Can’t get enough of the vinyl resurgence? Looking to bone up on the solo works of Sting ahead of his first rock album in nearly 15 years? A new box set has got you covered.
A&M/Interscope will release The Studio Collection, an 11-LP set covering all of Sting’s eight solo albums between 1985 and 2013, on September 30. The set, which features meticulously recreated packaging, new vinyl masters cut at Abbey Road Studios and the debuts of both Brand New Day (2000) and Sacred Love (2003) on the format, comes ahead of Sting’s ninth solo album, the rock-oriented 57th & 9th (which the release states will “complete” The Studio Collection–unclear if that means there’s room for it in the box when it debuts November 11).
After six years of gradual world domination as frontman, bassist and principal songwriter for The Police, the man born Gordon Matthew Sumner was determined to keep audiences guessing every step of the way. There were forays into jazz (solo debut The Dream of the Blue Turtles (1985)) and Latin sounds (…Nothing Like the Sun (1987), inspired in part by the death of his mother); autobiographical, conceptual works (1991’s The Soul Cages, inspired by the passing of his father and their early lives in the shipbuilding town of Newcastle-upon-Tyne); lighter, adult contemporary fare (Ten Summoner’s Tales (1993) and Mercury Falling (1996)); a propulsive comeback fueled by electronic music (1999’s Brand New Day and 2003’s Sacred Love); and finally, more Newcastle-inspired tunes to create his first musical in 2013’s The Last Ship.
In the decade between Sacred Love and The Last Ship, Sting offered many projects not included in this set that reinforced his commitment to following his muse wherever it may take him. From the challenging (Songs from the Labyrinth, a record of Elizabethan-era music played on a lute; If On a Winter’s Night…, a dour winter/holiday album) to the fun (a two-year reunion tour with The Police, a whimsical album of orchestral reworkings from his catalog called Symphonicities), Sting remains an original, and 57th & 9th, recorded spontaneously with longtime sidemen Dominic Miller on guitar and Vinnie Colaiuta on drums plus members of Tex-Mex rock outfit The Last Bandoleros, looks to be another fine entry in a fine body of work.
Get The Studio Collection at the links below, where you’ll also find the exact contents of the set.
Sting, The Studio Collection (A&M/Interscope, 2016)
LP 1: The Dream of the Blue Turtles (A&M SP-3750, 1985)
LPs 2-3: …Nothing Like the Sun (A&M SP-6402, 1987)
LP 4: The Soul Cages (A&M 750 396 405-1, 1991)
LP 5: Ten Summoner’s Tales (A&M 314 540 075-1, 1993)
LP 6: Mercury Falling (A&M 314 540 486-1, 1996)
LPs 7-8: Brand New Day (A&M 069 490 425-2, 1999) *
LPs 9-10: Sacred Love (A&M B0001141-02, 2003) *
LP 11: The Last Ship (Cherrytree/A&M B0018741-01, 2013)
* first time on vinyl