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The Dream of the Blue Turtles
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Product Description

From one spin of The Dream of the Blue Turtles, Sting's first solo release, it's obvious that for him there would be life beyond the Police. Teamed with a band of top jazz players, he presents his musical visions that had gone unrealized while he was still constrained by his former ensemble. In style and subject matter, it's a decidedly diverse collection of songs and the playing is excellent throughout. The love songs are mostly focused on endings or escapes, and it's quite possible to interpret much of the imagery in reference to the bitter breakup of the Police. Sting's concern with history and politics is in evidence: he makes a father's plea for sanity and restraint in the nuclear age, takes up for the U.K.'s much-abused coal miners, and relates the savage stupidity of World War I to the destructive effects of adolescent heroin addiction. Songs that seem elaborately constructed and recorded contrast with others that are presented as one-take jams. Seen as a whole, The Dream of the Blue Turtles is eclectic, ambitious--sometimes pretentious--but altogether worth owning. --Al Massa

Customer Reviews:

  • Sting's best solo CD
    I own this album since it was released and I still think this is his best solo CD. I know Nothing Like The Sun has more hit singles than this but that doesn't count a bit. My favorite songs are Russians, Consider Me Gone, Dream Of The Blue Turtles and Fortress Around Your Heart. All the other songs are great, too. Every song has its own mood though all the songs are have some degree of melancholy - it's a trademark of Sting.

    I think Sting managed here to bring some jazz into his music and here the jazz motives suit perfectly with the rest - some might say this is a jazz record though I don't think so. It still has some elements the remind me of the Police era, anyway this is a mature album.

    However this CD isn't for first-time listeners, they should buy Nothing Like The Sun or Fields Of Gold, they will buy this CD later because Sting's music is addictive. Once you've listened to it you'll always have a craving for it....more info

  • Wonderful marriage of poetry and music
    There are singers and there are writers and there are those who master both. Sting is not just a songwriter, he is a constantly evolving poet. To fathom Sting is to catch a glimpse of man's collective unconscious....more info
  • My favourite.
    This is by far my favourite Sting cd. It combines rock, jazz, and blues. It has a relaxing feel to it and is great music to study by. This was my first Sting cd. I now own nearly all of his....more info
  • an audiophile's dream (AUDIO MASTER PLUS SERIES) AM+
    I am not going to talk about how good this album is because it is indeed VERY GOOD and you can read all the reviews here. If you are an audiophile or at least you like to hear your favorite albums with great sound quality this is a great album to have. Many audiophile recordings are praised for the quality recording but sometimes the music is boring, dull or nothing special. This album is a great example of how EXCELLENT MUSIC can be combined with EXCELLENT AUDIOPHILE quality sound. As a matter of fact I always use "Love is the Seventh Wave", "The Dream of the Blue Turtles" and "Shadows in the Rain" as one of my stereo system showings to my friends. Sting's voice sounds very crisp and clear and so do the instruments played by the Blue Turtles Band. JUST BE SURE YOU GET THE AM+ AUDIO MASTER PLUS SERIES release. That is the plain, regular and common release. Do not get the "remastered version" because like many other people agree, this remasterings of Sting's albums have not done any favor and have greatly deteriorated the sound quality....more info
  • Oh My God, It's A Classic!
    Undoubtly one of the greatest records ever made. Every song is brilliant, especially 'If you love somebody, set them free','We work the black seam' and 'Fortress around your heart'. The best is to listen to it on vinyl, but a cd will also manage just fine....more info
  • forever conditioned to believe that we can't live...
    ...we can't live here and be happy with less....

    If Sting had written "If You Love Somebody Set Them Free" with just a little less 80's kitsch, perhaps the real message of the song would stand out a little more. Ah well, you can't fault the guy--he's too wonderful.

    I view this album through the lenses of feminism and partnership studies. (Listening to this album while reading Riane Eisler's "The Chalice and the Blade" is a rewarding experience. I highly recommend it.) Every song on this album is a triumph of love over violence, of forgiveness over bitterness.

    "Children's Crusade" is one of the best songs on here. It is about World War I and life today, is gorgeous and wonderful and extremely poignant and the album deserves 5 stars based on this song alone. "Poppies for young men, death's bitter trade...."

    "Fortress Around Your Heart" is my favorite--the ultimate apology, the ultimate forgiveness. Anyone with "land mines" in his past will bond with this song.

    "The Russians," despite its popularity, is beautiful too.

    This album is marvelous! And well worth listening to many times over....more info

  • Sting's ambitious dream is a sound feast.
    Not only did "The Dream of the Blue Turtles" marked a stark different path Sting took outside of the Police, but it demonstrated Sting's lively persona perhaps for the last time before he became intense and mature. His debut effort may not be his best, yet it is indeed his most energetic and enticing record.

