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The Dream of the Blue Turtles

4.7 out of 5 stars 137 customer reviews

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Audio CD, July 12, 1985
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Sting ~ Dream Of The Blue Turtles

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From one spin of The Dream of the Blue Turtles, Sting's first solo release, it's obvious that for him there would be life beyond the Police. Teamed with a band of top jazz players, he presents his musical visions that had gone unrealized while he was still constrained by his former ensemble. In style and subject matter, it's a decidedly diverse collection of songs and the playing is excellent throughout. The love songs are mostly focused on endings or escapes, and it's quite possible to interpret much of the imagery in reference to the bitter breakup of the Police. Sting's concern with history and politics is in evidence: he makes a father's plea for sanity and restraint in the nuclear age, takes up for the U.K.'s much-abused coal miners, and relates the savage stupidity of World War I to the destructive effects of adolescent heroin addiction. Songs that seem elaborately constructed and recorded contrast with others that are presented as one-take jams. Seen as a whole, The Dream of the Blue Turtles is eclectic, ambitious--sometimes pretentious--but altogether worth owning. --Al Massa
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 12, 1985)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: A&M
  • ASIN: B000002GFA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (137 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,879 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on January 4, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I can't believe it's been 15 years since I bought my first copy of this album on vinyl, but what doesn't surprise me is how great it is even today. Every song tried something new and started introducing jazz overtones to a 15-year old kid who was straight rock-and-roll. Not only is the music great, but this has to be far and away one of the best collections of lyrics ever written. Where else do Anne Rice, William Shakespeare, and Sergei Prokofiev come together with a white former punk and his all black jazz band? Anyone?
The Police were great for taking New Wave and mixing it with reggae and jazz to create something completely unique. Sting took it to the next level and, if you look closely at the lyrics and liner notes, took what was just a vacation from the Police and forged himself a solo career. I don't think he's ever been able to re-create the greatness of this album (although Nothing Like The Sun is close) simply because it wasn't intended to do anything but be fun and different. When the Police broke up, he suddenly was forced to think of himself as a solo artist and I think that hurt him in the long run. Going back and listening to Dream of the Blue Turtles is a pleasure that doesn't go away.
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Format: Audio CD
I expected a lot from a remastered CD. This engineers version is terrible, or should I say treble. If remastered means add some reverb and boost the treble through the stratosphere then this is a work of art. After I leave here I'm ordering the original.
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Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
The off-duty "Police"-man never went home to rest after his last shift, and you'll thank him after listening to what he was doing after-hours.

When Sting left the Police after their already highly successful magnum opus, "Synchronicity", it was clear that the Police were unrivaled in claiming the peak of the new wave rock mountain. That energy and creative spark that burned in Sting's musical engine when he was merely switching musical mountains powered the very timeless debut solo album that is "The Dream of the Blue Turtles".

The album eludes any super mainstream genre, which is always a risky move for an already established artist coming from another genre, but don't fret: Sting's gall and guile paved the way to a timeless album. If you loved the fashion in which he always cleverly disguised hit songs with underlying notions of his intellectual genius, "Blue Turtles" will be no exception to your collection. Whether it's the energy-filled intro to the album, the slower songs in the middle, or the magnificent ending track, the whole album can be easy to listen to for someone looking for a great listen to someone searching for meaning in every verse.

This isn't a terrible pun regarding Sting's past as a school teacher, but when it came to artists to choose from to construct "Blue Turtles", Sting really did his homework (that was still a bad pun, huh?). Branford Marsalis is the most recognizable name to many, with many successful studio musicians like Omar Hakim, Darryl Jones, and Kenny Kirkland. Dollette McDonald (who is one of the backup vocalists for the Synchronicity World Tour in the early 80's) and Janice Pendarvis provide a perfect harmony with Sting's distinguishable voice.

I give this album five stars for its magnificent theme and mix of genres, musicians, lyrics, and overall flow of an album. If you love the Police, this will be the perfect intro album to whet your appetite for more of Sting's solo work.
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Format: Audio CD
I am not going to talk about how good this album is because it is indeed VERY GOOD and you can read all the reviews here. If you are an audiophile or at least you like to hear your favorite albums with great sound quality this is a great album to have. Many audiophile recordings are praised for the quality recording but sometimes the music is boring, dull or nothing special. This album is a great example of how EXCELLENT MUSIC can be combined with EXCELLENT AUDIOPHILE quality sound. As a matter of fact I always use "Love is the Seventh Wave", "The Dream of the Blue Turtles" and "Shadows in the Rain" as one of my stereo system showings to my friends. Sting's voice sounds very crisp and clear and so do the instruments played by the Blue Turtles Band. JUST BE SURE YOU GET THE AM+ AUDIO MASTER PLUS SERIES release. That is the plain, regular and common release. Do not get the "remastered version" because like many other people agree, this remasterings of Sting's albums have not done any favor and have greatly deteriorated the sound quality.
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Format: Audio CD
With the release of "Dream of the Blue Turtles" in 1985, Sting embarked upon a new musical direction. This was a definite break with his style with The Police, but Sting has a way of recycling his music. In one way he was getting back to his jazz roots, but in another way he was heading toward the mainstream adult contemporary genre that he occupies today.
Sting also hired a crack band of young jazz pros, including Omar Hakim on drums, Darryl Jones on bass, Kenny Kirkland on keys and Branford Marsalis on saxophone. Sting switched from bass to guitar, but did perform the very cool double bass line on "Moon Over Bourbon Street."
"If You Love Somebody Set Them Free" is a Motown-style song with lyrics that transcend the usual love song, focusing more on the freedom in the relationship.
"Love is the Seventh Wave" has a world music feel and is a plea for everyone to get along.
"Russians" finds Sting getting a bit preachy, but this Cold War era tune has a haunting (borrowed) classical bent and ticking clock and well-intentioned message.
"Children's Crusade" is a sad ballad about the loss of generations of young men in WWI, first to the war and then to the addiction to morphine. Fast forward to 1984 and the image resonates as another generation is lost to heroin.
"Shadows in the Rain" is a revised Police song, with the classic intro of someone shouting 'wait, what key is it in!' and some outstanding drums. This is a great rock/jazz combination.
"We Work the Black Seam" is a complex tune the invokes the difficult life of coal miners, but also digs into the past and the future of energy and what it means to the focal character.
"Consider Me Gone" uses home metaphors about a relationship gone south, backed by a cool swing beat.
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