Sunday, September 26, 2010

Adolescent Music Flashback: Sting

I still remember the first time I saw Sting.  I was watching MTV, and the "Every Little Thing She Does is Magic" video came on.  Sting's is the first face I saw, and I was gobsmacked.  From that moment, I had a massive crush, and I knew I had to learn more about him.  I didn't realize I would crush on his music as well.  Naturally, The Police became (and remains) one of my all-time favorite bands, but it was Sting's solo effort after The Police that really caught my attention.

"The Dream of the Blue Turtles" is nothing short of stunning, and I cannot say that enough.  I know that there were many fans of The Police who did not seem terribly pleased with this artistic departure, but I was not one of them.  Everything about that album seemed to reflect changes that were going on in my own life.  It was released the summer between my Junior and Senior years of high school.  So I felt that just as Sting was going through a transition in his life, so was I.  I also had the pleasure of seeing Sting on "The Dream of the Blue Turtles'" tour at the College of William & Mary with my good friend Tod, and I remember both of us leaving William & Mary Hall bigger Sting fans than we had been walking in.  I was also determined to learn more about Branford Marsalis and Kenny Kirkland, who played with Sting for, I believe, the first two solo albums.

To this day, I still enjoy watching the video for "If You Love Somebody Set Them Free," because the dance styles of the two background singers remind me of my mother and one of my aunts (and the song is awesome).  The smooth sista in the black pants moves eerily like my mother, and the gregarious sista is my aunt all over.  And, the concert video/documentary "Bring on the Night" is a total family favorite (it's cool watching my gran rock out to Sting).  I also had the song "Consider Me Gone" playing on repeat, as my time for heading off to undergrad grew closer.

By the time Sting's second solo album "...Nothing Like the Sun" came out, I was in college, and my adolescence was near over, so the videos below really represent that narrow window of time between '85 and '87.  And I still harbor a little crush on Sting, who grew into an incredible man and humanitarian.  Please enjoy.

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