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Sting|...Nothing Like The Sun

...Nothing Like The Sun

Sting

  • Released on 1987-01-01 by A&M
  • Main artists: Sting
  • Genre: Pop
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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 /TiVo

More info

...Nothing Like The Sun

Sting

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1
The Lazarus Heart
00:04:35

Sting, Producer, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Neil Dorfsman, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Hugh Padgham, Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1987 UMG Recordings, Inc.

2
Be Still My Beating Heart
00:05:33

Sting, Producer, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Neil Dorfsman, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Hugh Padgham, Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1987 UMG Recordings, Inc.

3
Englishman In New York
00:04:26

Branford Marsalis, Soprano Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Sting, Producer, Vocals, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Neil Dorfsman, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Hugh Padgham, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Manu Katche, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Mino Cinelu, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1987 UMG Recordings, Inc.

4
History Will Teach Us Nothing
00:04:59

Sting, Producer, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Neil Dorfsman, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Hugh Padgham, Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1987 UMG Recordings, Inc.

5
They Dance Alone (Gueca Solo)
00:07:15

Sting, Producer, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Neil Dorfsman, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Hugh Padgham, Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1987 UMG Recordings, Inc.

6
Fragile
00:03:55

Sting, Producer, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Neil Dorfsman, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Hugh Padgham, Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1987 UMG Recordings, Inc.

7
We'll Be Together
00:04:55

Sting, Producer, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Paul McKenna, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Bryan Loren, Producer

℗ 1987 UMG Recordings, Inc.

8
Straight To My Heart
00:03:54

Sting, Producer, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Neil Dorfsman, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Hugh Padgham, Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1987 UMG Recordings, Inc.

9
Rock Steady
00:04:27

Sting, Producer, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Neil Dorfsman, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Hugh Padgham, Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1987 UMG Recordings, Inc.

10
Sister Moon
00:03:46

Sting, Producer, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Neil Dorfsman, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Hugh Padgham, Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1987 UMG Recordings, Inc.

11
Little Wing
00:05:10

Sting, Producer, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Jimi Hendrix, ComposerLyricist - Neil Dorfsman, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Hugh Padgham, Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1987 UMG Recordings, Inc.

12
The Secret Marriage
00:02:03

Hanns Eisler, ComposerLyricist - Sting, Producer, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Neil Dorfsman, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Hugh Padgham, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Bertolt Brecht, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1987 UMG Recordings, Inc.

Album review

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 /TiVo

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