I’ve been covering Sting on this website this week: https://albumreviews.blog/reviews/sting/. I generally find that his solo career is under-rated – while The Police have great singles, their albums all have filler, and the terrific 1992 Greatest Hits is most of what I need from them. But Sting has a couple of albums that I enjoy right through – 1987’s …Nothing Like The Sun and 1991’s The Soul Cages.
One possible reason that Sting is underrated is that he often comes across as a little pompous; he has issues with self-filtering. Here are some examples:
I asked my dog what he thought the best in man
He said, “The love you dispense to me twice daily from a can.”
Lyrics from ‘Conversation With A Dog’
Success always necessitates a degree of ruthlessness. Given the choice of friendship or success, I’d probably choose success.
“I don’t give a fuck about rock & roll,” Sting declared unequivocally in 1987. There was, he complained, “no new fuel in rock music.” Instead, he said, musicians should be looking outside of rock to African, jazz and even classical music: “Anything! Anything will do.”
The outcome was predictable
Our banditos were despicable
Of blood we lost a dozen litres
A small price to pay for los senoritas
Lyrics from ‘Love Is Stronger Than Justice’
In England, our house is surrounded by barley fields, and in the summer it’s fascinating to watch the wind moving over the shimmering surface, like waves on an ocean of gold. There’s something inherently sexy about the sight, something primal, as if the wind were making love to the barley.
The title comes from Shakespeare’s Sonnet No. 130 (“My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun”), which Sting used in the song “Sister Moon”. He added that his inspiration for this was a close encounter with a drunk, in which Sting quoted the sonnet in response to the drunk’s importunate query, “How beautiful is the moon?”
It’s no use, he sees her
He starts to shake and cough
Just like the old man in
That book by Nabokov
Lyrics from ‘Don’t Stand So Close To Me
Do you have any favourite clunky Sting lyrics? Can you stomach his solo career?