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
Released May 1993
Format Compact disc
Genre Soft rock
Length 3:42 (Album Version)
Label A&M
Songwriter(s) Sting
Producer(s) Sting & Hugh Padgham
Sting singles chronology
"String Module Error: Match not found"
(1993)
"Fields of Gold"
(1993)
"Shape of My Heart"
(1993)
"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. Despite not reaching the Top 10 in the UK or the Top 20 in the United States when it was released as a single from the album, it has become one of his most famous songs, with many cover versions by other artists.

Background[edit]

"Fields of Gold" and all the other album tracks 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 album 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 sixteenth-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."[1]

The music video features a silhouette of Sting walking through a village containing common features seen throughout the UK such as a red telephone box and a red pillar box.

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,[2] No. 23 on the Billboard Hot 100[3] and No. 2 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary Chart.[4] It was a hit in Ireland, Germany, The Netherlands, Switzerland and many other countries.

The song was included in Sting's first compilations album issued by Sting 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.

Track listing[edit]

  • UK 4-track CD single[5]
  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[5]
  1. "Fields of Gold"
  2. "Message in a Bottle" – Live
  3. "Fortress Around Your Heart" – Live
  4. "Roxanne" – Live

Covers and performances[edit]

The song has become a modern MOR standard and has been covered extensively by other artists. Eva Cassidy recorded a version which first appeared on her 1996 live album Live at Blues Alley and later on the 1998 album Songbird and the 2012 compilation album The Best of Eva Cassidy. Other covers include the Irish singer Lee Mulhern in his 1996 album Hey Good Looking, Mary Black on the 1999 album Speaking with the Angel, Gregorian in their 2002 album Masters of Chant Chapter III, by Maxi Priest (under the title Fields) on his 2005 album 2 the Max (also released as a double-A single along with Like I Do in 2004), by Mary Wilson on her live 2006 album Live at the Sands and in another live interpretation on her live 2007 album Up Close: Live from San Francisco and by Celtic Woman soloist Lisa Kelly on the Celtic Woman album Celtic Woman: Songs from the Heart broadcast on a special on PBS (2010). Television presenter and classical singer Alexander Armstrong recorded a version on his album Upon a Different Shore.

"Fields of Gold" was performed as a duo by Barry Gibb and Cliff Richard which appeared on Richard's 2006 album Two's Company The Duets. The Croatian music duo 2CELLOS played a melody version live at Arena di Verona in 2017.[6]

In 2002, the song was remixed by CJ Crew. The track appeared on the Dancemania Speed 9 album.

The song is popular with musical reality television contestants. It was sung by Nadine Coyle, taking part in Popstars The Rivals in 2002, by Danielle Tedford, a contestant on series 2 of British Pop Idol in 2003, by Niki Evans, a contestant in British season 4 of the 2007 UK series of The X Factor and by Lauren Talbot, a contestant in season 4 of Deutschland sucht den Superstar in 2007. It was interpreted by Swedish contestant Robin Bengtsson in 2008 during season 5 of the Swedish Idol series with the ensuing single peaking at #15 on Sverigetopplistan, the official Swedish Singles Chart.[7] The Welsh contestant Bronwen Lewis sang it in the blind auditions of season 2 of The Voice UK in 2013 as a bilingual rendition in English and Welsh.[8] The American contestant Joshua Davis interpreted it in 2015 during season 8 of the U.S. The Voice.

On March 14, 2016, Ellie Goulding performed it live at Westminster Abbey as part of the Commonwealth Day celebrations in presence of Queen Elizabeth II.[9]

Charts[edit]

Year Single Peak chart positions Album
UK
[2]
AUS
[10]
FRA
[11]
GER
[12]
IRE
[13]
NET
[14]
SWI
[15]
US
[3]
US AC
[4]
US Adult US Rock
[16]
US Mod
[17]
1993 "Fields of Gold" 16 85 52 22 44 25 23 2 24 12 Ten Summoner's Tales

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Lyrics by Sting - to be published as a Dial Press Hardcover on October 23, 2007...". Sting.com. Retrieved 21 May 2017
  2. ^ a b "Official Charts > Sting". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 7 February 2016. 
  3. ^ a b "Billboard > Artists / Sting > Chart History > The Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved 7 February 2016. 
  4. ^ a b "Billboard > Artists / Sting > Chart History > Adult Contemporary". Billboard. Retrieved 7 February 2016. 
  5. ^ a b "Sting CD Singles, Sting CDs, Buy Rare Sting CDs". Mattscdsingles.com. Retrieved 6 August 2013. 
  6. ^ 2CELLOS YouTube page: Fields Of Gold [Live at Arena di Verona]
  7. ^ SwedishCharts.com Robin Bengtsson - "Fields of Gold"
  8. ^ WalesOnline: How Welsh singing starlet Bronwen Lewis turned rejection on The Voice into big screen Pride
  9. ^ Billboard: Ellie Goulding Perform Sting's 'Fields of Gold' for the Queen of England
  10. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988-2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing. 
  11. ^ "lescharts.com (French charts)". lescharts.com. Retrieved 26 April 2010. 
  12. ^ "Offizielle Deutsche Charts > Sting - Fields of Gold (single)" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 7 February 2016. 
  13. ^ "The Irish Charts (search by artist: Sting)". irishcharts.ie. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 26 April 2010. 
  14. ^ "dutchcharts.nl (Dutch charts)". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 26 April 2010. 
  15. ^ "hitparade.ch (Swiss charts)". hitparade.ch. Retrieved 26 April 2010. 
  16. ^ "Billboard > Artists / Sting > Chart History > Mainstream Rock Songs". Billboard. Retrieved 7 February 2016. 
  17. ^ "Billboard > Artists / Sting > Chart History > Alternative Songs". Billboard. Retrieved 7 February 2016. 

External links[edit]