A Sting is not always painful

Poor Mr Tracks.  This is the post he has been dreading.  The one about Sting and The Police.

One of his younger sisters used to be a massive Police fan when they were popular in the late 1970s and through the 1980s.  Well they were totally dominating the music scene at that time with utterly fabulous music, so why wouldn’t she be?!

But as far as her older brother was concerned, someone who was not necessarily a major fan of pop, the endless playing of instant classics like RoxanneEvery Breath You Take and Message In A Bottle was all a bit much.

These days, Mr Tracks puts up with most of my eclectic music tastes but he does have some lines in the sand and The Police is one of them.  He thinks he needs to look away when this pops up.

I have a version of the ‘very best of’ album released in 2002.  It has all the well known Police tracks on it.  I love their earthy, rhythmic, original sound which still seems bright and new today.  Each instrumental line earns its place alongside Sting’s raspy vocal, generating a unique and fresh result.

I also have stuff by Sting as a solo performer.  Highlights include the interesting and enigmatic Desert Rose.  The intention behind Russians needs no explanation, but I really like it musically.  The gentle latino beats of Fragile ooze emotion to match the lyrics.

And then we have the sublime beauty of Fields of Gold – a rare treasure of a track to which I could listen over and over again.  Perfection for all one’s musical senses: elegant harmonies lilting over a delicately driving beat to accompany romantic lyrics.

It is far away from those early days of The Police. Anyone not a fan of their original fare could feel very reassured that they are likely to receive an abundance of pleasure, and no pain at all when listening to this.

What do you think? 🙂

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19 thoughts on “A Sting is not always painful

      1. We need a bit of warmth here – even though it is supposed to be early summer, it is still rather chilly and we are still putting the heating on sometimes!!

    1. Yes of course I do – it was great! With a young Joss Stone as the opening act, no less. And I am kicking myself because I meant to reference the concert in the post. But must have got carried away & it slipped my mind. I am very pleased you put it on the record, as it were 🙂

  1. Living in books, I don’t listen to half as much music as I should so the inevitable embarrassment of admitting I have only ever heard one song by The Police should each me a lesson for the future…I’m certain i don’t know what I am missing.

  2. I love The Police and Sting (although, I must admit, some of Sting’s solo songs have been a tad overplayed). Now I have “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da” in my head!

    1. I had a similar conversation with Ste J in response to my Sugababes post where he had ‘Stronger’ going round his head, and we agreed there were worse tunes…..!! 🙂

  3. Another great post Liz! I also have the compilation album and my only gripe is why they changed the chorus of “Don’t Stand So Close To Me” so much for the worst. Also just to add a brief rave for “Spirits In a Material World” and “Every Little Thing She does Is Magic”.

    1. Thanks for this and for the rave! Agree with the two tracks raved about 🙂 And yes – it is always hard when much loved tracks get messed about with, isn’t it – especially when not for the better. It is hard, nay virtually impossible, to get the original out of one’s head. I’ll be writing soon about one exception to this where a rewrite is arguably better, or at least as good – stay tuned, pop pickers 🙂

  4. I was living in Italy when the Police hit it big, and I loved them. Just listened to “j’aurais toujours faim de toi,” the other day, and it still is one of my favorites. As for his solo works, I did like the album with Fragile and the one with They Dance alone. A few years ago he was in DC for an ecology concert and he was superb. I do miss the exuberance though of the Police. Probably my favorite band after the Beatles and the Stones. By the way, if you live in Edinburgh, you ought to check out the work of this poetess, who lives there, Marie Marshall. https://kvennarad.wordpress.com/

    1. Wow – in your top three! That’s something. I’m hopeless at picking my favourites. I saw him at the Royal Albert Hall in London about 10 years ago and he was great, but I know what you mean about the power of the full band. Thanks so much for the link to Marie’s blog – it’s wonderful.

      1. Not much really! He is more pre-1970 really. He has a wide taste – Patsy Cline, Nat King Cole, Ella, Dolly, Big Band stuff, plus lots of people I haven’t much heard of and classical thrown in for good measure!

  5. He is such a genius. I hadn’t heard Desert Rose. Such beauty. I don’t suppose I’d like him all the much personally. He has, errrrr, unusual habits which at least he is honest about, but his music seems inspired by God.

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