| 9 March 1993|
| June – December 1992|
Sting, Hugh Padgham
5 March 1993
| Lake House, Wiltshire, England|
Fields of Gold The Best of Sting 1984–1994
Rock music, Pop music, Pop rock, Soft rock, Jazz fusion
Grammy Award for Album of the Year
Sting albums, Rock music albums
Ten Summoner's Tales is the fourth solo studio album by the English rock musician Sting. The title is a combined pun of his family name, Sumner, and a character in Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, the summoner. Released in 1993, it explores themes of love and morality in a noticeably upbeat mood compared to his previous release, the introspective The Soul Cages released in 1991 after the loss of both his parents in the 1980s.
This album contains two US hits; "If I Ever Lose My Faith in You" reached No. 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 and "Fields of Gold" reached No. 23.
Ten Summoner's Tales was shortlisted for the 1993 Mercury Prize. In 1994, it was nominated for six Grammy awards, winning Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical, Best Male Pop Vocal Performance ("If I Ever Lose My Faith in You") and Best Long Form Music Video. It did not win Album of the Year, Record or Song of the Year The album sold more than 10 million copies around the world.
A Laser Disc and VHS of the album were released, containing live performances of all songs on the album at Lake House.
A promotional disc was made where Sting discusses some of the songs on the album. There is also an album produced during the Ten Summoner's Tales era titled "Meadowlands of Gold", which contains 13 live tracks performed at the Meadowlands Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The songs consists of tracks from the album, as well as a few Police songs and a cover of The Beatles' A Day In The Life.
The album was recorded at Lake House, Wiltshire, mixed at The Townhouse Studio, London and mastered at Masterdisk, New York. The cover of the album was photographed at Wardour Old Castle in Wiltshire, featuring Hrímnir, an Icelandic horse Sting owned for a period.
A long form video featuring alternate musical performances and live versions of all tracks was filmed at Lake House and released in conjunction with the album. The video went on to win a Grammy Award for Best Long Form Video in 1994 and was directed by Doug Nichol and produced by Julie Fong.
On 11 August 1994, a compact disc of Ten Summoner's Tales became the first item ever securely purchased over the internet, for $12.48 plus shipping.
The international-exclusive track "Everybody Laughed But You" was excluded from Canadian and American releases. However, USA singles from various songs in the album include the song, as well as the song with different lyrics titled "January Stars".
The singles for Ten Summoner's Tales also give credit to Fernandes Guitars, as Dominic Miller plays a Fernandes P-Project Acoustic Electric Nylon guitar throughout the album.
Ten Summoner's Tales was remastered and re-released in 1998. The re-release CD includes a bonus video track of "If I Ever Lose My Faith in You". It also features the song "Everybody Laughed But You", which was excluded from the original 1993 release in the US and Canada. The song did appear on the original release in the UK, Europe, Japan and other territories, and the "If I Ever Lose My Faith in You" single. The instrumental track for "Everybody Laughed But You" was also used with an alternate lyric and released as "January Stars" on the "Seven Days" and "If I Ever Lose My Faith in You" singles.
All songs written by Sting except where noted.
