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THE WORDS AND MUSIC OF STING

imageA new book was recently published, entitled “The Words and Music of Sting” as part of The Praeger Singer-Songwriter Collection. Following we received from the author:
Sting has successfully established himself as one of the most important singer-songwriters in Western popular music over the past twenty years. His affinity for collaborative work and disparate musical styles has pushed his music into an astonishing array of contexts, but no matter what the style or who the collaborator, Sting’s voice always remains distinct, and this fact has earned him success amongst a correspondingly broad audience. Songs from his period with The Police, such as “Roxanne,” “Don’t Stand So Close to Me,” “Every Breath You Take,” and “King of Pain,” helped establish his reputation as a sophisticated craftsman; however, it is in his solo career that he has truly come into his own as a songwriter, and several of his solo works, including “Fragile,” “All This Time,” “Fields of Gold,” “Desert Rose,” and “Moon Over Bourbon Street,” are modern classics. Aside from his commercial success, Sting is also interesting for the use of recurring themes in his lyrics (such as family relationships, love, war, spirituality, and work) and for his use of jazz and world music to illustrate or work against the “meaning” of a song. Sting’s life also sheds light on his music, as his working-class roots in Newcastle, England are never far removed from his international superstardom. Throughout his life, he has been musically open-minded and inquisitive, always seeking out new styles and often incorporating them into his compositions. The Words and Music of Sting subdivides Sting’s life and works into rough periods of creative activity and offers a fantastic opportunity to view Sting’s many stylistic changes within a coherent general framework. After analyzing Sting’s musical output album by album and song by song, author Christopher Gable sums up Sting’s accomplishments and places him on the continuum of influential singer-songwriters, showing how he differs from and relates to other artists of the same period. A discography, filmography, and bibliography conclude the work.

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