I have to start with a quibble here: if you’re naming your album Ten Summoner’s Tales, there better be ten bloody songs on the thing – not twelve songs. You should’ve named the album Twelve Summoner’s Tales.
I digress, of course. Sting – surprisingly not his real name; that would be Gordon Sumner – rose to fame as the frontman of The Police (of “Message In A Bottle”/”Roxanne”/”Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” fame). Sting set out on a solo venture when they split in 1984; Ten (Twelve) Summoner’s Tales was released further from the end of The Police than the start of The Police was from the end of The Police.
It’s a decent solo album: opener “If I Ever Lose My Faith In You” is one of my favourite tracks ever (and featured on the Now That’s What I Call Music album some of you will have seen me mention previously), but nothing on the rest of the album hits that peak, be it the overly twee “Fields Of Gold”, the dated eighties rock of “Heavy Cloud No Rain”, the terrible re-working of “It’s Probably Me”, originally a brilliant duet with Eric Clapton, or late album ballad “Shape Of My Heart”, later sampled on Craig David’s “Rise And Fall”.
There is nothing here that is as good as The Police (excepting maybe that opening track). And I think in some ways I already knew that was the case; I’ve never made much of an effort to explore Sting’s solo work. I won’t be rushing back.
CLTM (Chris Listens To Music) is my attempt to listen to a new album every day; you can follow my efforts on Instagram here (and send recommendations), and if you like what I’m doing, support my efforts by shouting me a cuppa at Buy Me A Coffee.