[Dreaming in Blue] -- Last week, this blog featured Synchronicity (1983), the final studio album Sting recorded as a member of The Police. So, why not follow that up with Sting's first solo record, The Dream of the Blue Turtles (1985)? In early 1984, breaking up a popular rock band at the height of their commercial success, and shortly after a record-breaking tour, probably didn't seem all that logical. And when The Dream of the Blue Turtles debuted in June 1985, lots of fans probably wondered why Sting had traded rock'n'roll stardom for a jazzier sound. Perhaps they did not realize, or recall, that all three members of The Police had jazz backgrounds. In fact, Stewart Copeland first saw Sting when the latter was performing with a jazz fusion outfit in Newcastle.
But Sting didn't want to necessarily make a jazz record as his first big solo outing. No, his "intention was to use musicians who had the finesse of playing jazz, but to make music without that label" (UCR, June 2015). And so, he recruited a brilliant set of musicians -- Branford Marsalis (saxophone), Kenny Kirkland (keyboards), Omar Hakim (drums) and Darryl Jones (bass) -- to create an album that was not stifled by what he viewed as the restrictive format of pop or rock. If the five singles and a handful of Grammy nominations (scroll down to 1985 here) are any indication, he succeeded. So, let's revisit this record which celebrated its 35th anniversary last year.
Also, after the past year of virtual gatherings, does that first video (for "If You Love Somebody Set Them Free") make anyone else think of Zoom backgrounds?
Flashback: The Dream of the Blue Turtles (1985)
Track order in the embedded playlist...
Side one1. "If You Love Somebody Set Them Free"2. "Love Is the Seventh Wave"3. "Russians" Sergei Prokofiev, Sting4. "Children's Crusade"5. "Shadows in the Rain"Side two6. "We Work the Black Seam"7. "Consider Me Gone"8. "The Dream of the Blue Turtles"9. "Moon over Bourbon Street"10. "Fortress Around Your Heart"
That's all till next week. Dedicated 80s-philes can find more flashbacks in the Prophet or Madman archives or via Bookended's 80s Flashback tag. As always, your comments are welcome on today's, or any other, flashback post. And if you like what I'm doing here, please share the link with your friends. If, however, you don't like the flashback, feel free to share it with your enemies.
I'll see you in seven!