STING: Moon Over Bourbon Street, 12''


Album Details:

TYPE: Singles
LABEL: A&M
RELEASE DATE: 01 February 1986
RELEASE COUNTRY: UNITED KINGDOM
Track List
  1. Moon Over Bourbon Street Lyrics
  2. The Ballad Of Mack The Knife Lyrics
  3. Fortress Around Your Heart Lyrics

Soundbites

Sumner's Tales: Sting talks...

"That was inspired by a book by Ann Rice, called 'Interview With The Vampire', a beautiful book about this vampire which is a vampire by accident. He's immortal and he has to kill people to live, but he's been left with his conscience intact. He's this wonderful, poignant soul who has to do evil, yet wants to stop. Once again, it's the duality which interested me."
NME, 6/85

"The song was inspired by a book that was just given to me, somebody just handed to me after a gig - I think it was in New Orleans. We were staying in the French quarter, and I started to read this book late one night. It was one of those books I read in one sitting, I was totally enchanted by this story. Not so much by the character Lestat who everybody seemed to like, but by the other character. The Louis character interested me far more, he seemed to be much more reflective and much more interesting in a way, and I wrote 'Moon Over Bourbon Street' based on that one reading. The idea of being a vampire and being a predator, but regretting it all the time knowing that there was something morally wrong with your lusts and your hunger, and I love the struggle that is going on in that character's head. There was a kind of movement of people who thought that Lestat who became a rock star in resulting books was based on me. He wasn't the character I was interested in at all."
'All This Time' CDROM, '95

"The songs about a vampire. It's told from his point of view. I wrote the song very late one night in the French Quarter of New Orleans. It was a full moon, the streets were empty, and I remembered very vividly a book by Anne Rice called 'Interview With The Vampire'. It's about a well-educated gentleman who becomes a vampire. But he's been left with a conscience, which is tragic for a vampire because he has to do all these terrible things. It's basically a song about loneliness and alienation. But it's also about being pulled toward things you know you should stay away from."
Musician, 7/85

About 'Fortress Around Your Heart'...
"'Fortress Around Your Heart' was written in the studio in '85, in Barbados. I'd just been playing around with those chords on the guitar - strange, modal chords. They sounded kind of medieval actually and so I got into a whole line of thinking about medieval sieges, castle walls, siege guns, armies sleeping under tattered flags and thought it was a nice metaphor for love gone wrong. Armies fighting each other, relationships having collapsed and gone from bad to worse, and what starts as love ends in war."
'All This Time' CD-ROM, '95

About 'Fortress Around Your Heart'...
"It's not a song that lends itself to changing much, we play it the way it was written. It's an odd structure because it doesn't have a bridge, but I suppose that's symbolic itself, saying there is no bridge between these relationships. It's purely accidental of course. The song doesn't have a bridge, therefore it isn't a standard pop song. They are supposed to have bridges. Maybe with a bridge it would have been a bigger hit, but it is what it is."
'All This Time' CD-ROM, '95

On the idea that 'Fortress' is linked to 'Wrapped Around Your Finger'...
"It is linked to 'Wrapped'. 'Wrapped' was a spiteful song about turning the tables on someone who had been in charge. Fortress, on the other hand, is about appeasement, about trying to bridge the gaps between individuals. The central image is a minefield that you've laid around this other person to try and protect them. Then you realise that you have to walk back through it. I think it's one of the best choruses I've ever written."
Musician, 8/85

About 'Fortress Around Your Heart'...
"It really harks back to 'Every Breath You Take', this image of a building, a structure around a person, ostensibly to protect them but ultimately to control them - so much so that you end up isolated from them. An antidote song."
NME, 6/85

About 'Fortress Around Your Heart'...
"Fortress is about appeasement, about trying to bridge the gaps between individuals. The central image is a minefield that you've laid around this other person to try and protect them. Then you realise that you have to walk back through it. I think it's one of the best choruses I've ever written."
Musician, 7/85

Backgrounder

'Moon Over Bourbon Street' appears on Sting's debut solo album, 1985's 'The Dream Of The Blue Turtles'. The track became the fourth and final track from the album to be released as a single, peaking at the #44 position in the UK. Played throughout the 1985/86 tour, a live version of the track recorded in Arnhem can be found on the 'Bring On The Night' album. The song made a surprise but welcome reappearance on the 'Brand New Day' tour, where it was given a new lease of life thanks to Chris Botti's trumpet and Sting's gravelly vocals - a cross between Tom Waits and Louis Armstrong. The B-side, 'The Ballad Of Mack The Knife' appears also appears on the Kurt Weill tribute album 'Lost In The Stars'. The 12" version of the release also included the album version of 'Fortress Around Your Heart'.