Good news for the fans. Sting is celebrating the 30th anniversary of his fourth solo album, “Ten Summoner’s Tales,” with a digital-only expanded edition, set to drop this past weekend.
Originally released on March 1, 1993, the album’s title is an ironic combination of the artist’s last name, Sumner, and of a character in Geoffrey Chaucer’s 15th-century literary classic, The Canterbury Tales, the summoner.
This 27-track expanded edition features “Ten Summoner’s Tales” with its 12 original songs, plus 15 bonus tracks, including B-sides, remixes, alternate versions, and live performances. 11 of these 15 added songs were not available in digital download and streaming formats. Mixed by four-time Grammy Award winner Robert “Hitmixer” Orton, the album is also available in Dolby Atmos.
Drawing from the deep personal sense of loss that Sting’s solo album “The Soul Cages” is packed with, “Ten Summoner’s Tales” turned the tide to offer an emotional treatment putting test the limits of love and make critical, suspicious and virtuous choices. The catchy lead single, the ballad “II Ever Lose My Faith In You,” became an immediate chart hit and walked a lyrical tightrope between the vocalist’s reunion. with subjects in which he had stopped believing and countering them with a more optimistic worldview about what the world might hold.
Meanwhile, the country-sounding “Love Is Stronger Than Justice (The Munificent Seven)” works as a lost theme to a forgotten Spaghetti Western that pays homage to the visions of film directors Akira Kurosawa and John Sturges alike. The melancholic “Fields Of Gold” remains an ethereal, timeless ballad, with Northumbrian bagpipes played by Kathryn Tickell and a great harmonica solo by Brendan Power.
The deceptively light-hearted “Saint Augustine In Hell” flaunts fraudulent narrative courtesy of David Foxxe, while the acoustically oriented “Shape Of My Heart” beats loud and true with the mystical musings and meaning-seeking of the inquisitive card player at the center of its narrative. Produced by Sting and Hugh Padgham, “Ten Summoner’s Tales” was recorded at Lake House in Wiltshire, England, an Elizabethan country house that added to the overall atmosphere of the album.
It’s also that Dominic Miller, longtime collaborator onstage and in the studio, appears on some of Sting’s albums. Creative collaborators on “Ten Summoner’s Tales” include keyboardist David Sancious, drummer Vinnie Colaiuta and on pedal steel guitar, Paul Franklin. For his part, Sting played bass, double bass, harmonica and saxophone, created the arrangements and sang on the entire album. “Ten Summoner’s Tales” has been certified three times platinum by the RIAA, it topped the album charts in Australia and peaked at #21 on the Billboard 200 in the US.
The previously mentioned single, “If I Ever Lose My Faith In You”, had an obvious chart impact upon its release, peaking at #17 on the US Hot 100 chart and peaking at #1 in Canada. The single also garnered three Grammy nominations in 1994, including Record of the Year and Song of the Year, as well as earning Sting the Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. to #2 on the Adult Contemporary Music chart, #23 on the Hot 100, #24 on Mainstream Rock and #24 on Mainstream Top 40. It was also awarded a BMI Pop Song Award in 1994.
The other four singles from the album were “Seven Days”, “Shape Of My Heart”, “Love Is Stronger (The Munificent Seven)” and “Nothing ‘Bout Me”. In the US, “Ten Summoner’s Tales” received six nominations for Grammy Awards in 1994, including Album of the Year. “Ten Summoner’s Tales” won three Grammys: one for Best Production Album, not classical; one for Best Music Video, long form; and one for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male (for “If I Ever Lose My Faith In You”). In the UK, Ten Summoner’s Tales was nominated for three Brit BPI Awards, including Best British Album and Best British Video. Sting won the Brit Award for Best British Act as a singer. Ten Summoner’s Tales was also nominated for the Mercury Music Prize in 1993.
DIGITAL EXPANDED EDITION:
1. Prologue (If I Ever Lose My Faith In You)
2. Love Is Stronger Than Justice (The Munificent Seven)
3. Fields Of Gold
4. Heavy Cloud No Rain
5. She’s Too Good For Me
6. Seven Days
7. Saint Augustine In Hell
8. It’s Probably Me
9. Everybody Laughed But You
10. Shape Of My Heart11. Something The Boy Said
12. Epilogue (Nothing ’Bout Me)
13. We Work The Black Seam / 1993 Version (Bonus Track
)14. January Stars (Bonus Track)
15. If I Ever Lose My Faith In You / Miracle Of Science Mix (Bonus Track)
16. If I Ever Lose My Faith In You / Hoax Mix (Bonus Track)
17. It’s Probably Me (Feat. Eric Clapton) / Alternate Version (Bonus Track)
18. Nothing ’Bout Me / Remix (Bonus Track)
19. Nothing ’Bout Me / Remix With Horn Intro (Bonus Track)
20. Love Is Stronger Than Justice (The Munificent Seven) / Edit (Bonus Track)
21. Seven Days / Radio Edit (Bonus Track)
22. Nothing ’Bout Me / Edit With Fade (Bonus Track)
23. Shape Of My Heart / Live At Villa Manin, Codroipo, Italy, 1993 (Bonus Track)
24. Love Is Stronger Than Justice (The Munificent Seven) / Live At Villa Manin, Codroipo, Italy, 1993 (Bonus Track)
25. It’s Probably Me / Live At Villa Manin, Codroipo, Italy, 1993 (Bonus Track)
26. Purple Haze / Live At The Hague, Netherlands, 1991 (Bonus Track)
27. Ain’t No Sunshine / Live At Buddle Arts Center, Newcastle, England, 1991 (Bonus Track)
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