Happy Birthday, Sting

Sting © Per Ole HagenSting has had  a more than 30 year long career, first with the Police, then a a solo artist. His music has changed over the year, but he is still releasing good CDs, 35 years after the first one with The Police. On October 2nd he is 62 years old.

Sting © Per Ole Hagen

The Police was my favorite new wave band from the start and up to Synchronicity. They had a freshness that many of the punk bands lacked, they were all excellent musicians, and their songs were both melodic and hard rocking. Roxanne, Message In A Bottle, Walking On The Moon, Bring On The Night were all great songs from their first two CDs.

Sting © Per Ole Hagen

From Zenyatta Mondatta and Ghost In The Machine I lost some interest since they had lost their freshness and become a well produced and professional entertainment band. Synchronicity was their swan dance with some new interesting approaches to their music. Everyone knows the ultimate jealousy song, Every Breath You Take, but the CD also included gems like Wrapped Around Your Finger and King Of Pain.

Sting © Per Ole Hagen

Sting’s first solo CD may also so far be his best. The Dream Of The Blue Turtle contained the so far unusual combination of a rock star and some of the best new jazz musicians, classical influences, political lyrics, and New Orleans style music. As a whole, this must be my second highest favorite Sting album.

My favorite Sting album is still Nothing Like The Sun. There he had refined the best things from the Blue Turtle and served some of the best songs from this period. The tragic and heroic They Dance Alone is a the best comment to the dictatorship in Argentina, while Fragile, Sister Moon and The Lazarus Heart are other favorites from the album. WIth musicians like Branford Marsalis, Manu Catche the CD is a pleasure to listen to. I am always skeptical to covers of Jimi Hendrix, but Sting’s cover of Litle WIngs is perfectly good.

Vinnie Colaiuta © Per Ole Hagen

I have seen Sting play live twice, both times at the Norwgian Wood festival in Oslo. The first time was in 2002, and the second time was last year. The first time he had a straight rock band, but last year his band was more elaborate. He brought ace drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, though, and that, together with the best songs from the Sting songbook made it one of my favorite concerts last year.

Sting © Per Ole Hagen

Sting’s latest CD came out just recently, and it takes Sting back to what he does best, away rom the schmaltz he has been prone to do the last decade and a half. I am looking forward to listening more to the album and Sting as an artist, not Sting as the famous person. The artist Sting I have liked for 35 years, and I want to keep it that way. Happy birthday, Sting!

Sting © Per Ole Hagen

All pictures are © Per Ole Hagen and must not be used without written permission.

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