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Ten Summoner's Tales

Ten Summoner's Tales

1 Jan 1993
4.4 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 1 Jan. 1993
  • Release Date: 11 Jun. 2001
  • Label: Polydor Associated Labels
  • Copyright: ℗ 1993 UMG Recordings, Inc. © 1993 Polydor Ltd. (UK)
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 52:20
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001KU2IUE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 20,431 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 5 April 2001
Format: Audio CD
A conceptual masterpiece, "Ten Summoner's Tales" must surely rank as the definitive Sting album. We're all familiar with the rathermore stereotypical Sting tunes, like "Englishman in New York" and his more recent releases. However, despite a prominent re-assertion into the otherwise painfully turgid pop world of today - something for which Sting must be congratulated - one wonders if he will ever again reach the musical heights achieved on this album.
The successor to the morbid "The Soul Cages", an album excessively derided by the critics, "Ten Summoner's Tales" turned the tables for Sting and showcased his skills as one of the most talented musicians anywhere. Armed with a trio of infallible session musicians, (drummers might like to note Vinnie Colaiuta's inimitable contribution here) Sting set about creating his most musical, listenable and amusing album to date.
The opener, "If I Ever Lose My Faith In You" is a great pop song, carried along by an infectious groove, and accompanied by a simplicity which makes it instantly listenable. "Fields of Gold" provides a mellow mood, and is a firm favourite from the album. Other noteable tracks are the fantastic "Seven Days", the sublime "Shape of My Heart" and the moving "Something The Boy Said". Really though, there is only one way to enjoy this album, and no review is going to do it justice. So do yourself a favour, and stick in the CD player. After several listenings I'm sure you'll agree that this is the Sting album.
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Format: Audio CD
The title of Sting's fourth studio album (1992) is a play on his real surname (Sumner) and also on his profession as a teller of tales, albeit in a musical form. Despite the title, there are in fact twelve tracks, the first and last acting as prologue and epilogue, as if this is his version of the Canterbury Tales. Again produced with Hugh Padgham, the album for me is as good as Sting's first, `The Dream of the Blue Turtles'.

I can take or leave the jazzy-rock "Love is Stronger than Justice" with its hillbilly chorus and country & western slide guitar; the two-minute rocker "She's Too Good for Me"; the jazz-rock, Hammond-organ infested "Saint Augustine in Hell" (a bit of a plodder despite its pretensions to pomp); the gentle rock ballad "Everybody Laughed But You" (with some good guitar work); and the upbeat epilogue that is "Nothing `Bout Me", which feels like something Sinatra would croon to during an evening.

Far better are the opening "If I Ever Lose My Faith in You" (another well-written and well-sung pop-rock love song); the blues stomper "Heavy Cloud, No Rain" with its wonderful guitar solo; the rousing "Seven Days" with its pizzicato strings and clever chorus; the atmospheric "It's Probably Me", music for a 1960s spy movie with its lone trumpet in the night; the meditation on playing-cards and war - `the sacred geometry of chance' - that is "Shape of My Heart"; and the well-told and well-sung story in "Something the Boy Said".

But the icing on this cake has got to be Sting's "Fields of Gold". An introduction of evocatively sustained chords, followed by a jangly guitar sounding visually like the morning sun shining through green leaves, leads to the sound of Northumbrian pipes. Beautifully atmospheric lyrics add support to my belief that Sting is strongest in music of love and relationships with a definitively English sound.

This has got to be one of my favourite Sting albums.
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Format: Audio CD
Not being a very big Sting fan, although admiring most of his work with "The Police" I remember hearing the singles "Lose my faith" and "Fields of Gold" from this album on the radio and thought I'd chance the album... and I wasn't disappointed as it has remained one of my favourites ever since.
The stand-out track has to be "Shape of my Heart" which is a beautiful masterpiece, but there are some other classics including more narrative pieces such as "Love is stronger than justice" and "Saint Augustine in Hell" and the joyous fun of "Seven Days" which includes the great line "asked if I am mouse or man; the mirror squeaked, away I ran". Great stuff!
Definately not typical Sting and not a good intro to his lighter, pop abilities but still his best work represented here in the depth of lyrics, depth of music, atmosphere and oh I'm running out of words... just buy it and hear for yourself!
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Format: Audio CD
Criticisms about rain-forests, the acrimonious split from The Police, and the accusations of Sting's 'getting soppy' aside, Ten Summoner's Tales is a fatastic album marking a true landmark in the 90s and probably the high-point of Sting's individual career. The album is intelligently crafted and apart from Something The Boy Said (another criticism of war), the album is pre-occupied with love, lust, sex and relationships. This accounts for the overwhelming optimism of this album over The Soul Cages (1990) which was more melancholy in the face of personal traumas.
Personally, I think Seven Days epitomises the spirit of Sting. It is in 5/4 which should give the song a slightly jumpy feel, however the excellence of the session musicians and Stings singing mask this time signature anomaly. The song also shows a more tongue-in-cheek approach to courting, and at best must be the experience of many Englishman. "IQ is no problem here/ We wont be playing scrabble for her hand I fear/ I need that beer". The problems of vying for a womans attention when someone bigger is also trying (and succeeding) are the reasons why this song should remain a perennial favourite with the English male.
This being said, Fields of Gold is lavishly arranged, and yet sounds sparse, gentle and serene. The simple 4/4 clicks of the drums, the intricate Spanish guitar and the simple bass heartbeat under a lyric focusing on pure, genuine love (something all people crave)make this one of the publics favourite Sting songs.
Two other songs deserving specific mention are She's Too Good For Me and It's Probably Me.
She's Too Good is a funny glance at how men are fundamentally different from women. Sting focuses on smell, jokes, cooking, friends, drugs, etc, etc.
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