Sumner's Tales: Sting talks...
"'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
"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."
"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."
"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."
About 'Shadows In The Rain'...
"That's a got a great opening line, 'Woke up in my clothes again this morning'. John (John Scott, former bassist with Albertos Los Y Trios Paranois who the Police supported in late '78) was a complete madman and loony, used to appear in the morning and say things like 'Slept in my clothes again last night'. That led me to 'Don't know exactly where I am' and so on."
'L'Historia Bandido', '81
'Fortress Around Your Heart' is one of the strongest tracks from 'The Dream Of The Blue Turtles' album. Released as a single, the song made little impact on the UK chart where it peaked at #49, but fared much better in the US where it occupied the chart for 11 weeks reaching the #8 position. The UK single was also released as a limited edition doublepack with the 'If You Love Somebody Set Them Free' single. For such a strong track and concert favourite, the track does not appear in the set-list as often as you might expect, but you can console yourself with the moody black and white video which accompanied the song in which Sting looks by turns both imperious and mischievous. You can find a live version of the track on the CD single for 'Fields Of Gold' which was recorded in Holland and appears on the 'Soul Cages' concert video. 'Shadows In The Rain' is an excellent track from The Police's 1980 album, 'Zenyatta Mondatta'. The song featured extensively in the 1981 tour and Sting re-recorded the track for inclusion on his debut solo album, 'The Dream Of The Blue Turtles' and as the B-side to the 'Fortress Around Your Heart' single, and the song featured in the set during the subsequent tour.