    The music is of great variety, and the songs' only overall similarity is all being deeply jazz-influenced. Sting had a superb band at the time; thus, in addition to his powerful voice and expert songwriting, the instrumental background is exceptionally enjoyable, which is proven on the instrumental track with the same title as the album.

    Some of Sting's best songs appeared on the CD. For instance, "Fortress around Your Heart" blends rock and jazz flawlessly, "Russians" features a magnificent symphony adorned with Sting's high vocals, and the jazz track "Moon over Bourbon Street," inspired by the novel "Interview with a Vampire" is atmospheric especially when Sting's voice rises near the end of the song. Moreover, the album also contains Sting's first solo hit, the clever-titled "If You Love Somebody Set Them Free," the jolly "Love Is the Seventh Wave," with Sting rewinding the memories of the Police at the final, poignant political tracks "Children's Crusade" and "We Work the Black Seam," and other unforgettable moments.

    Literary allusions are commonplace in the lyrics, which has almost become one of Sting's distinctive characteristics. It amazes me that he could come up with such brilliant ideas to support his argument, and the words he used are poetic and incredibly fitting.

    In conclusion, "The Dream of the Blue Turtles" is both entertaining and inspiring. The political status during the period may have turned into historical facts, yet Sting's songs are compelling nevertheless which evidence his intellect and musical flair. Also, the inner-reflected ones will be my guidance forever whatever I will encounter in my life....more info
  • Indescribable
    Just listen to it, and you'll hear why 5 stars are not enough. One of the eternal "10 desert island albums"....more info
  • One of Sting's Best
    This CD has so many of my favorite Sting songs. It really shows his jazz roots, and is not just a knock-off of the "white reggae" style of the Police. "Children's Crusade" and "We Work The Black Seam" are two of Sting's most poignant songs. He really is one of pop's most poetic storytellers....more info
  • Brave New World For Sting
    **** and a half stars.let me startoff by saying "consider me gone" and "shadows in the rain" are the real Jazz efforts here, but they are the weakest tracks too."shadows in the rain" for the police was a bad song, sting tried again here but falls short of good, "conider me gone" is a nice ode to jazz but does not catch the "real" jazz sound."love is the seventh wave" always makes me smile when hear it, a nice innocent song that works."russians" is a brilliant song one of stings best, all around.""we work the black seam" will give you a chill when you listen to it, it still does for me."childrens crusade" is a great ballad.the main hits are also great too.this album will NEVER sound Dated! Sting is Brilliant on this album, don't forget about brandford marsalis and omar hakim who help this album very much!...more info
  • Additional song to play in the sample list
    "We work the black seam" is a great song. Sad that it is not played in the sample. One of the best songs in the album and fully brings to the front Sting's repertoire and range. The album is a hit all the way....more info
  • Breaking up The Police a Mistake? Not Quite...
    The Police were one of the best pop/rock bands ever. For the relatively short time they were together, they made an incredible amount of great music. Which made it all the more confusing when Sting decided to pursue a solo career. While it's no secret that Sting was the main reason that The Police had such huge commercial success, leaving the comfort of an established band at the height of their career is usually not considered a good career move.

    But, _The Dream of the Blue Turtles_ quickly proved that Sting had made the right choice. I might be in the minority, but I feel Sting's best work was done as a solo artist. The mere fact that he decided to leave The Police showed that he was willing to take risks as a musician. He did so with _The Dream of the Blue Turtles_ by enlisting heavy-hitting jazz musicians and merging their talents with his pop sensibilities. The results are quite impressive. Sting has probably never sounded as lively as he does on "If You Love Somebody Set Them Free." And although many might prefer Sting when he was a little more sinister with The Police, "Fortress Around Your Heart" and "Moon Over Bourbon Street" are as sinister as they come. "Moon Over Bourbon Street" was inspired by the writing of Anne Rice, and I now understand why my high school English teacher always thought Sting would've been a good choice to play LeStat in "Interview with a Vampire." Elsewhere, Sting lightens up on "Love is the Seventh Wave" and the instrumental title track. "Political" tracks such as "Russians" and "We Work The Black Seam Together" hold up well even all these years after the Cold War has ended. Police fans will also surely love the hyped up reworking of "Shadows in the Rain."

