Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Sting 6: Fields Of Gold

Having become possibly more popular than when he was in the Police, Sting (or somebody) decided to sum up a rough decade of solo work with a hits album. Named after the huge single from his last album, Fields Of Gold offered the usual assortment of radio favorites, along with the customary brand new tracks. Of the two, the romantic “When We Dance” was the most obvious hit. “This Cowboy Song” is stuck at the end, and nowhere near as successful, except to wonder why he kept writing songs with a fake Western theme.
Each of his four studio albums to date is represented, with a couple of variations to keep it interesting. “Fortress Around Your Heart” and “Why Should I Cry For You” are alternately mixed, while “We’ll Be Together” is completely different, and likely the take with Eric Clapton on guitar. It’s still a pretty annoying song.
Compilers of sets such as these often use the “best of” heading rather than “greatest hits”, which is why “They Dance Alone” and “Russians” make the cut and things like “All For Love” (a movie theme sung with Bryan Adams and Rod Stewart) don’t. The previous year’s remake of “Demolition Man” for another film also goes ignored, although the EP of that is worth seeking out for his live cover of “A Day In The Life”. To confound the collector even further, it was released with a different sequence in the world outside the U.S., dropping a couple of songs and adding even more in their place, such as the soundtrack version of “It’s Probably Me” and “Fragile” in Spanish.
It doesn’t do more than hint at the jazz influences that sparked his solo career, choosing instead to stay mainstream; after all, that’s what led to his pile of platinum records. But Fields Of Gold is still a good sampler for those not ready to pull the trigger on the individual albums.

Sting Fields Of Gold: The Best Of Sting 1984-1994 (1994)—

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