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.
Sting and Paul Simon lived in the same New York apartment building in the 80s, and collaborated on a concert tour in 2014. Now they come together again for a Montauk Madness Round Two death match.
Much to my chagrin, Sting defeated Sinead O’Connor in Round One rather easily, earning 70% of the vote. Paul Simon, surprisingly, had an even easier time dispatching Elton John, with 73%. Continue reading
I was shocked to see that today’s Random iTunes Selection has never been featured on this blog. ‘Mad About You’ is not only my favorite Sting song but one of my favorite songs by anybody.
Hearing this makes me feel just fine about (spoiler alert!) Sting’s runaway win over Sinead O’Connor in the first round of Montauk Madness.
Stepping into the ring for the next Montauk Madness battle are a couple of iconic figures from across the pond. Sting (but not The Police) vs. Sinead O’Connor.
Neither of these artists is a slam dunk favorite of mine, but both have put out music I absolutely adore. And both have trailed off later in their careers, making this more of a nostalgia pick.
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.
I’ve posted only five Sting songs over the years, and two of those were ‘Englishman in New York.’ As I posted in my first ‘Englishman in New York’ Song of the Day entry, the guy just generally bugs me. He’s a major talent, no doubt, but I can’t spent a lot of time listening to him.
The post linked above led to a lively discussion about artists who rub you the wrong way, including my sister’s confession that she hates my beloved Fiona Apple. Good reading.
I don’t know if Sting qualifies as a guilty pleasure, but I find myself a little embarrassed to post one of his songs.
I think a lot of people dislike Sting because of his music, while I generally like his music but dislike him for his personality.
His solo career from the mid-80s to early 90s was rock solid, not to mention his best work with The Police. After that it was pretty much all downhill. He certainly didn’t do himself any favors with that lute album.