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Reggae - Released April 20, 2018 | A&M

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Grammy Awards
Sting and Shaggy: not such a surprising tandem! In 1979 Police’s leader released Reggatta de Blanc, a second album under the Jamaican influence that fed the reggae-punky wave at the time of the Clash, PIL, Ruts Madness, as well as Bob Marley himself. Gordon Summer, who has always been fascinated by Caribbean rhythms, never truly broke away from them. So when his manager Martin Kierszenbaum, who also works with Shaggy, let him listen to his next dancehall hit song, the bassist made the trip from his Malibu home to do a featuring. The understanding between the Jamaican artist and the ex-Police singer was stellar and the track became the single Don't Make Me Wait. And six months later, 44/876, the tandem album was complete. From Crooked Tree to Dreaming In The USA − which restored the US image −, the two companions gave us a most surprising album that blends reggae, dancehall and catchy pop, without falling into ridiculous clichés. “This is exactly the record the world needs right now”, according to Orville Richard Burrell a.k.a. Shaggy… © Charlotte Saintoin/Qobuz
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Pop - Released March 3, 1993 | A&M

Distinctions Sélection du Mercury Prize
After two albums of muted, mature jazz-inflected pop, the last being an explicit album about death, Sting created his first unapologetically pop album since the Police with Ten Summoner's Tales. The title, a rather awkward pun on his given last name, is significant, since it emphasizes that this album is a collection of songs, without any musical conceits or lyrical concepts tying it together. And, frankly, that's a bit of a relief after the oppressively somber The Soul Cages and the hushed though lovely, Nothing Like the Sun. Sting even loosens up enough to crack jokes, both clever (the winking litany of celebrity pains of [RoviLink="MC"]"Epilogue [Nothing 'Bout Me]"[/RoviLink]) and condescending (the sneeringly catchy cowboy tale [RoviLink="MC"]"Love Is Stronger Than Justice [The Munificent Seven]"[/RoviLink]), and the result is his best solo record. In places, it's easily as pretentious as his earlier work, but that's undercut by writing that hasn't been this sharp and melodic since the Police, plus his most varied set of songs since Synchronicity. True, there isn't a preponderance of flat-out classics -- only the surging opener "If I Ever Lose My Faith in You," the understated swing of "It's Probably Me," and the peaceful ballad "Fields of Gold" rank as classics -- but, as an album, Ten Summoner's Tales is more consistently satisfying than anything else in his catalog. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Pop - Released January 1, 1998 | A&M

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Pop/Rock - Released May 24, 2019 | A&M - Interscope Records

Hi-Res Booklet
“This is my life in Songs. Some of them reconstructed, some of them refitted, some of them reframed, and all of them with a contemporary focus.” That is the description of Sting’s latest record, making this more than just a collection of his biggest hits (either solo or with The Police). It was a particular kind of rhythm that he wanted to work in, so as to eliminate the ‘dated’ feel to some of his songs (according to Sting himself). More striking than the original, the drums of Demolition Man, If You Love Someone Set Them Free, Desert Rose and even Englishman in New York will take listeners by surprise. Regarding this famous tribute to gay icon Quentin Crisp, the song released in 1988 is seasoned by pizzicatos and a soprano sax solo.As for the other ballads, it’s more in the singer’s texture and vocal prowess that the reinvention is most noticeable. Less pure but more structured than before, Sting’s voice carries a new dimension in Fields of Gold and Fragile, two songs that also prove that the Englishman’s talent as a melodist has not aged a bit. The same goes for tracks taken from his Police years too, in particular Message in a Bottle and Walking on the Moon, as well as the ubiquitous Roxanne (presented here as a live version). © Nicolas Magenham/Qobuz
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Reggae - Released April 20, 2018 | A&M

Booklet
Sting and Shaggy: not such a surprising tandem! In 1979 Police’s leader released Reggatta de Blanc, a second album under the Jamaican influence that fed the reggae-punky wave at the time of the Clash, PIL, Ruts Madness, as well as Bob Marley himself. Gordon Summer, who has always been fascinated by Caribbean rhythms, never truly broke away from them. So when his manager Martin Kierszenbaum, who also works with Shaggy, let him listen to his next dancehall hit song, the bassist made the trip from his Malibu home to do a featuring. The understanding between the Jamaican artist and the ex-Police singer was stellar and the track became the single Don't Make Me Wait. And six months later, 44/876, the tandem album was complete. From Crooked Tree to Dreaming In The USA − which restored the US image −, the two companions gave us a most surprising album that blends reggae, dancehall and catchy pop, without falling into ridiculous clichés. “This is exactly the record the world needs right now”, according to Orville Richard Burrell a.k.a. Shaggy… © Charlotte Saintoin/Qobuz
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Pop - Released January 1, 2002 | Polydor Associated Labels

