08.18.13 Rolling Stone: Sting Offers Ships and Surprises on First Solo Album In a Decade...


Sting Offers Ships and Surprises on First Solo Album In a Decade - 'The Last Ship,' an album of songs from the musician's upcoming Broadway show, arrives September 24th...

Sting still recalls his earliest memory of growing up near shipyards in northeast England. "A massive ship at the end of my street, towering over the houses and blotting out the sun," he says. "I was raised in this surreal industrial landscape that is still the landscape of my dreams, and some of my nightmares. I watched many ships being launched, and there is something terrifying, apocalyptic and haunting about the event that never leaves you."

Those memories haven't just haunted Sting; they've inspired his latest project, The Last Ship, a musical about a struggling British shipyard in the Eighties that's set to open on Broadway in the fall of next year. An album of songs from that production, also called The Last Ship, arrives September 24th. "The album represents the raw material from which the play is being carved," Sting says. "Hopefully it stands alone as a body of work without the narrative thread that binds the play."

The album ends what Sting calls "a long fallow period" that started after the completion of the Police's reunion tour in 2008 and his 2009 Christmas-themed set If On a Winter's Night... "I don't think the album would have happened at all without the initial impetus to create something for the theatre," he says. "As soon as I got myself out of the way, the songs flowed thick and fast."

Fans expecting pop - especially given that this is Sting's first solo album of original material since 2003's Sacred Love - may be surprised. The songs feature a few outside singers, including AC/DC's Brian Johnson and veteran British actor-singer Jimmy Nail, and the styles include anything but rock & roll. "I wanted the music to reflect the traditional music of the northeast of England where I grew up, as well as tipping my hat to the great music of the theatrical tradition - Rodgers and Hammerstein, Lerner and Loewe, Brecht and Weill."

Starting September 25th, Sting will perform the material over 10 nights at New York's Public Theater. The Broadway version, which should include about three-fourths of the songs on the album, will be directed by Joe Mantelo (Wicked) and choreographed by Steven Hoggett, who worked on the Broadway production of Green Day's American Idiot.

Why, though, would Sting create a thematic album requiring listeners to pay attention all the way through and follow different plot lines and characters? "It certainly goes against the grain, but I still feel there is a constituency that wants music to be more than just something consumed and discarded like a coffee or an ice cream," he says. "I want the music and its themes to consume them, completely and absolutely, the way it consumed me."

(c) Rolling Stone by David Browne
(2) Reviews and Comments
jjs1959 - 08.23.13
A Ship Worth Waiting For
There is complexity and simplicity in everything Sting produces. As anyone who read his autobiography knows, there is a humility in him that belies his superstardom. That is why he can produce such elegant music that tells the story of ordinary people. He has never lost touch with where he came from despite where he is now. Eagerly awaiting the docking of the Last Ship.
scorpio10 - 08.18.13
Poetry In Motion
His passion permeates everything he does. What a gift. It's immensely inspiring and contagious. I am recharged every time I listen to his music. 37 days left 'til The Last Ship sails...
This clip features several of the artists guesting on the new record including Kathryn Tickell, Jimmy Nail, The Unthanks and the Wilson Brothers.


[1] Comments
The latest video in Virtual Ticket, filmed along the Back To Bass Summer 2013 tour, features Sting's longtime guitarist, Dominic Miller. Dominic has worked with Sting on every album and tour since 1990, and Sting describes him as being "my right hand and my left hand." Check it out!
The latest video in Virtual Ticket, filmed along the Back To Bass Summer 2013 tour, features Sting's longtime guitarist, Dominic Miller. Dominic has worked with Sting on every album and tour since 1990, and Sting describes him as being "my right hand and my left hand." Check it out!

[3] Comments
The ONE Campaign has released new videos of Grammy award-winning artists Sting and will.i.am, performing the songs "Driven To Tears" and “It’s a New Day” respectively, as part of the agit8 campaign to raise global awareness about extreme poverty. will.i.am’s new version of ''It’s a New Day'' was recorded in a studio in London, while Sting’s rendition of "Driven To Tears" was filmed on his Back to Bass tour at Chastain Park Amphitheater in Atlanta. Check out Sting's video at http://bit.ly/1cpu0eU and will.i.am's clip at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-03bHYiPRaQ. To see all the agit8 videos and learn more about the history of protest music, visit agit8 online...