Sting

"My interest in music is very broad, and I'm not interested in trying to make a pure music form like jazz or rock 'n' roll, or blues or folk. But I like all of these musics, and I'm more into trying to create something new out of those elements. I've recruited musicians over the years who have been at home playing classical music as well as rock 'n' roll and jazz, so they could move freely and effortlessly from one style to another. That's the game we're playing. It's like a modular system. My musicians clearly know what the game is, which is chaos, I suppose."--Sting (Boston Globe, February 28, 1993)

"What I've learned over the years is that miracles don't happen at all. It's that happens and process that gets results, and process day to day--dogged, determined work. Not miracles."--Sting (Boston Globe, February 28, 1993)

"I ended up at the age of fifteen, sixteen, playing with guys, beatniks, who had been playing since the fifties...I would do anything to play, and rather than learn Led Zeppelin riffs, as people my age were doing on guitar, I was learning how to play jazz standards. I was in a dance band, a mainstream jazz band."

"Being brought up on jazz, I was locked out when I started going around to record companies. I went to every major record company with my songs, and they all said I wasn't commercial enough. That is what really made me feel a rapport with the punk movement. Although the music was a little shallow, the anger and sense of wanting to revolutionize the music industry was something I felt strongly about. So the Police flew that banner for awhile.

"On my own it's been very interesting. Jazz is still important to me. Not as something that is a religion, but I like it. It is not what I do now, even though I play with jazz musicians. I hope the music we make can't be labeled. My whole point about music is that labeling is limiting. It prejudices people. As soon as you introduce a name, a type of music, you introduce a preconceptions. My whole crusade at the moment is confounding stereotypes. I have records on the charts that shouldn't be there. They aren't formula. They aren't programmable. I have a single called "Englishman in New York." which has a jazz section in it, and then a hip-hop section. The contemporary hit radio format--they don't like jazz, they don't like hip-hop. It is against their formula. But because it is my record they have to take it seriously. They can reject it or play it, but they have to decide. They can't just throw it away, and I find that interesting."

In 1985, Sting won a Golden Reel Award from Alpexx Corp.'s Magnetic Tape Division because his Dream of the Blue Turtles album was recorded and mixed on Ampex 456 pro audio mastering tape. The album also won the German equivalent of a Gramy, the Schallenplattenpreis for best pop/rock male performance.

On March 28, 1986 the film "Bring on the Night" was released for home video distribution with a price of $79.95. The double vinyl album was initially released only in Europe. The decision not to release in the U.S. was made by Sting's manager, Miles Copeland.

For 1987's ...Nothing Like the Sun album, Sting recorded more than 20 songs. The album was released as a single CD and single cassette but as a double vinyl album. Sting told Steve Gett, "I just couldn't see how to reduce it further to make a 40-minute album. The whole thing had a balance, and I didn't want to edit any further."

The Spanish version of ...Nothing Like the Sun came from A&M Records Latin Division. They felt several tracks had a Latin influence. When Sting agreed to record in Spanish, the lyrics were translated and he sang them phonetically. The EP was released February 16, 1988.

The Soul Cageswas released in early 1991 with only 200,000 copies in the traditional CD 6 x 12-inch longbox. After February 1,it was available in hewer packaging, Digi-Trak, a 5 x 11-inch cardboard package that consumers could fold to the size of a CD jewel box.

Sting told Steve Morse of Ten Summoner's Tales, "I didn't want to write about myself this time. I just wanted to write about other people. I really wanted to get away from the idea of a confessional, therapeutic record. I had just done one--and felt better because of it--so why do it again? I wanted to reach anew plateau and move on from there. I only needed to amuse myself, and engage or amuse the band; that was all I needed to do. I had a great time. I wasn't dredging up some terrible personal trauma in order to create."

Ten Summoner's Tales was recorded in Sting's dining room. The album was loosely based on The Canterbury Tales. Sting's given name Sumner comes from the medieval Summoner, one of the characters in The Canterbury Tales. The album sold 1.9 million copies in 1993.

A shipment of 700,000 copies of Ten Summoner's Tales was stolen in Italy. It was the first theft of an A&M album. The albums, of course, had no way to be identified once the record went into release.

Sting performed "Every Breath You Take" on the Ally McBeal television series.

Sting's "Desert Rose" video was used in the Jaguar S-type television commercials. Miles Copeland pitched the idea to Jaguar.

Sting based his song "All This Time" on a Bach cello suite.

Sources

Official autobiography: Broken Music: A Memoir

Birth
Recording Years / Label
1985-2019 -  A&M Records
Instruments
bass, vocals