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Pop - Released January 1, 1994 | A&M

Early in his solo career, Sting defined himself as a man of taste, choosing to work with jazz musicians instead of rockers. Inevitably, this meant he walked the thin line between sophisticated pop and adult contemporary, but he did it with grace from 1985's Dream of the Blue Turtles to 1993's Ten Summoner's Tales. Unfortunately, Fields of Gold: The Best of Sting doesn't illustrate what a deft trick he pulled off with that quartet of albums. Naturally, Fields of Gold concentrates on his hit singles, just like any other greatest-hits collection, but Sting's material sounds surprisingly tame in this context. Sure, there is a number of great songs here -- enough to state his case as a fine songwriter or to satisfy his casual fans. Still, these songs are safe choices and all share a similarly tranquil quality, which means the collection itself becomes a little monotonous. Nevertheless, Fields of Gold performs the necessary service of rounding up all of the big hits -- "If You Love Somebody Set Them Free," "All This Time," "Fortress Around Your Heart," "They Dance Alone," "If Ever Lose My Faith in You," "Fragile," and an alternate version of "We'll Be Together" -- and offering them on one disc, which is reason enough to make it worthwhile, even with its flaws. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Pop - Released January 1, 1987 | A&M

If Dream of the Blue Turtles was an unabashedly pretentious affair, it looks positively lighthearted in comparison to Sting's sophomore effort, Nothing Like the Sun, one of the most doggedly serious pop albums ever recorded. This is an album where the only up-tempo track, the only trifle -- the cheerfully stiff white-funk "We'll Be Together" -- was added at the insistence of the label because they believed there wasn't a cut on the record that could be pulled as a single, one that would break down the doors to mainstream radio. And they were right, since everything else here is too measured, calm, and deliberately subtle to be immediate (including the intentional throwaway, "Rock Steady"). So, why is it a better album than its predecessor? Because Sting doesn't seem to be trying so hard. It flows naturally, largely because this isn't trying to explicitly be a jazz-rock record (thank the presence of a new rhythm section of Sting and drummer Manu Katche for that) and because the melodies are insinuating, slowly working their way into memory, while the entire record plays like a mood piece -- playing equally well as background music or as intensive, serious listening. Sting's words can still grate -- the stifling pompousness of "History Will Teach Us Nothing" the clearest example, yet calls of "Hey Mr. Pinochet" also strike an uneasy chord -- but his lyricism shines on "The Lazarus Heart," "Be Still My Beating Heart," "They Dance Alone," and "Fragile," a quartet of his very finest songs. If Nothing Like the Sun runs a little too long, with only his Gil Evans-assisted cover of "Little Wing" standing out in the final quarter, it still maintains its tone until the end and, since it's buoyed by those previously mentioned stunners, it's one of his better albums. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Pop - Released January 1, 2010 | Sting - Classical Hits Album

Booklet
Recorded on September 21, 2010 as Sting was smack dab in the middle of his Symphonicities tour, Live in Berlin -- available as a CD/DVD set, a Blu Ray, and a condensed single-disc CD -- offers further orchestral reimaginings of Sting’s songbook, retaining a healthy chunk of the songs on the 2010 album Symphonicities and finding room for other highlights from his past, both obscure and quite familiar (“Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic,” “Russians,” “King of Pain,” “Every Breath You Take”all pop up on the video). Compared to the studio album, the symphonic flourishes don’t seem quite as overwhelming -- the attention is drawn to Sting and his songs, not to the orchestrations -- and the show is paced expertly, turning Live in Berlin into a bit of sophisticated comfort food for longtime Sting fans. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Pop - Released January 1, 2009 | Sting - Winter Album

Booklet
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Pop - Released May 24, 2019 | A&M - Interscope Records

