Fields of Gold

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"Fields of Gold"
Fields-of-gold-sting.jpg
Single by Sting
from the album Ten Summoner's Tales
ReleasedMay 1993
Recorded1992
Length3:42
LabelA&M
Songwriter(s)Sting
Producer(s)
Sting singles chronology
"Seven Days"
(1993)
"Fields of Gold"
(1993)
"Shape of My Heart"
(1993)
Music video
"Fields of Gold" on YouTube

"Fields of Gold" is a song written and recorded by Sting. It first appeared on his 1993 album Ten Summoner's Tales. The song was released as a single but only made it to number 16 on the UK Singles Chart and number 23 on the US Billboard Hot 100. However, it did reach No. 2 in Canada and became one of Sting's most famous songs.

Many musical artists have covered the song. American guitarist Eva Cassidy recorded a version that first appeared on her 1996 live album Live at Blues Alley, then later on her 1998 album Songbird and her 2012 album The Best of Eva Cassidy. Cassidy's version charted in Sweden and the Netherlands in 2008 and 2013, respectively. British-Georgian singer Katie Melua, a fan of Cassidy,[1] recorded a version that was released as the BBC Children in Need single for 2017;[2] her version peaked at number 29 on the UK Singles Chart.

Background[edit]

"Fields of Gold" and all the other tracks on the album were recorded at Lake House, Wiltshire, mixed at The Townhouse Studio, London, England and mastered at Masterdisk, New York City. The harmonica solo is played by Brendan Power, and the Northumbrian smallpipes are played by Kathryn Tickell. The music video was directed by Kevin Godley. The cover of the single was photographed at Wardour Old Castle in Wiltshire, as was the cover for the album Ten Summoner's Tales.

In Lyrics By Sting, the singer described the view from his 16th-century Wiltshire manor house:

In England, our house is surrounded by barley fields, and in the summer it's fascinating to watch the wind moving over the shimmering surface, like waves on an ocean of gold. There's something inherently sexy about the sight, something primal, as if the wind were making love to the barley. Lovers have made promises here, I'm sure, their bonds strengthened by the comforting cycle of the seasons.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

Stephen Thomas Erlewine from AllMusic called "Fields of Gold" a "peaceful ballad", noting that it rank as a classic.[4] Larry Flick from Billboard described it as a "deeply alluring ballad with atmosphere to burn." He added, "Impeccably produced, it features a strong seductive vocal (and nice harmonica strains) from Sting, as well as lovely harplike acoustic guitar figures from band mate Dominic Miller. Among the most distinctive and beguiling songs the man has written, it's sure to earn a powerful multiformat reception, and thereby steal a few million hearts."[5] Bray People noted it as "moody but ultimately likeable".[6] The Daily Vaults David Bowling said that it is one of the "brilliant pop songs of the 1990s." He stated that it remains "the perfect ballad. It is a wistful love song looking back on love gained."[7] Pop Rescue commented, "This song is so wonderfully mellow, and flows so perfectly, that it’s near impossible to find fault with it."[8]

Music video[edit]

The music video for the song, directed by Godley & Creme, features a gold silhouette of Sting singing the song while walking through a dark village at night containing common features seen throughout the UK such as a red telephone box and a red pillar box. Scenes also feature Sting singing the song while bathed in blue and gold light. The silhouette of Sting is shown as such that the background inside him exactly matches the background of the surrounding village, only the version inside of him is bright and bustling with people, while the version outside is dark and dead. The video ends with the camera going into the silhouette and Sting's clothing disappearing, showing a final shot of the village at daylight and with various people.

Release[edit]

"Fields of Gold" was the second single released from the album after "If I Ever Lose My Faith in You". The single reached No. 16 on the UK Singles Chart,[9] No. 23 on the Billboard Hot 100[10] and No. 2 on the Canadian RPM Top Singles chart.[11] It was also a hit in Germany, Iceland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Switzerland and many other countries.

