Wave 3.32
03. Russians 3.58
04. Children’s Crusade 5.02
05. Shadows In The Rain 4.52
06. We Work The Black Seam 5.43
07. Consider Me Gone 4.21
08. The Dream Of The Blue Turtles 1.18
09. Moon Over Bourbon Street 4.01
10. Fortress Around Your Heart 4.39
All song written by Sting
except 03. written by Sergei Prokofiev & Sting