Booklet
“This is my life in Songs. Some of them reconstructed, some of them refitted, some of them reframed, and all of them with a contemporary focus.” That is the description of Sting’s latest record, making this more than just a collection of his biggest hits (either solo or with The Police). It was a particular kind of rhythm that he wanted to work in, so as to eliminate the ‘dated’ feel to some of his songs (according to Sting himself). More striking than the original, the drums of Demolition Man, If You Love Someone Set Them Free, Desert Rose and even Englishman in New York will take listeners by surprise. Regarding this famous tribute to gay icon Quentin Crisp, the song released in 1988 is seasoned by pizzicatos and a soprano sax solo.As for the other ballads, it’s more in the singer’s texture and vocal prowess that the reinvention is most noticeable. Less pure but more structured than before, Sting’s voice carries a new dimension in Fields of Gold and Fragile, two songs that also prove that the Englishman’s talent as a melodist has not aged a bit. The same goes for tracks taken from his Police years too, in particular Message in a Bottle and Walking on the Moon, as well as the ubiquitous Roxanne (presented here as a live version). © Nicolas Magenham/Qobuz
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Rock - Released November 11, 2016 | A&M

Hi-Res Booklet
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Rock - Released September 24, 2013 | A&M

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Pop - Released January 1, 1996 | A&M

Falling somewhere between the pop sensibilities of Ten Summoner's Tales and the searching ambition of The Soul Cages, Mercury Falling is one of Sting's tighter records, even if it fails to compel as much as his previous solo albums. Though he doesn't flaunt his jazz aspirations as he did in the mid-'80s, Mercury Falling feels more serious than The Dream of the Blue Turtles, primarily because of its reserved, high-class production and execution. Building from surprisingly simple, memorable melodies, Sting creates multi-layered, vaguely soul-influenced arrangements that carry all of the hallmarks of someone who has studied music, not lived it. Of course, there are many pleasures in the record -- for all of his pretensions, Sting remains an engaging melodicist, as well as a clever lyricist. There just happens to be a distinct lack of energy, stemming from the suffocating layers of synthesizers. Mercury Falling is a record of modest pleasures; it's just not an infectious, compulsive listen. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Pop - Released January 1, 1999 | A&M

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Pop - Released January 1, 2010 | Sting - Classical Hits Album

Given Sting’s far-reaching ambition and interests, it was merely a matter of time before he recorded an orchestral album, but 2010’s Symphonicities surprises by offering symphonic arrangements of his older songs instead of a new work. This is a canny move, for the common complaint lodged against rock-classical crossovers is against the quality of the material -- think Paul McCartney or Billy Joel -- a criticism that can’t be leveled here, as this is a selection of some of Sting’s best songs. By relying on his catalog, Sting has wound up with an album that is pop, not classical, in structure, but the sound of Symphonicities is surely symphonic, with “Next to You” driven by sawing strings instead of buzzing guitars. Occasionally, this changes the impact of a song, but rarely does it alter its intent; indeed, there’s a handful of tunes, like “Englishman in New York” and “When We Dance,” that feel unaltered in this larger setting. Naturally, it’s the Police songs that are changed most -- “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” bears a sprightly yet dreamy arrangement, “Roxanne” trades its reggae rhythm for a languid, seductive lilt -- and it’s also on these familiar songs where Sting’s engagement is palpable. He may not be radically reinventing these songs, but he’s certainly reinvigorated by this lush setting, and this energy prevents Symphonicities from falling into pretentious traps; it’s lively and fun, and it’s Sting’s most satisfying record in a long time. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Reggae - Released April 20, 2018 | A&M

Booklet
Sting and Shaggy: not such a surprising tandem! In 1979 Police’s leader released Reggatta de Blanc, a second album under the Jamaican influence that fed the reggae-punky wave at the time of the Clash, PIL, Ruts Madness, as well as Bob Marley himself. Gordon Summer, who has always been fascinated by Caribbean rhythms, never truly broke away from them. So when his manager Martin Kierszenbaum, who also works with Shaggy, let him listen to his next dancehall hit song, the bassist made the trip from his Malibu home to do a featuring. The understanding between the Jamaican artist and the ex-Police singer was stellar and the track became the single Don't Make Me Wait. And six months later, 44/876, the tandem album was complete. From Crooked Tree to Dreaming In The USA − which restored the US image −, the two companions gave us a most surprising album that blends reggae, dancehall and catchy pop, without falling into ridiculous clichés. “This is exactly the record the world needs right now”, according to Orville Richard Burrell a.k.a. Shaggy… © Charlotte Saintoin/Qobuz
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Pop - Released January 1, 2005 | A&M

