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Audio CD, July 13, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

All newly arranged, orchestrated tracks including: Roxanne, Next To You, Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic, An Englishman In NY, I Burn For You and
Why Should I Cry For You?


We could quibble that Sting played it safe Saturday night at the Winspear Opera House. We could complain that he and his stellar three-piece band - drummer Josh Freese, keyboardist David Sancious and guitarist Dominic Miller - pandered to the 30-and-up audience by giving them many familiar solo and Police tunes as well as a few album cuts from that hit-making era.

But that would be dismissing a fabulous show of musicianship, stage presence and song selection. Sting, whose performance was part of the Super Bowl XLV Kick-Off Concert Series, was in stellar artistic form. He was so good that he made us forget how coy those North Texas Super Bowl XLV Host Committee bigwigs were about the headliner of the Sept. 10 gig dubbed "XLV Countdown Live From Cowboys Stadium."

All we know is this person is a Grammy-winner and has sold more than 40 million albums. "Contractual obligations" prohibit them from saying anything else. Instead we got banter from hosts Troy Aikman and Daryl Johnston as well as Roger Staubach, Drew Pearson and Tony Dorsett.

Sting commanded undivided attention for 90 minutes. Looking and sounding most youthful at 58, the Englishman born Gordon Sumner opened with a loosely R&B rendition of "If I Ever Lose My Faith In You." He would effortlessly travel through gems showcasing his grasp of melodies, rhythm and memorable lyrics.

The highlights were the unexpected numbers such as the sauntering "Walking On the Moon" segueing into the moody "Tea In the Sahara," or the solemn, spare "Shape Of My Heart" and the rocking "Driven to Tears." But there was also no ignoring the punk-rock energy of "Message In a Bottle," the stunning beauty of "Fields of Gold" and the sinewy, sexy allure of "Wrapped Around Your Finger."

By the time he reached the end of two encores, Sting had touched on every significant turn of his career. Closing with "Fragile," one of his most covered solo compositions, reminded us just how accomplished his repertoire has been. -- By MARIO TARRADELL / The Dallas Morning News

Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 13, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B003LAH7MU
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,724 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

199 of 210 people found the following review helpful By R. Mathes on July 15, 2010
Format: Audio CD
Hello all, I was so taken with the detail and beautifully written review by Brian that I had to post a review of my own, despite the fact that I have no right to review it because I produced this record with Sting. This music has meant so much to me, these songs, this artist, that the daunting task of arranging a lot of the current tour and producing this record haunted me for months. This review will contain some defensive comments but I hope they at least illuminate the process of making this record for anyone who cares. It will also hopefully serve as a slightly better indication of why (Brian's question) the record was made and the thinking behind a lot of it. First of all, for those who think that Sting is slacking off and just trying to continually recycle existing material, be aware of this. The record was something that happened almost by accident and the whole venture was essentially another voyage of discovery for Sting, who loves Orchestral music.

The story: He was invited by both The Philadelphia Orchestra and The Chicago Symphony Orchestra to put on a concert of his music arranged for orchestra. A tour was planned based on the appeal of those concerts. They were a thrill for him. In his words, "what a joy and honor it is to hear songs I often wrote on a guitar alone in a room played by a group of peerless musicians". All that said, the concerts highlighted the difficulties of a venture like this. Many music stars do Standards records and other similarly minded projects to appeal to adults who attend Symphonic concerts and higher brow Arts events but still love great Pop music. These projects are occasionally successful but they can be artistically dreadful. Is there anything worse than a series of ballads peppered with cloying Strings??
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Gregory A. Wilson on July 20, 2010
Format: Audio CD
There's nothing more absurd than acting as if music which was largely successful because of its innovation, its creativity, its sense of play and wonder, somehow fails when it's played in a different context and with different instrumentation than the original. I was fortunate enough to see the Symphonicities concert at the Met last week, and having heard the music both live and now on this CD, I can confirm Rob's comments here: these aren't more boring rock rehashes, the LSO sawing through another painfully staid rendition of some Rolling Stones hit (which says much more about about the lack of breadth in a typical Rolling Stones song than about any failing in the LSO). Rather, these are (for the most part) strikingly unusual, challenging arrangements which push the boundaries of the songs to which they pay tribute. In some cases this enhances the song's original effect: the arrangement of "Englishman in New York," for instance, which broadens the impact of the song's light-hearted, dancing playfulness, or "When We Dance," which lets Sting's voice soar, as only it can, over the lush accompaniment which I always imagined listening to the original version. In other instances it redirects the song in striking ways--like in "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic," where the joy of the original, strengthened by the strings, is now underlined with the wonder of newly discovered love by brilliant use of brass, the trumpet line drawing the vocals along with it. And some tracks not on the CD--like the astonishingly re-envisioned "King of Pain," which takes a iconic piece and fortifies its brooding sound with a dark, driving energy which I certainly never heard in the original, or the weighty, forceful take on "Russians"--are revelations.Read more ›
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Flexible_Strategies on July 24, 2010
Format: Audio CD
Sting's career has had more twists and turns than a mountain road in the Swiss Alps. I have always admired his knack for choosing the path less travelled. He never plays it safe. Breaking up The Police was proof of that. Reuniting them 20 years later was an even bigger shocker. His acting roles, Broadway, and the lute albums. His journey has certainly been interesting. This new CD of orchestral reinterpretations is another interesting bend in the road. Sure, many other artists have gone the orchestral route. With an artist like Scorpions it feels a bit forced. Sting's compositions lend themselves wonderfully to this treatment. The original songs range from playful to brooding and everything in between. The orchestra picks up these themes and enhances the music in a beautiful way. The songs are seen in a new light. Very enjoyable!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Judzo on July 1, 2012
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
I confess I have never been a great fan of Sting. I have enjoyed some of his music but more often than not his songs have not appealed to me. As a result, when I flipping through the channels and noticed Sting was performing live in Berlin with an orchestra, it was more out of curiosity that I watched than anything else. I was floored. To say he was on top of his game would be an understatement. It was obvious he was inspired by the orchestra and they thoroughly enjoyed performing with and for him. They loved his music and it showed in every way and with good reason. I know some of the songs on this CD and the Live in Berlin CD are classics and some believe it is wrong to change classics. Michael Buble has made a career out of that. But the orchestration and the sheer power and ferocity that an orchestra brings to the music of Sting was and is a perfect blend to his songwriting prowess and the beauty of his music. It's the first time I fully appreciated his voice. It blended perfectly with the instruments. I bought both CDs. In a time where talented individuals who have honed their craft by countless hours of effort are replaced by electronic make believe with volume at full blast on every channel, this music reminded me why I have been in love with music all my life. These orchestrations unlocked the beauty of the music of Sting for me. I am buying tickets for his concert. If you love music, this CD and his Live at Berlin CD should be your next purchases.
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Oh Sting...Where Is Thy Death?
I agree. Saw the Symphonicity tour last night and it was amazing. The philharmonic only made him better, if that's possible. I only wish the album included all the songs he played with them, like Russians and Moon over Bourbon Street.
Jul 12, 2010 by Ally |  See all 9 posts
stop it Sting!!!!!!!!!!
I saw the concert in Portland, OR and must say--quite a few of the "staple" songs have been drastically rearranged for production with symphony. I enjoyed it quite a bit and wouldn't say it's remotely similar to his other records. I wonder if the two previous commenters in this... Read More
Jun 6, 2010 by Erin D. in PDX |  See all 19 posts
i can take it or leave it with sting.However thought this was quite an enjoyable cd
Jan 7, 2012 by M. O'Donnell |  See all 3 posts
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