The Last Ship is the first full-length LP of original material released by Sting since his 2003 album Sacred Love.
The album is inspired by Sting's forthcoming play of the same name, scheduled to debut on Broadway in 2014. The play explores the themes of homecoming and self-discovery, drawing upon Sting's memories of growing up in the shipbuilding town of Wallsend, along with his reflections on the complexity of relationships, the passage of time and the importance of family and community. The play contains few songs that are not in the album, as well as What Say You Meg?, written to replace "Practical Arrangement" in the theatrical production.
The album is available as both a digital and physical release in two configurations: a standard 12-song version (also available on vinyl) and a 2-disc deluxe version with 5 additional tracks. Moreover, a 2-disc super deluxe edition with 20 tracks and special packaging will be available exclusively on Amazon.com, and AmazonMP3 will be the exclusive retailer for the 20-track, super deluxe digital edition.
Rob Mathes – production, orchestra arrangement and conduction
Donal Hodgson – recording, mixing
Peter Cobbin – orchestra recording, additional mixing ("The Last Ship", "Dead Man's Boots", "And Yet", "August Winds", "Language of Birds", "Practical Arrangement", "Ballad of the Great Eastern", "I Love Her But She Loves Someone Else", "The Last Ship (Reprise)")
Alex Venguer – additional recording
Jonathan Allen – orchestra recording
Jill Dell'Abate – production manager
Isobel Griffiths, Ltd. – orchestra contractor
Charlotte Matthews – assistant orchestra contractor