The Dream Of The Blue Turtles (Remastered) Sting

Album info



Label: A&M

Genre: Pop

Subgenre: Pop Rock

Artist: Sting

Album including Album cover

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  • 1If You Love Somebody Set Them Free (Edit)04:16
  • 2Love Is The Seventh Wave03:32
  • 3Russians03:58
  • 4Children's Crusade05:01
  • 5Shadows In The Rain04:51
  • 6We Work The Black Seam05:42
  • 7Consider Me Gone04:21
  • 8The Dream Of The Blue Turtles01:17
  • 9Moon Over Bourbon Street04:01
  • 10Fortress Around Your Heart (Album Version)04:41
  • Total Runtime41:40

Info for The Dream Of The Blue Turtles (Remastered)

The Dream Of The Blue Turtles" is Sting's first solo album without his band The Police behind him. The exceptional artist is also breaking new musical ground and is increasingly inspired by jazz. For the record, he worked closely with jazz pianist Kenny Kirkland, jazz drummer Omar Hakim and saxophonist Branford Marsalis.

"Following the massive success of 'Synchronicity', I decided to set out on my own. This decision, I admit, was not particularly logical. In the eyes of some it was the highest folly to leave what was arguably the biggest band in the world at that time. Of course it was a risk, but I can only say that I listened to my instincts, no matter how irrational they seemed to everyone else, and then followed them, fully aware that falling flat on my face was a very real possibility. I ignored this as much as I could, believing that the momentum of the band had been such that people would at least be curious about what I was up to. I have to say the sense of freedom in not having to tailor songs to accommodate a three-piece, even one as versatile as the Police, was like opening a window in a closed room. Although I believed that the Police had thrived on the limitations of being a small band, I was more than ready after seven years to fly the coop." (Sting)

"With the help of my friend, the writer and critic Vic Garbarini, I recruited a band of young jazz musicians, including alumni of Miles Davis's band, Art Blakey's band, and Weather Report. Branford Marsalis would play saxophone, with Kenny Kirkland on piano. This caused some friction with Branford's brother Wynton, who, apart from losing two of his band, thought they were selling out by playing with a pop musician like myself. Nevertheless, we all set out for Eddie Grant's studio in Barbados with a bag full of new songs and a mission to start a new adventure." (Sting)

"The Police never really broke up, they just stopped working together -- largely because they just couldn't stand playing together anymore and partially because Sting was itching to establish himself as a serious musician/songwriter on his own terms. Anxious to shed the mantle of pop star, he camped out at Eddy Grant's studio, picked up the guitar, and raided Wynton Marsalis' band for his new combo -- thereby instantly consigning his solo debut, The Dream of the Blue Turtles, to the critical shorthand of Sting's jazz record. Which is partially true (that's probably the best name for the meandering instrumental title track), but that gives the impression that this is really risky music, when he did, after all, rely on musicians who, at that stage, were revivalists just developing their own style, and then had them jam on mock-jazz grooves -- or, in the case of Branford Marsalis, layer soprano sax lines on top of pop songs. This, however, is just the beginning of the pretensions layered throughout The Dream of the Blue Turtles. Only twice does he delve into straightforward love songs -- the lovely measured "Consider Me Gone" and the mournful closer, "Fortress Around Your Heart" -- preferring to consider love in the abstract ("If You Love Somebody Set Them Free," one of his greatest solo singles, and the childish, faux-reggae singalong "Love Is the Seventh Wave"), write about children in war and in coal mines, revive a Police tune about heroin, ponder whether "Russians love their children too," and wander the streets of New Orleans as the vampire Lestat. This is a serious-minded album, but it's undercut by its very approach -- the glossy fusion that coats the entire album, the occasional grabs at worldbeat, and studious lyrics seem less pretentious largely because they're overshadowed by such bewilderingly showy moves as adapting Prokofiev for "Russians" and calling upon Anne Rice for inspiration. And that's the problem with the record: with every measure, every verse, Sting cries out for the respect of a composer, not a pop star, and it gets to be a little overwhelming when taken as a whole. As a handful of individual cuts -- "Fortress," "Consider Me Gone," "If You Love Somebody," "Children's Crusade" -- he proves that he's subtler and craftier than his peers, but only when he reins in his desire to show the class how much he's learned." (Stephen Thomas Erlewine, AMG)