Sting really got carried away with the idea that his supporting crew for Dream of the Blue Turtles was a real jazz band, and technically, he was kind of right. He did pluck them straight out of Wynton Marsalis' backing band (thereby angering Wynton and emboldening his anti-rock stance, while flaring up a sibling rivalry between the trumpeter and his saxophonist brother Branford -- a veritable hat trick, that), and since he was initially a jazz bassist, it seemed like a good fit. At the very least, it seemed like a monumental occasion because he documented the entire development of the band and making of Dream with a documentary called Bring on the Night, releasing a double live album as its soundtrack just a year after the debut hit the stores. This could be called hubris (and it will be called that here), especially because the appearance of the live album feels like a way of showcasing Sting's jazz band and jazz chops. Most of the songs run around five minutes long and there are no less than three medleys, two of which marry an old Police number with a tune from Dream. Arriving as a second solo album, it can't help but feel a little unnecessary, even if the loose, rather infectious performances show what Sting was trying to achieve with his debut. Even so, this is a record for the cult, and while it will satisfy them, to others it will seem like, well, hubris. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Classical - Released January 1, 2006 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Casual pronouncements are made every so often that the lute songs (the lute is a plucked stringed instrument, an early cousin to the guitar) and madrigals of Elizabethan and Jacobean England were the popular music of their day. And Sting, who alludes to the likes of Vladimir Nabokov in his lyrics, is hardly uneducated in the legacy of fine arts, and he has a certain cerebral, inward sadness that matches the dominant mood of English music around 1600 well enough. Thus some might easily have thought it would be a short leap from Sting's own music to the lute songs of John Dowland (1563-1626). But the leap is anything but short, and Sting gets credit for having thought out fully the problems in making it. It is not just the issue of what pianist Katia Labèque, one of the classical musicians who introduced Sting to Dowland's music, called his "unschooled tenor" -- Dowland's songs are not really difficult. It is the great divide between rock (and other traditions ultimately rooted in Africa) and the European tradition: speaking in generalities, the former prizes "noise" -- sound extraneous to the pitch and to the intended timbre of an instrument or voice -- as a structural element, whereas in the latter it is strenuously eliminated. Sting's voice has plenty of "noise." The listener oriented toward classical music will object to its being there; the rock listener, noting that Sting is singing very quietly, may wonder why there isn't more of it. Why, then, does this album work well on the whole? The short answer is that Sting took 20 years to think about how to interpret the refined melancholy of Dowland songs like "Come, Heavy Sleep." His booklet notes tell the long story of how he happened to make this album, and it's quite an interesting one, involving a "labyrinth" of encounters with Labèque, with the Bosnian lutenist Edin Karamazov, who performs on this album, with a friend who gave Sting a lute inlaid with a labyrinth design based on a pattern in the floor of Chartres Cathedral in France (Sting later reproduced the maze in his garden at home), and finally with a Swiss voice teacher who schooled him in pitch precision and the occasional octave run. Sting constructs two crossover points between this temporally remote music and his popular audience. First, he intersperses the songs with selections from Dowland's letters. This has surely been done before, at Elizabethan dinners and the like, and for modern listeners it has the beneficial effect of situating Dowland's music at the center of the social and political life of its time. Sting's second crossover point is more radical: he replaces the melody line in a few of Dowland's verses with multitracked harmonies, apparently consisting entirely of his own voice. These sections appear rather randomly, but they do break up the texture in a way that suggests an additional dimension of modern perspective. Sting passes a key test for vocal music of any kind: he understands and means what he is singing. The real gloomfests among Dowland's songs -- like "Flow My Tears" and the final "In Darkness Let Me Dwell" -- lose none of their power in Sting's performances. And he brings something of his own sense of humor to the lighter ones; a certain smirk in his reading of "Come Again" suggests that he is aware an audience of Dowland's time would have heard the line "To see, to hear, to touch, to kiss, to die with thee again" as a sexual allusion. He sounds like himself, even while purging rock's blues-based treatment of pitch from his singing; he also takes a few turns on the large archlute. And Karamazov proves an ideal collaborator, creating a sharp, edgy tone that stands up to Sting's rough voice. In making Dowland's songs his own, Sting has accomplished something that really has never been done before, and perhaps he'll show some of his own fans that Renaissance music is more than an accompaniment for silly jousting competitions -- it is a labyrinth that leads us toward the roots of our own culture. ~ James Manheim
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Pop - Released March 9, 1993 | A&M