I guess the point is: Sting has so much brilliant work, both as a solo artist, and as lead voice and bass player of The Police, that it's more than a challenge to put his best material in one album, like 'Fields of Gold' tries to. I'd say this is the only one flaw the album has, and it's definitely not one about which much can be done -the man is simply a genius!
This album actually is comprised of a little more than just greatest hits. The first and last songs are previously unreleased. 'When we dance' it's such a beautiful tune... I remember every time I listen to it when I got my copy of the CD. At the time I was living in Ithaca, NY and it was winter (November of 94). I remember opening the window and looking at the snow flakes falling to this song. So beautiful... 'This Cowboy Song' is a very contagious tune as well; not too 'cowboy' sounding in the country sense of the word, but very good anyway.
Other than these two songs, there is another gift for the attentive Sting fan: the track 'Why should I cry for you' (from the album "Soul Cages") is a different version from the original. In my opinion, though, the original one sounded much better (it reminds me of the sound of Peter Gabriel -no wonder, since Sting's line-up for that album was almost the same as PG's!)
The rest of the songs almost need no comment. They're all without exception great, as great is the musical legacy of Sting. If you don't have any albums by him, this will serve as an acceptable compilation of his first four albums. "Soul Cages," his third one (and in general, the least understood one) is not well covered by this album, so you will have to get yourself a copy of this album that Sting wrote drowning in the sorrow left by the death of his father. Once you get these two albums (to the very, very least) you need to treat yourself to "Brand New Day", his most recent production, and try to catch him live the next time he drops by your town: you'll be so impressed, most likely you'll go out and buy the rest of the albums by him you don't already own!
on August 12, 2002
As much as I enjoyed The Police, I credit Sting with broadening his and my musical horizons at some point with his move toward jazz-inflected pop. Fields of Gold: The Best of Sting is simply a first rate collection containing enough highlights to convince anyone that the post-Police years have been nothing short of golden.
The two new tracks risked sounding left behind when you consider the rest of the program was selected from the cream of Sting's solo efforts. But they're surprisingly good, especially "This Cowboy Song." From a technical perspective, Sting doesn't have the best vocal range even among popular singers, but he long ago learned to write in a way that showcases his distinctive timbre without pushing it too far. We've all come of age with that slightly strained voice, and he sounds great.
The 'best of' tracks are hard to argue with. Even the remix of 'Fortress Around Your Heart' is nicely done, and the songs from the 1985 'Dream of the Blue Turtles' really hold their own. 'Mercury Falling', often considered a weaker album, is conspicuously absent, while the excellent 'Ten Summoner's Tales' is represented by two songs. How 'Shape of My Heart' didn't make it is beyond me, as I think the 'Ten Summoners' album and that song represent something of a high point for Sting, but it is impossible to complain much about the present album.
Whether you already own everthing Sting has recorded or are looking for an introduction, this album is a real home run. Probably one of the best popular music albums in the last 20 years, if you accept a 'Best of' as an album. Very highly recommended.
on August 27, 2000
"The Best of Sting" is a truly a great value. I have listened to Sting since his police days and this CD certainly holds some sort of record for longevity...you will listen to it for years. With many veteran side men such as Branford Marsalis, the band alone is worth listening to even though the songs featured are each collectors. Trying to rate the CD based on the backup players would be useless in that Sting uses such noteworthy musicians as Eric Clapton, Mark Knofler (Dire Straits), Andy Summers (Police), and many others, through the years to perform on these classics. I have stated in other reviews that Sting is the best I songwriter I have ever heard who uses minimal chords without being boring. These offerings covers the entire spectrum of chord use.
I would recommend certain songs on this CD as the most outstanding, but that would be a waste of time--they're all great. My personal favorites are "When We Dance", "Fields of Gold", "Fortress Around Your Heart", They Dance Alone", "Fragile", "Englishman in New York", "Russians", "The Cowboy Song", Why Should I Cry For You?", "If I Ever Lose My Faith in You", "All This Time", and "If You Love Somebody Set Them Free". (I have listed the entire playlist).
As a professional musician, I rate CD's in two ways, song writing/musicianship, and for the number of songs I would listen to over and over again. This CD rates a solid five in both categories. This CD not only has great music, songs, and musicians, but it also has great lyrics...listen to "They Dance Alone" or "Fields of Gold". The song "Russians" refers to nuclear and political fare, but in a historical perspective. He uses a theme by the famous Russian composer Prokofiev as a way to make the melody more "russian". "Fragile" was the reason I purchased this CD initially. I had always loved the melody of the song, used in a Red Cross commercial, and find it to be a song writing gem. Of course there are many Sting staples on this CD such as "If You Love Them Set Them Free and "Fortress Around Your Heart" (a Police-sounding cut). As stated previously, I found the most rewarding song lyrically on this CD is "They Dance Alone" which is a from his CD "Nothing Like the Sun". With the purchase of this CD, you too will be writing a five-star review.