    All in all, this is Sting's most energetic, lively solo album to date. It planted the seeds as to what was to come in Sting's career - a hodgepodge of different musical ideas that somehow yielded great pop songs. You really can't go wrong with any of Sting's first three solo albums, but this is definitely his most energetic release....more info

  • Fantastic album
    This was one of the first albums I ever bought when, as a high school student, I was becoming interested in contemporary popular music in the years 1984-85. Sting had been enormously successful before this time with The Police (1978-84) and reappeared after a year or so away with this fantastic album in July 1985. Its first single was If You Love Somebody Set Them Free, which was a groovy somewhat jazzy uptempo track. Second single Fortress Around Your Heart was terrific - an evocative lyric about chasms, walled cities and dangerous, barren landscapes as metaphors for difficult emotional entanglements. This US #8 hit was one of my favourite tunes of the year. The jolly Love Is The Seventh Wave was a lighthearted fun song that I also liked - it reminds me of the summer of 1985-86. Sting toured widely at this time and scored a fourth hit with the classic song Russians. This was a famous tune about the then-pervasive Cold War divide between Russia and the West. Also dealing in political/social comment on First World War lament Children's Crusade and evils-of-mining lyric We Work The Black Seam, Sting managed to balance the shade with some light too: the rollicking Shadows In The Rain and the weird jazz instrumental title tune The Dream Of The Blue Turtles (complete with the band dissolving into laughter at the end !!). Sting howled at the Moon Over Bourbon Street in this interesting song, while Consider Me Gone was a good mid-paced song with a darker lyric.

    Overall, this is really good, demostrating Sting's musical abilities and also showcasing fabulous jazz-world collaborators such as Omar Hakim, Branford Marsalis and the late Kenny Kirkland.

    Highly Recommended....more info
  • One of Sting's greatest CDs.
    Never judge a CD by it's title - this is true for Sting's "The Dream of the blue turtles".
    This is a very good CD, which gets off to a great start with "Let Your Soul Be Your Pilot". The other highlights on the CD are probably "Russians" and "Fortress Around Your Heart".
    This is a great Sting CD. I highly recommend it!...more info
  • Sting's solo debut
    After four albums with the Police,Gordon Sumner aka Sting retired from the force and went out on his own. He scored a handful of hits starting in the summer of 1985,when this album was released,with IF YOU LOVE SOMEBODY SET THEM FREE. LOVE IS THE SEVENTH WAVE is urban-flavored. RUSSIANS is an ode to the population of Russia. FORTRESS AROUND YOUR HEART is pretty cool. All the other songs are good. Jazz saxophonist Branford Marsalis participated in some songs on this album. After this album,Sting would reunite with his fellow Policemen to record DON'T STAND SO CLOSE TO ME '86,so much different than the 1980 original version....more info
  • World Of Tour 1985-86
    Sting had a lot to prove on his first post-Police effort, and he proved himself up to the task of establishing a distinctive identity as a solo artist. Instead of replicating his reggae-tinged Police style, he ventured into new realms, hiring top drawer American jazz musicians like Branford Marsalis, Kenny Kirkland and drum monster Omar Hakim to accompany him on the kind of harmonically sophisticated (though decidedly non-jazz) tunes he'd begun working on towards the end of the Police's lifetime (see SYNCHRONICITY). There's still a touch of reggae on the open-hearted "Love Is the Seventh Wave," and even a funked-up version of the formerly abstract Police tune "Shadows In The Rain," but most of the tunes here (except the pop smash "If You Love Somebody Set Them Free" are the kind of literate, adult-friendly sophisto-pop that would become a template for his subsequent solo recordings. BLUE TURTLES still stands as one of his most memorable albums....more info
  • Finally, a sophmore effort that surpasses the freshman one!
    This album represents a different Sting. On Nothing like the Sun, he was an angry man with something to prove about everything in life. Now comes a stylish man with an aura of self-confidence and brilliance that carries him past petty anger. Every song offers a new approach to the situation dealt with, and every song is brilliant. Most notable: his flippant departure from love in "Consider Me Gone", his collected passion in "We work the Black Seam" and his pure agony in "Moon over Bourbon Street" Buy this album, you will not regret it...more info
  • first solo album of Gordon Matthew Sumner (STING)
    As His first solo work is just remarkably well done!!!!...more info
  • Dreamy
    First solo album of the bass player and singer of Police. Contains quite a sequence of amazing songs. Most of all I like "Love Is The Seventh Wave", "We Walk The Black Seam" and "Moon Over Bourbon Street". The first one I like especially. The surfers say that the seventh wave always is the strongest one, and so it was quite natural to Sting deriving from that a song about love. And what kind of song! Very recommendable is also the corresponding live album ?Bring On The Night"....more info
  • After today... Consider Me Gone
    This has always been my favorite Sting solo album, partly because it doesn't really feel like a solo album. As Sting says in the liner notes, "people keep referring to this album as a solo effort, which of course is ridicilous" well Mr. Sting I agree with you. This Blue Turtles band was absolutely fantastic and kudos to you for hiring these amazing musicians and assembling this great band. Branford Marsalis is absolutely mind blowing on a few of the tracks, such as "Children's Crusade" and "Shadows in the Rain". "Consider Me Gone" is wonderful, just put that on with a nice glass of wine and enjoy.. ahhh! Even dated songs like "Russians" and "We Work the Black Seam" are still very enjoyable. I could go on and on... but this is the finest collection of songs Sting has composed without the Police. I still listen to this one quite often 20+ years later....more info
  • Sting's first album is passable, with naive lyrics
    Sting's first album after leaving The Police was a reasonable commercial success, assuring himself a solo career, at least for some time. I listen to the album when it came out, in 1985, when I was 18, and I was impressed by it, but it hasn't aged that well. The music is pleasant though hardly memorable, and the lyrics are literate (perhaps too literate) but also naive. What sounded brave and intelligent 20 years ago, sounds pretty naive now. Like the pre - End of the cold war "Russians" (with a good coda from Prokofiev) or "The Children's Crusade" (about the youth killed in World War I, an odd topic for a rock song). "If you love somebody, set them free" sounds like a response to Police's megahit "Every breath you take" (can't one take a position in the middle, without going to the extremes?). Then there is the luddite "We Work the Black Seam together" (about the then topical miner's strike in the north of England) and the homage to New Orleans "Moon over Bourbon Street" inspired by the book Interview with a Vampire (this was before the Brad Pitt movie). The best song of the album to me is the calypso-inspired "Love is the Seventh Wave" (great video as well)....more info
  • The first is still the best
    I can't believe it's been 15 years since I bought my first copy of this album on vinyl, but what doesn't surprise me is how great it is even today. Every song tried something new and started introducing jazz overtones to a 15-year old kid who was straight rock-and-roll. Not only is the music great, but this has to be far and away one of the best collections of lyrics ever written. Where else do Anne Rice, William Shakespeare, and Sergei Prokofiev come together with a white former punk and his all black jazz band? Anyone?