Sting, vocals, guitars, double bass on (9)
Darryl Jones, bass
Kenny Kirkland, keyboards
Branford Marsalis, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, clarinet, percussion
Dominic Muldowney, additional arrangements (10)
Dolette McDonald, backing vocals
Janice Pendarvis, backing vocals
Omar Hakim, drums
Additional musicians:
Danny Quatrochi, Synclavier, backing vocals
Robert Ashworth, guitars
Eddy Grant, congas (7)
Frank Opolko, trombone (2)
Pete Smith, backing vocals
Elliot Jones, backing vocals
Jane Alexander, backing vocals
Vic Garbarini, backing vocals
Pamela Quinlan, backing vocals
The Nannies Chorus, backing vocals
Rosemary Purt, backing vocals
Stephanie Crewdson, backing vocals
Joe Sumner, backing vocals
Kate Sumner, backing vocals
Michael Sumner, backing vocals

Engineered and produced by Sting and Pete Smith

Digitally remastered

Born 2 October 1951, in Wallsend, north-east England, Gordon Sumner's life started to change the evening a fellow musician in the Phoenix Jazzmen caught sight of his black and yellow striped sweater and decided to re-christen him Sting. Sting paid his early dues playing bass with local outfits The Newcastle Big Band, The Phoenix Jazzmen, Earthrise and Last Exit, the latter of which featured his first efforts at song writing. Last Exit were big in the North East, but their jazz fusion was doomed to fail when punk rock exploded onto the music scene in 1976. Stewart Copeland, drummer with Curved Air, saw Last Exit on a visit to Newcastle and while the music did nothing for him he did recognise the potential and charisma of the bass player. The two hooked up shortly afterwards and within months, Sting had left his teaching job and moved to London.

Seeing punk as flag of convenience, Copeland and Sting - together with Corsican guitarist Henri Padovani - started rehearsing and looking for gigs. Ever the businessman, Copeland took the name The Police figuring it would be good publicity, and the three started gigging round landmark punk venues like The Roxy, Marquee, Vortex and Nashville in London. Replacing Padovani with the virtuoso talents of Andy Summers the band also enrolled Stewart's elder brother Miles as manager, wowing him with a Sting song called 'Roxanne'. Within days Copeland Senior had them a record deal. But the hip London music press saw through The Police's punk camouflage and did little to disguise their contempt, and the band's early releases had no chart success. So The Police did the unthinkable - they went to America.

The early tours are the stuff of legend - bargain flights to the USA courtesy of Freddie Laker's pioneering Skytrain; driving their own van and humping their own equipment from gig to gig; and playing to miniscule audiences at the likes of CBGB's in New York and The Rat Club in Boston. Their tenacity paid off though as they slowly built a loyal following, got some all important air-play, and won over their audiences with a combination of new wave toughness and reggae rhythms.

They certainly made an odd trio: guitarist Summers had a career dating back to the mid-60s, the hyper-kinetic Copeland was a former prog-rocker, and Sting's background was in trad jazz and fusion. The sound the trio made was unique though, and Sting's pin-up looks did them no harm at all. The band returned to the UK to find the reissued 'Roxanne' single charting, and played a sell-out tour of mid-size venues. The momentum had started. The debut album 'Outlandos d'Amour' (Oct 78) delivered three sizeable hits with 'Roxanne', 'Can't Stand Losing You' and 'So Lonely' which in turn led to a headlining slot at the '79 Reading Festival which won the band some fine reviews, but it was with 'Reggatta de Blanc' (Oct 79) that the band stepped up a gear.

Reggatta's first single, 'Message In A Bottle', streaked to number one and the album's success was consolidated further when 'Walking On The Moon' also hit the top slot. The band was big, but about to get even bigger. 1980 saw them undertake a world tour with stops on all continents - including the first rock concerts in Bombay - and the band eventually returned to the UK exhausted, for two final shows in Sting's hometown of Newcastle. Much of this groundbreaking tour was captured on the 'Police Around The World' video and a BBC documentary entitled 'The Police in the East'

Within weeks, the band were in a Dutch studio recording new material but Sting's stock of pre-Police songs and ideas were wearing out. When 'Zenyatta Mondatta' was released (Oct 80) although it sold well and produced another number one single in 'Don't Stand So Close To Me' and a top five hit with 'De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da' a rethink was required. Sting later admitted that he felt 'Zenyatta' was the band's weakest album but by the end of 1980 the band were undoubtedly the biggest-selling band in the country selling out two shows in a huge marquee on Tooting Bec Common in London. For more please visit

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