Ten Summoner's Tales



by scpttrerulz USER (14 Reviews)
March 2nd, 2007 | 17 replies

Release Date: 1993 | Tracklist

Review Summary: [I]The Ten Summoners’ Tales[/I] is more than a worthy listen and is an absolute must have for any music fan. It is after all good music and parades as nothing but; my favorite representative of an artist in a good place in life and music.

Quick. Name one rock band from whose ashes arose a pop icon and superstar, making himself a household name over the 80s and the 90s. More likely than not you’ll think of Sting and his band The Police despite the fact that probably a faster answer should have been Genesis, for after all, it gave rise to not one but two superstars in both Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins. That’s how big this man named Gordon Matthew Sumner is. So what made him such a big name in the pop scene? Quality music. Stunned? I’ll say it again: Quality music.

Sting’s music is a varied blend of a world of musical influences while principally being some concoction of jazz, lounge and rock, all in different proportions naturally. His first solo appearance was made inadvertently in 1981 performing on all four nights of the fourth Amnesty International benefit The Secret Policeman's Other Ball at the invitation of producer Martin Lewis and as they say so often, the rest is history.

Zip forward 12 years to 1993. Musically and otherwise, there couldn’t be a better place to be in. With the success (both critical and commercial) of his heavily personal album, The Soul Cages, dedicated to his then recently deceased father, getting married to sweetheart Trudie Styler and also receiving an honorary doctorate from the Northumbia University, more than understandably, Sting was …. well……. happy.

That was when he went into recording his next album. So what kind of record could we expect from a happy Sting. Well… a happy one. Considering he was emotionally spent after pouring out his heart in the previous record and generally having things going for him, could we expect any different? So here we have Sting’s most unabashedly pop album. No greater meaning we’re supposed to have an epiphany about, no music that’s heavily emotion laden (well that’s not exactly true but at least it’s not as heavy as the previous one.); just a collection of good songs, fun songs and most importantly quality songs.

The title itself basically is a play of words on his surname (Sumner) and the title of Geoffrey Chaucer’s classic The Canterbury Tales making it symptomatic as to the album’s mood is more ways than one with the self admittance that there ten different tales, or rather, no specific running thread throughout the album. The songs run through a gamut of emotions, from nostalgia to naughtiness, from simple pleasures to secret desires, from love to longing and some very beautifully penned lyrics bring a smile to your face when you listen:

You’ll remember me when the west wind moves
Upon the fields of barley
You’ll forget the sun in his jealous sky
As we walk in the fields of gold

And the music. Ah the music. With the aforementioned concoction of jazz, lounge and rock running amuck through the album, many other varied styles keep peeping out from nowhere and surprise you, so that just when you think you’ve got an idea of how the album sounds like, you’re stumbling in the dark again. One recurring musical style that tends to dominate this “Other Styles” category is country music making its appearance on multiple tracks and most prominently on Love Is Stronger Than Justice, which with its shifts between 8/8 and 7/8 time signatures keeps the track oscillating between a very rural sounding country chorus and a more sophisticated blues oriented verse.

But the album’s description would be incomplete without talking about the rest of the band. The musicians list on the album boasts of some very fine musicians, with worthy mentions being Vinnie Colaiuta on drums, Dominic Miller on guitars and David Sancious (who used to play with Springsteen). No wonder then that his backing sounds….. seasoned and refined. There’s no better way to describe it. Even in the simplest of progressions, they manage to add a touch of superiority, of … should I say… magic, a case in point being the opening track. Brilliance in simplicity.

Overall The Ten Summoners’ Tales is more than a worthy listen and is an absolute must have for any music fan. It is after all good music and parades as nothing but; my favorite representative of an artist in a good place in life and music. Sting’s good life, it seems, wasn’t in a hurry to turn it’s back on him.

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Comments:Add a Comment 
March 2nd 2007


Album Rating: 4.0

Hope you enjoy the review ....


March 2nd 2007


A pretty good review. I had been meaning to get this CD, if for nothing other than the beautiful "Fields of Gold."

March 2nd 2007


Album Rating: 4.0

I'm very happy someone finally reviewed it. It wasn't even in Sputnik's library a year ago when I added it. I've been meaning to review either this or the soul cages ever since, but never got around to it. I love this album, it really takes me back to childhood haha. The keyboards and synths are gorgeous yet not over-done. Brilliant album.

April 7th 2008


I'd get this just to hear Vinnie on Seven Days. He's so awesome on that song!

October 18th 2009


Album Rating: 4.0

Unquestionably Sting's best post-Police record, and he'll probably never top it. To think he gave up the opportunity for a new Police record to continue putting out his usual substandard crap blows my mind tbh.

Digging: Roger Waters - Is This The Life We Really Want?

February 12th 2010


Album Rating: 3.5

Fields of Gold is almost a perfect ballad.

February 12th 2010


Unquestionably Sting's best post-Police record, and he'll probably never top it. To think he gave up the opportunity for a new Police record to continue putting out his usual substandard crap blows my mind tbh

Dream of the Blue Turtles>this

July 22nd 2011


Album Rating: 4.5

I get lost into another world listening 'Fields of Gold'

August 18th 2012


Shape of My Heart is a great song, I will have to listen to the rest of this one of these days

March 25th 2013


Have to agree with StrizzMatik. This is Sting's strongest record. Everything released before this was good as well, but with some filler.

The soft rock crap he releases now is so lame. I can pick maybe 1-2 listenable songs on the albums that follow this one.

His live performances are spot on as long as the band is playing the good tunes.

August 21st 2013


Album Rating: 4.5

Fields of Gold is arguably the most relaxing song ever

August 29th 2013


its kinda weird to me that he has so many albums rated above every police album

August 29th 2013


Album Rating: 4.5

his solo career is way better

January 22nd 2014


yeah fields of gold is still the jam

Digging: VHS Glitch - Evil Technology

May 4th 2015


Album Rating: 5.0

Fields of Gold is one of my favorite songs ever. I could dance to that at my wedding.

Digging: Enoid - Exile Aux Confins Des Tourments

May 4th 2015


Album Rating: 4.5

EASILY one of the best songs ever, agreed

July 26th 2015


Album Rating: 3.5

'Fields of Gold is almost a perfect ballad.'

I still love that tune

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