    The Police were great for taking New Wave and mixing it with reggae and jazz to create something completely unique. Sting took it to the next level and, if you look closely at the lyrics and liner notes, took what was just a vacation from the Police and forged himself a solo career. I don't think he's ever been able to re-create the greatness of this album (although Nothing Like The Sun is close) simply because it wasn't intended to do anything but be fun and different. When the Police broke up, he suddenly was forced to think of himself as a solo artist and I think that hurt him in the long run. Going back and listening to Dream of the Blue Turtles is a pleasure that doesn't go away....more info

  • Great music!
    If I'm not mistaking, this is Sting's first CD after departing from his former band, The Police. And it's evident that this album is constructed by an artist in the process of finding his own style of choice. But this is a great bonus! For the result is an album that goes off in many different directions and thus makes for excellent listening over and over again. There's the quick jazz tunes of the first song, IF YOU LOVE SOMEBODY.., the melancholic MOON OVER BOURBON STREET, and the rough almost Tom Waits like song RUSSIANS (my favourite on this CD). But the reoccurring themes of peace, hope and redemption (embodied in the childishly naive title, THE DREAM OF BLUE TURTLES) in the different songs manages to pull it all together. A great achievement! This is easily a five stars out of five album....more info
  • I've Spent Too Many Years at War with Myself
    When Sting announced that he was leaving The Police, he meant it. Sting's first solo album, "The Dream of the Blue Turtles" bares little to no resemblance to any of his earlier work with The Police. Abandoning the punk-pop formula that proved so successful in the past, Sting returns to his jazz roots with this amazing collection of songs.

    For the casual Sting fan, this album might be hard to stomach. While "If You Love Somebody Set Them Free", and "Fortress Around Your Heart", are considered to be two of his "hit" songs, the rest of the album contains a mixture of laid-back, jazz-heavy songs that showcase Sting's range of musical abilities.

    "Russians" is one of the most political songs that Sting has ever written. Perhaps it's a little dated, now that the Cold War is some 15 years behind us, but the lyrics remain haunting. In a trend that continues through most of Sting's solo albums, he revisits The Police with a cover of his own "Shadows in the Rain" - in my opinion, a far superior version than the original. My favorite song on the album is "Moon Over Bourbon Street". With its piercing trumpet and raspy vocals, you'd swear that you were standing right next to Sting on Bourbon Street.

    From beginning to end, one of Sting's finest albums....more info
  • The Dream of the Blue Turtles
    Timely music for any time. "Russians" is hauntingly true to the time of the two superpowers. Written as a father & person who thinks not of the politics and government,but of the people just like himself on the "other side of the polical fence". I love the way he hopes that the opposing side feel as human as he does. Beautiful words to think about & beautiful music to listen to....more info
  • His first solo effort was his best...
    I bought this on LP in 1985 and finally updated to CD and it has never gotten old. True, this sounds a lot more like the later songs of the Police than the Sting releases of late, but if you, like me, ever say, "Gee, I like Sting's music, but I sure like the older stuff and what he did with the Police the best," then this is the CD you want....more info