Twenty-six years ago, Sting firmly established himself as a solo artist away from The Police with the jazzy The Dream of the Blue Turtles. Yesterday, Universal announced the first-ever career-spanning box set for the iconic singer, entitled 25 Years. Okay, so music geeks aren't good at math.
But what Universal did do a pretty decent job at was chronicling Sting's greatest moments over a wildly varied career - one that plumbed personal depths for great artistic effect in the late '80s and early '90s with ...Nothing Like the Sun and The Soul Cages, weathered interesting pop transitions in Ten Summoner's Tales and Mercury Falling and made an incredible comeback with Brand New Day at the end of the century.
The set is sadly short on archival material - there are literally dozens of Sting B-sides that still remain ripe for the picking - but the set will include nine newly-remixed tracks (as yet unspecified) by engineers Robert Orton and Steve Fitzmaurice (mixers of Lady Gaga's "Just Dance" and Seal's "Kiss from a Rose," respectively) as well as a DVD recorded from an intimate show on Sting's Broken Music Tour in 2005.
And of course, the whole thing is housed in a nice box set with rare photos, lyrics and a new introductory essay by Sting himself.
25 Years is available on September 27, and the full track list is after the jump.
25 Years (Cherrytree/A&M, 2011)
- If You Love Somebody Set Them Free
- Love is the Seventh Wave
- Consider Me Gone
- Moon Over Bourbon Street
- Fortress Around Your Heart
- Bring on the Night (Live)
- Driven to Tears (Live)
- I Burn for You (Live)
- Be Still My Beating Heart
- They Dance Alone
- Englishman in New York
- We'll Be Together
- Sister Moon
- The Secret Marriage
- All This Time
- Mad About You
- Why Should I Cry for You?
- The Soul Cages
- When the Angels Fall
- If I Ever Lose My Faith in You
- Fields of Gold
- Seven Days
- It's Probably Me
- Shape of My Heart
- When We Dance
- I Hung My Head
- I Was Brought to My Senses
- You Still Touch Me
- I'm So Happy I Can't Stop Crying
- A Thousand Years
- Desert Rose
- Ghost Story
- Brand New Day
- Send Your Love
- Whenever I Say Your Name
- Stolen Car (Take Me Dancing)
- Soul Cake
- The Hounds of Winter
- Next to You
- We Work the Black Seam
- The Pirate's Bride
- Never Coming Home
- Russians (Live)
- The End of the Game (Live)
Disc 4: Rough, Raw & Unreleased - Live at Irving Plaza, New York City - 5/14/2005
- Message in a Bottle
- Demolition Man
- Synchronicity II
- Driven to Tears
- Heavy Cloud, No Rain
- A Day in the Life
- Voices Inside My Head/When the World is Running Down
- Next to You
- Lithium Sunset
Disc 1, Tracks 1-5 from The Dream of the Blue Turtles (A&M, 1985)
Disc 1, Tracks 6-8 from Bring on the Night (A&M, 1986)
Disc 1, Tracks 9-15 from ...Nothing Like the Sun (A&M, 1987)
Disc 2, Tracks 1-5 from The Soul Cages (A&M, 1991)
Disc 2, Tracks 6-10 from Ten Summoner's Tales (A&M, 1993)
Disc 2, Track 11 from Fields of Gold: The Best of Sting 1984-1994 (A&M, 1994)
Disc 2, Tracks 12-15 from Mercury Falling (A&M, 1996)
Disc 3, Tracks 1-4 from Brand New Day (A&M, 1999)
Disc 3, Tracks 5-7 from Sacred Love (A&M, 2003)
Disc 3, Tracks 8-9 from If on a Winter's Night... (Deutsche Grammophon, 2009)
Disc 3, Tracks 10-12 from Symphonicities (Decca, 2010)
Disc 3, Tracks 14-15 from Live in Berlin (Decca, 2010)
Phil Cohen says
The Russian affiliate of A&M Records released a 2-CD set "B-Sides and Rarities" covering most of Sting's obscure tracks from 1993-2008, and there's enough rarities from before 1993 to fill more than a disc, so Sting has recorded more than enough rarities to fill THREE DISCS, and the folks at Universal U.S.A. don't think that any of them should be included in this box set. That is appalling.
A&M has a Russian affiliate? Are you sure it's an official release? (I am skeptical about any release from Russia, China or Argentina...)
Yeah, this is a wasted opportunity. With the exception of "Message in a Box," neither Sting nor the Police have never gotten a decent compilation from A&M.
As a very casual fan, I would not buy a box without the studio version of Russians...
Thanks for the heads up on that Russian 2CD set, Phil. I have never heard of it (it's not even listed at Discogs) and I wouldn't buy a Russian CD without a firm recommendation about its validity. Now I just need to try and track down a reasonably price copy...
Yeah a bit surprised at the omission of the studio version of Russians. Also, I hope We'll Be Together is truly the original version and not the '94 subdued re-recording. But glad they've got some kind of remastered set. I'll probably buy it, though I can see myself easily leaving disc 3 untouched in the box. 🙂
As a side note, A&M is the absolute worst label for remastering back catalogs. They'll do a 2-disc anthology, but they're not very consistent with catalogs. Try to find remastered albums from little-known artists such as Styx, Bryan Adams, Janet Jackson, and Extreme.
P.S. A few years ago JAPAN reissued a limited issue of CDs for Styx, but those were basically EQ bumps (not true remasters) and did not include any sonic touchups on Paradise Theatre or Cornerstone. And as imports they were expensive then and they're all OOP now.
Well, this wasn't what I expected. And you're right... it does miss a lot of material, including some single/radio mixes and B-sides. But who knows? Maybe A&M will revamp his entire catalog w/ bonus material someday...
Ryan Terry says
What a let down!
I saw the headline and got all excited about the possible inclusion of songs like 'Another Day', 'If You There', 'Everybody Laughed But You', 'Windmills of Your Mind' and the criminally-excluded-from-Brand-New-Day 'The End of the Game'. Then I scrolled through to see nothing but album tracks. Even if some of these were the radio mixes like 'Stolen Car', this set is practically worthless to someone who owns all the albums. The man has so many B-Sides, soundtrack contributions and rarities, it's high time someone got them all in one place.
Oh well, at least the news about the Ben Folds set was exciting...
Wow...this is a "not buy" for me. Too bad, there was potential.
Sting is notorious for his lack of nostalgia regarding his career (Police reunion aside), so I'm not surprised about the release. No remastered/expanded discs, no decent rarities compilation, no upgraded concert videos... part of me thinks he doesn't want to be in competition with his past.
Also, he's also pretty hands off with his catalog and re-packaging stuff, so any sort of ultra-involved box set a real fan would want might never come.
Oooorrr he could just think it's all crap. I don't think he's aching to rearrange 'Ooh La La Hugh' for 'Symphonicities II'. 🙂
Robert Hollowood says
Well, the price they've posted on Amazon for this item is 137.54. Here's hoping that's wrong since there's no way I'm paying $34.38 a disc.