Here’s a standout track from Sting’s excellent 1987 album Nothing Like the Sun. The record features a great mix of pop hits and jazzy ballads, and for my money remains the pinnacle of Sting’s solo efforts.
The site SongFacts.com contains this interesting anecdote about ‘Sister Moon,’ pulled from a book of his lyrics and commentary.
Sting gets a bad rap for being both too middle-of-the-road and too pretentious. He has earned that criticism to a degree (the man released a lute album, for crying out loud!) but any sensible music fan would be silly to dismiss him.
Even setting aside his groundbreaking work with The Police, you need look no farther than his sophomore release, 1987’s …Nothing Like the Sun, for evidence of his greatness.
If a prosecutor had to try Sting for pretentiousness, Exhibit A would of course be his lute album.
But Exhibit B may well be ‘They Dance Alone (Gueca Solo),’ from the 1987 album …Nothing Like the Sun. Start with the fact that the album on which it appears is named for a Shakespeare sonnet, then cite its length (seven minutes, 10 seconds), mention that it contains the phrase “Hey Mr. Pinochet” and finally point to the spoken-word interlude. The Spanish-language spoken-word interlude.
The defense would shrug, rest her case and try to make an early movie.
In the battle of the head vs. the gut, the gut always wins.
Something about Sting rubs me the wrong way. It’s not even something I can articulate, though Sting rubs a lot of people the wrong way and I could probably compile a list of reasons others have given. But those reasons wouldn’t necessarily ring true for me.
For example, here’s a guy who wrote a list of ‘101 Reasons to Hate Sting‘ and I disagree with most of them. For example, he claims Sting murdered Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Little Wing,’ while I think Sting’s version of that song is quite lovely.