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
Released7 June 1993 (1993-06-07)[1]
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 performed by English musician Sting. It first appeared on his fourth studio album, Ten Summoner's Tales (1993). The song was released as a single on 7 June 1993 but reached only No. 16 on the UK Singles Chart and No. 23 on the US Billboard Hot 100. However, the song did reach the top 10 in Canada and Iceland and became one of Sting's most famous songs.

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.[2]

Critical reception[edit]

Stephen Thomas Erlewine from AllMusic called "Fields of Gold" a "peaceful ballad", noting that it ranks as a classic.[3] 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."[4] Irish newspaper Bray People viewed it as "moody but ultimately likeable".[5] The Daily Vault's 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."[6] Music writer James Masterton wrote in his weekly UK chart commentary, "For a man who is normally considered an albums artist this is an achievement indeed, a third hit in a row from his latest album, and all of them Top 20 hits."[7] Alan Jones from Music Week rated "Fields of Gold" four out of five, calling it a "lilting, haunting, soothing, almost folky song". He added that "the uncluttered arrangement and intimate vocals are excellent".[8] Pop Rescue commented, "This song is so wonderfully mellow, and flows so perfectly, that it’s near impossible to find fault with it."[9] In an interview at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts Paul McCartney stated that "Fields of Gold" was a song he wished he'd written himself.[10]

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. It was published on YouTube in September 2011. The video has amassed more than 66 million views as of September 2021.[11]

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,[12] No. 23 on the Billboard Hot 100[13] and No. 2 on the Canadian RPM Top Singles chart.[14] 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.

Cover versions[edit]

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 albums Songbird (1998) and The Best of Eva Cassidy (2012). Cassidy's version charted in Sweden and the Netherlands in 2008 and 2013, respectively. British-Georgian singer Katie Melua, a fan of Cassidy,[15] recorded a version that was released as the BBC Children in Need single for 2017;[16] her version peaked at No. 29 on the UK Singles Chart.

Track listings[edit]

UK 4-track CD single[17]

  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[17]

  1. "Fields of Gold"
  2. "Message in a Bottle" (live)
  3. "Fortress Around Your Heart" (live)
  4. "Roxanne" (live)

Charts and certifications[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "New Releases: Singles" (PDF). Music Week. 5 June 1993. p. 19. Retrieved 21 June 2021.
  2. ^ "Lyrics by Sting - to be published as a Dial Press Hardcover on October 23, 2007...". Sting.com. Retrieved 21 May 2017
  3. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Sting – Ten Summoner's Tales". AllMusic. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
  4. ^ Flick, Larry (15 May 1993). "Single Reviews" (PDF). Billboard. p. 84. Retrieved 26 October 2020.
  5. ^ Bray People. 23 July 1993. p. 26. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  6. ^ Bowling, David (22 June 2007). "Ten Summoner's Tales – Sting". The Daily Vault. Retrieved 20 November 2020.
  7. ^ Masterton, James (14 June 1993). "Week Ending June 19th 1993". Chart Watch UK. Retrieved 10 September 2021.
  8. ^ Jones, Alan (12 June 1993). "Market Preview: Mainstream - Singles - Pick of the Week" (PDF). Music Week. p. 8. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
  9. ^ "REVIEW: "TEN SUMMONER'S TALES" BY STING (CD, 1993)". Pop Rescue. 17 July 2015. Retrieved 4 December 2020.
  10. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: "Paul McCartney in Casual Conversation with Jarvis Cocker at LIPA". YouTube.
  11. ^ "Sting - Fields Of Gold (Official Music Video)". YouTube. 20 September 2011. Retrieved 10 September 2021.
  12. ^ a b "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  13. ^ a b "Sting Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  14. ^ a b "Top RPM Singles: Issue 2192." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  15. ^ "Katie Melua page". Eva Cassidy Web Site. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  16. ^ Copsey, Rob (7 November 2017). "The Official biggest selling Children In Need singles revealed". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  17. ^ a b "Sting CD Singles, Sting CDs, Buy Rare Sting CDs". Mattscdsingles.com. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  18. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988-2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
  19. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 2231." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  20. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 10, no. 28. 10 July 1993. p. 19. Retrieved 19 September 2020.
  21. ^ "Sting – Fields of Gold" (in German). GfK Entertainment charts. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  22. ^ "Íslenski Listinn Topp 40 (24.06.1993 – 30.06.1993)". Dagblaðið Vísir (in Icelandic). 24 June 1993. p. 20. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  23. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Fields of Gold". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  24. ^ "Sting – Fields of Gold" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  25. ^ "Sting – Fields of Gold". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  26. ^ "Sting – Fields of Gold". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  27. ^ "Sting Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  28. ^ "Sting Chart History (Alternative Airplay)". Billboard. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  29. ^ "Sting Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  30. ^ "Sting Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  31. ^ "Eva Cassidy – Fields of Gold" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  32. ^ "Eva Cassidy – Fields of Gold". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  33. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  34. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  35. ^ "The RPM Top 100 Hit Tracks of 1993". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  36. ^ "The RPM Top 100 A\C Tracks of 1993". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  37. ^ "Árslistinn 1993". Dagblaðið Vísir (in Icelandic). 4 January 1994. p. 17. Retrieved 1 June 2020.
  38. ^ "Billboard Top 100 – 1993". Billboardtop100of.com. Retrieved 24 January 2021.
  39. ^ "The Year in Music 1993" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 105, no. 52. 25 December 1993. p. YE-46. Archived (PDF) from the original on 27 June 2021. Retrieved 19 August 2021.
  40. ^ "1994 The Year in Music". Billboard. Vol. 106, no. 52. 24 December 1994. p. YE-68. Retrieved 20 August 2021.
  41. ^ "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" under "Sezione".

External links[edit]