Saturday, November 5, 2016

A Quick Sting Primer in Time for His New Album

If you want to catch up quickly on Police vocalist/bassist Sting’s solo career before the November 11 release of his new album, 57th and 9th, here are a few suggestions.

Gordon Matthew Sumner’s best greatest hits collection is his first one, Fields of Gold from 1994. That’s because the majority of his most popular and enjoyable songs come from his first decade as an individual artist. This is where you’ll find such gems as “If You Love Somebody, Set Them Free,” “Fortress Around Your Heart,” “They Dance Alone,” and “If I Ever Lose My Faith in You.” The album also includes the exclusive bonus tracks “When We Dance” and “This Cowboy Song.” Plus, Police guitarist Andy Summers lends his atmospheric six-string savvy to “Be Still My Beating Heart.”

Next up is The Very Best of Sting & The Police from 1997. This disc mixes Sting’s solo hits with those from his Police heyday, giving listeners the opportunity to compare and contrast the sonic styles of the two eras. The album also includes “Let Your Soul Be Your Pilot” from Sting’s 1996 record, Mercury Falling, which, by the way, is his best original CD of the last 20 years.

The Very Best of Sting & The Police was “rereleased” in 2002, this time switching out a couple of Police tracks for different ones and updating the selection to include the singles “Brand New Day” and “Desert Rose” from Sting’s 1999 album, Brand New Day.

Finally, Symphonicities (2010) provides a unique perspective on Sting’s solo and Police hits, favorites, and rarities, with new versions featuring Sting backed by the rich, luxurious sound of a full orchestra.

I’ll see you on November 11 at 57th and 9th.

--Raj Manoharan

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