French bonus disc – five live recordings (later released as a promotional disc called Five Live)
- "All This Time"
- "The Soul Cages"
- "Walking on the Moon"
- "Fortress Around Your Heart"
Sting: vocals, bass, harmonica, saxophone
Dominic Miller: guitars
Vinnie Colaiuta: drums
David Sancious: keyboards
Larry Adler: chromatic harmonica
Brendan Power: chromatic harmonica
John Barclay: trumpet
Guy Barker: trumpet
Sian Bell: cello
James Boyd: viola
Richard Edwards: trombone
Simon Fischer: violin
David Foxxe: narration (devil's voice on Saint Augustine in Hell)
Paul Franklin: pedal steel guitar
Kathryn Greeley: violin
Dave Heath: flute
Kathryn Tickell: Northumbrian smallpipes, fiddle
Mark Nightingale: trombone
David Sanborn: saxophone
- "January Stars"
- "Everybody Laughed but You"
- "Mad About You" (Live)
- "Ain't No Sunshine" (Live)
- "Every Breath You Take" (Live)
- "Message in a Bottle" (Live)
- "Tea in the Sahara" (Live)
- "Walking on the Moon" (Live)
- "King of Pain" (Live)
- "Purple Haze" (Live)
- "Fortress Around Your Heart" (Live)
- "Roxanne" (Live)
- "Ne me quitte pas" (Live)
- "All This Time" (Live)
- "Island of Souls" (Live)
- "The Wild Wild Sea" (Live)
ProductionProduced by Sting and Hugh Padgham
Engineered by Hugh Padgham
Assistant engineer, mix assistant: Pete Lewis
Mixed by David Tickle and Hugh Padgham
Mastered by Bob Ludwig
"Shape of My Heart"The backing track of "Shape of My Heart" was used, in a slightly altered way, by rapper Nas on his song "The Message" on the 1996 album It Was Written. In the later 1990s and the 2000s, it became a popular sample in R&B and hip hop songs, possibly inspired by Nas' usage. It has been sampled or interpolated in the following:
"Take Him Back" by Monica from the 1998 album The Boy Is Mine
"Release Me" by Blaque from the 1999 album Blaque
"Never Let Go" by Hikaru Utada from the 1999 album First Love (re-recorded instrumental)
"Emotional" by Carl Thomas from the 2000 album Emotional
"Ways of the World" by Lil' Zane from the 2000 album Young World: The Future
Some live renditions of the 2001 song "Je Moest Waarschijnlijk Gaan" by Brainpower
"Rise & Fall" by Craig David from the 2002 album Slicker Than Your Average (re-recorded instrumentals, and chorus sung, with new lyrics, by Sting)
"Shape" by the Sugababes from the 2002 album Angels with Dirty Faces (included the original chorus vocals as well as the song's B-section)
"Ways to Avoid the Sun" by Rain (2003) has a similar melody, which was probably inspired by this song.
"I Love You" by Kim Hyung Sup (2005) from the OST of the South Korean television series Sassy Girl Chun-hyang has a similar melody.
"I Crave You" by Shontelle from the 2008 album Shontelligence
"For My Soldiers" by Pastor Troy from the 2008 album Attitude Adjuster (included some of the song's original chorus)
The song has also been covered by several artists:Ann-Margret on the soundtrack to the 1996 TV movie Blue Rodeo
Lee Ritenour, featuring Steve Lukather and Andy McKee, on the 2010 album 6 String Theory
"Fields of Gold"By Eva Cassidy on the 1996 album Live at Blues Alley
By Mary Black on the 1999 album Speaking with the Angel
By I Muvrini in 2000, the English-Corsican version "Terre d'Oru", featuring Sting himself
By CJ Crew on the 2002 eurodance compilation Dancemania Speed 9
By Mary Wilson on her 2007 album Up Close: Live from San Francisco
By Jay and Abby Michaels – The Harper and The Minstrel (arranged for Celtic Harp and Female Vocal) from their 2008 album For A Moment
By Fourplay on their 2004 album Journey
By Celtic Woman soloist, Lisa Kelly, on their new Songs From the Heart special on PBS
By Will Martin on the 2010 album Inspirations
A different version of "It's Probably Me", featuring Eric Clapton, was featured in the opening titles of Lethal Weapon 3. This version is available as a single. In 1994, "Shape of My Heart" was featured in the end credits of Léon, replacing Éric Serra's "The Experience of Love" (a track that Serra eventually used in his 1995 soundtrack for the James Bond film GoldenEye). In 2011, "Shape of My Heart" was used to conclude the final episode of the seventh series of the British television drama series Hustle.
1If I Ever Lose My Faith in You4:31Ten Summoner's Tales Wikipedia
2Love Is Stronger Than Justice (The Munificent Seven)5:11
3Fields of Gold3:40