The song was included in Sting's first compilations album issued under the title Fields of Gold: The Best of Sting 1984–1994 and released in 1994 and in a later compilation The Very Best of Sting & The Police in 1997. It was re-recorded by Sting in 2006 as a bonus track for his classical album Songs from the Labyrinth, in which the song was accompanied entirely by a lute.

In an interview at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts Paul McCartney stated that "Fields of Gold" was a song he'd wish he'd written himself.[12]

Track listing[edit]

UK 4-track CD single[13]

  1. "Fields of Gold"
  2. "King of Pain" – Live
  3. "Fragile" – Live
  4. "Purple Haze" – Live

Rare UK limited edition 4-track gatefold CD single[13]

  1. "Fields of Gold"
  2. "Message in a Bottle" – Live
  3. "Fortress Around Your Heart" – Live
  4. "Roxanne" – Live

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Sting's version[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Italy (FIMI)[38]
sales since 2009
Gold 25,000double-dagger

double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Katie Melua page". Eva Cassidy Web Site. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  2. ^ Copsey, Rob (7 November 2017). "The Official biggest selling Children In Need singles revealed". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  3. ^ "Lyrics by Sting - to be published as a Dial Press Hardcover on October 23, 2007...". Sting.com. Retrieved 21 May 2017
  4. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Sting – Ten Summoner's Tales". AllMusic. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
  5. ^ Flick, Larry (15 May 1993). "Single Reviews" (PDF). Billboard. p. 84. Retrieved 26 October 2020.
  6. ^ Bray People. 23 July 1993. p. 26. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  7. ^ Bowling, David (22 June 2007). "Ten Summoner's Tales – Sting". The Daily Vault. Retrieved 20 November 2020.
  8. ^ "REVIEW: "TEN SUMMONER'S TALES" BY STING (CD, 1993)". Pop Rescue. 17 July 2015. Retrieved 4 December 2020.
  9. ^ a b "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  10. ^ a b "Sting Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  11. ^ a b "Top RPM Singles: Issue 2192." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  12. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gxdrjRqcZQ
  13. ^ a b "Sting CD Singles, Sting CDs, Buy Rare Sting CDs". Mattscdsingles.com. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  14. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988-2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
  15. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 2231." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  16. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 10 no. 28. 10 July 1993. p. 19. Retrieved 19 September 2020.
  17. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Sting – Fields of Gold". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  18. ^ "Íslenski Listinn Topp 40 (24.06.1993 – 30.06.1993)". Dagblaðið Vísir (in Icelandic). 24 June 1993. p. 20. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  19. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Fields of Gold". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  20. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Sting – Fields of Gold" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  21. ^ "Charts.nz – Sting – Fields of Gold". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  22. ^ "Notowanie nr595" (in Polish). LP3. 9 July 2019. Retrieved 16 February 2019. Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help)
  23. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Sting – Fields of Gold". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  24. ^ "Sting Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  25. ^ "Sting Chart History (Alternative Airplay)". Billboard. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  26. ^ "Sting Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  27. ^ "Sting Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  28. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Eva Cassidy – Fields of Gold" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  29. ^ "Notowanie nr1019" (in Polish). LP3. 10 August 2001. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  30. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Eva Cassidy – Fields of Gold". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  31. ^ "Notowanie nr1874" (in Polish). LP3. 29 December 2017. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  32. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  33. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  34. ^ "The RPM Top 100 Hit Tracks of 1993". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  35. ^ "The RPM Top 100 A\C Tracks of 1993". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  36. ^ "Árslistinn 1993". Dagblaðið Vísir (in Icelandic). 4 January 1994. p. 17. Retrieved 1 June 2020.
  37. ^ "Top 100 Songs of 1993 – Billboard Year End Charts". Bobborst.com. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  38. ^ "Italian single certifications – Sting – Fields of Love" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved 6 January 2021. Select "2019" in the "Anno" drop-down menu. Select "Fields of Love" in the "Filtra" field. Select "Singoli online" under "Sezione".

External links[edit]