Ten Summoner's Tales
|Ten Summoner's Tales|
|Studio album by|
|Released||9 March 1993|
|Studio||Lake House, Wiltshire, England|
31454-0070-2 (Canada, US)
|Producer||Sting, Hugh Padgham|
|Singles from Ten Summoner's Tales|
|The Buffalo News|||
|Encyclopedia of Popular Music|||
|Los Angeles Times|||
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
Ten Summoner's Tales is the fourth solo studio album by 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.
Ten Summoner's Tales was shortlisted for the 1993 Mercury Prize. In 1994, it was nominated for six Grammy awards including Album of the Year (losing to Whitney Houston‘s The Bodyguard), 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, while "If I Ever Lose My Faith in You" was also nominated for Record and Song of the Year.
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 was also a live album produced during the Ten Summoner's Tales era, entitled Meadowlands of Gold, which contained 13 tracks performed at the Meadowlands Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The songs consisted of tracks from the album, and a few songs by The Police plus 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 'performance' video of the entire album was filmed at Sting's Lake House property. The audio used is partly from the album, but partly recorded as played by the band during the filming. This film was 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. There was also an interview disc released for the album, in which Sting talks about all tracks on the album.
The second track on the album, "Love Is Stronger Than Justice (The Munificent Seven)", is was named as a homage to the films Seven Samurai and The Magnificent Seven. According to the interview disc, the idea came to Sting when he wanted to write a song in the 7/4 time signature. The song "Seven Days" is also noted for Vinnie Colaiuta and his sophisticated playing in the 5/4 time signature.
The international-exclusive track "Everybody Laughed But You" was excluded from Canadian and American pressings of the album. However, US singles from the album included the song, as well as a version of the song with different lyrics titled "January Stars".
Ten Summoner's Tales was remastered and re-released in 1998. The new CD issue included a bonus video track of "If I Ever Lose My Faith in You". It also featured 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 single "If I Ever Lose My Faith in You". The instrumental track for "Everybody Laughed But You" was also used with an alternate lyric and released as "January Stars" on the singles "Seven Days" and "If I Ever Lose My Faith in You".
All songs written by Sting except where noted.
|1.||"Prologue (If I Ever Lose My Faith in You)"||4:30|
|2.||"Love Is Stronger Than Justice (The Munificent Seven)"||5:12|
|3.||"Fields of Gold"||3:42|
|4.||"Heavy Cloud No Rain"||3:39|
|5.||"She's Too Good for Me"||2:30|
|7.||"Saint Augustine in Hell" (Narration performed by David Foxxe)||5:05|
|8.||"It's Probably Me"||Sting, Eric Clapton, Michael Kamen||4:57|
|9.||"Everybody Laughed but You" (Excluded from original Canada/US releases)||3:53|
|10.||"Shape of My Heart"||Sting, Dominic Miller||4:38|
|11.||"Something the Boy Said"||5:13|
|12.||"Epilogue (Nothing 'Bout Me)"||3:39|
French bonus disc – five live recordings (later released as a promotional disc called Five Live)
- "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)
- "We Work The Black Seam (1993 Version)" (US single)
- Sting: vocals, bass guitar, double bass, harmonica, saxophone
- Dominic Miller: guitar
- Vinnie Colaiuta: drums
- David Sancious: keyboards
- Larry Adler, Brendan Power: harmonica
- John Barclay, Guy Barker: trumpet
- Sian Bell: cello
- James Boyd: viola
- Richard Edwards: trombone
- Simon Fischer, Kathryn Greeley: violin
- David Foxxe: narration (devil's voice on "Saint Augustine in Hell")
- Paul Franklin: pedal steel guitar
- Dave Heath: flute
- Kathryn Tickell: Northumbrian smallpipes, fiddle
- Mark Nightingale: trombone
- David Sanborn: saxophone
- Produced 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
Use in media
The backing track of "Shape of My Heart" was used, in a slightly altered way, by rapper Nas on his song "The Message" from his 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 (includes 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 original soundtrack 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 (includes some of the song's original chorus)
- "Lucid Dreams" by Juice Wrld, from the 2018 album Goodbye & Good Riddance
The song "Shape of My Heart" has been covered by several artists:
- Ann-Margret, on the soundtrack to the 1996 television movie Blue Rodeo
- Lee Ritenour, featuring Steve Lukather and Andy McKee, for the 2010 album 6 String Theory
- Vybz Kartel
The song "Fields of Gold" has also been covered by several artists:
- Eva Cassidy, on her 1996 album Live at Blues Alley
- Mary Black, on her 1999 album Speaking with the Angel
- I Muvrini, for the English-Corsican version "Terre d'Oru", released in 2000 and featuring Sting himself
- CJ Crew, on the 2002 eurodance compilation Dancemania Speed 9
- Mary Wilson, on her 2007 album Up Close: Live from San Francisco
- Jay and Abby Michaels – The Harper and The Minstrel (arranged for Celtic Harp and Female Vocal), from their 2008 album For A Moment
- Fourplay on their 2004 album Journey
- Celtic Woman soloist, Lisa Kelly, on their PBS special Songs From the Heart
- Will Martin, on his 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 was available as a single.) The song "Shape of My Heart" was featured in the end credits of the 1994 French thriller Léon: The Professional, 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 British television drama Hustle.
|Year||Nominee / work||Award||Result|
|1994||Ten Summoner's Tales||Album of the Year||Nominated|
|Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical||Won|
|Best Music Video, Long Form||Won|
|"If I Ever Lose My Faith in You"||Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male||Won|
|Record of the Year||Nominated|
|Song of the Year||Nominated|
|Year||Nominee / work||Award||Result|
|Ten Summoner's Tales||Best British Album||Nominated|
|Sting (performer)||Best British Male Artist||Won|
|"Fields of Gold"||Best British Video||Nominated|
|Year||Nominee / work||Award||Result|
|1993||Ten Summoner's Tales||Mercury Music Prize||Nominated|
|US Hot 100||UK Singles Chart|
|1993||"If I Ever Lose My Faith in You"||17||14|
|"Fields of Gold"||23||16|
|"Shape of My Heart"||–||57|
|"Love is Stronger Than Justice (The Munificent Seven)"||–||–|
|1994||"Nothing 'Bout Me"||57||32|
|Canada (Music Canada)||Platinum||100,000^|
|France (SNEP)||2× Gold||350,000|
|Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)||Platinum||50,000^|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||2× Platinum||600,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||3× Platinum||3,000,000^|
^shipments figures based on certification alone
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