on November 4, 2002
For a single disc collection of STING's works, FIELDS OF GOLD is pretty darn solid. I don't care for two tracks, otherwise it's all good. Being a bass player I love Sting's bass work, although more so with THE POLICE. After leaving that group in the mid 80's he produced a string of memorable albums and great songs-many of them are showcased here. His career-defining DREAM OF THE BLUE TURTLES is well represented. That album remains my favorite of all his works. In addition to some classics like "If You Love Somebody..", "Russians", and "Fortress Around Your Heart" (note for note the best Sting song ever) we also get a beautiful new song "When We Dance". For my taste I would like to have heard "We Work The Black Seem Together" but oh well. A good introduction to this talented musician nonetheless.
on July 25, 2002
A few images come up when I think of Fields of Gold. One is that it is time for the harvest. This is a greatest hits of Sting after his days with The Police (starting with the "Dream of the Blue Turtles" album) which gives him plenty of material to choose from. Second, the gold lets me know that these are great songs, all of which will strike a chord in you.
This compilation CD is perfect for people who love all the songs you see on MTV, listen to on the radio, or hear at a party. If you don't want to invest in all his albums, but want to enjoy these masterful songs, then you need to buy this.
This does include the studio version of "Fragile" which rose to prominence after the September 11th tragedy.
Get yourself a glass of something chilled, turn down the lights, and enjoy.
on January 31, 2000
I saw Mr. Gordon "Sting" Sumner perform "If You Love Somebody Set Them Free", one of my favorite songs by him, at the New Year's Celebration last year (it being more or less an effort to promote "Brand New Day", apparently), and it showed a level of class that I hadn't been aware of before from this fine singer. My other favorites from this collection are "When We Dance", "Fields Of Gold" itself, my absolute favorite from 1991 "All This Time", "Fortress Around Your Heart", "If I Ever Lose My Faith In You", and the soothing ballad "Fragile" (also included on the out-of-print compilation "Earthrise-The Rainforest Album", what a suprise, huh?). This is quite a quality compilation from Sting for sure, get it for yourself soon!
on January 24, 2000
This cd came out in 1994, but I still listen to it, which is either a sign of how much of a Sting fan I am or the fact that mood music expresses my truest emotions.
Never listen to Sting to feel overjoyed about life. Sting is very very serious and melancholy, which suits me. I personally love "When We Dance," "Be Still My Beating Heart," "Englishman In New York," and "If I Ever Lose My Faith In You." "Fragile," "Why Should I Cry For You," and "Fields of Gold" rank among my favorite songs of all time. This album is great overall, though "We'll Be Together" and "If You Love Somebody Set Them Free" are not all that great. It takes a while for "All This Time," "We Dance Alone (Cueca Solo)" and "This Cowboy Song" to grow on you as well.
Trust me, some of Sting's music is an acquired taste and all of it is basically depressing, but for a rainy day or a melancholy mood, his music is perfect.
on February 8, 2002
I always endorse "Best of" CDs, since you have the chaff completely separated from the wheat. You really don't want to waste your money on a CD with one good title song, and the rest with a lot of crap on the remainder.
Sting is one of these artists with a lot of soul, whose music matches his sentiments and ideas. You get a perfect profile of the man, his music, and his morals. He has a strong stance on political issues, and several songs such as "Fragile" (which was sung at the Salt Lake City Olympics), "Russian," and "Cueca Solo" represent some of the causes Sting has adopted. He has a good name and is a superb musician, so he brings considerable weight to his projects, in and out of the studio.
This disc has his early solo hits, such as "Fields of Gold," "All this time," and "Englishman in New York," which marks how far he has evolved as an artist since his heyday in the Police. He is no long a driven and angry youth, but a mature man with wider eyes on the world and a sharper ear for music.
So man rock star self destruct when going solo, or slowly whimper away into the shadows. Sting, on the other has, has full risen phoenix-like from the ashes of the Police and is still blazing hard. I am eagerly awaiting the follow-up CD, since he is still going strong.
on January 28, 2000
I'm a fan of Sting since THE POLICE. This CD is his best decade of music solo. My favorites from this one are "If I Ever Lose My Faith" and "Englishman In New York". He always manages to blend music differently from jazz to soul and does it very well. This is a must-have for fans.
on December 15, 2004
"Fields Of Gold - The Best Of Sting" is a safe buy (or should be) for all true musiclovers who has enjoyed some of Stings' classic hit-songs, and yes, I really do think this collection manage to bring out the essential of the great composer, poet and performer.
I have no idea how many times I have listened to this great collection-release - but it can only be compared to number of times that I have daydreamed to "The Soul Cages" and the just as fabolous "Ten Summoners' Tales".
All I can say is "Thank you, A&M for this release
- and thank you Sting for doing it even more interesting."
These are the songs that haunts me - and I am not trying to act poetic here, but these songs really do!
And I must admit that my favorite albums (so far) were released in the years before this collection (and including it of course) - this is Sting at his best, no doubt. He had a younger, and more "fresher" voice back then - but hey, that's just time. I still love Stings' work (and voice)!
The important thing is that after this release Sting has only become bigger and bigger - and for his age this is incredible, and I can't wait to see what his next project will sound like.
(The 2 "new" songs are When We Dance and This Cowboy Song)