In high school, my best friend had a massive crush on Sting, so I actually know much more about him than the average person of my generation. I know his real name was Gordon Sumner, that he was Catholic (this was important to us, being sentenced to Catholic school our whole lives), that he worked as a teacher (oh, the fantasies THAT inspired!), and that he lived with his girlfriend, Trudie Styler, and had children with her. This was baffling to two teenage girls – why not marry her? Of course, he eventually did, but not before showcasing the graphic birth of one of their children in the rockumentary, Bring on the Night, which my friend and I saw multiple times at the little movie theater in a local mall. Since she went with me to see White Nights more than once (my crush was Mikhail Baryshnikov), it was the least I could do. And I liked the music as well as the fact that he was a good political activist and philanthropist.
Released in 1994, “When We Dance” was one of the two new singles in the compilation album Fields of Gold: The Best of Sting, 1984-1994. Naturally, Sting is creative and quirky, so the video seems like an sci-fi acid trip, but you can just put it on while you are doing something else and listen to how haunting the lyrics are.
Of course, Sting has been the voice of true love for a while (and no, I am NOT talking about “Every Breath You Take” which is a total stalker song. Ew.). Much more jaunty and upbeat, yet still romantic, “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” from The Police album, Ghost in the Machine, is more of a crush song, letting the listener in to a world of infatuation. Sting actually wrote this song in 1976, but it wasn’t a big hit until its inclusion on this album in 1981. I can still see my friend and I bouncing around the living room with MTV showing this video in the background. It’s a typical early video (it has that “gee, what should we do in front of the camera?” quality which haunted early MTV airwaves) but it still appeared that the band was having a good time. I adored Stewart Copeland (I’ve always had a thing for drummers).
“If I Ever Lose My Faith in You” was released in the year before “When We Dance” on his album, Ten Summoner’s Tales which came out in 1993. I always picture this song as the internal voice of a battered hero who has given his heart to a heroine after years of pain. The video is almost as weird as “When We Dance” (maybe working through some Catholic issues here) but just shut your eyes and listen to the fabulous lyrics.
Enjoy your Monday!