The Dream of the Blue Turtles
|The Dream of the Blue Turtles|
|Studio album by Sting|
|Released||1 June 1985|
|Recorded||1984 – 1985|
|Studio||Blue Wave Studio, Saint Philip, Barbados and Le Studio, Morin-Heights, Quebec, Canada|
|Producer||Sting & Pete Smith|
|Singles from The Dream of the Blue Turtles|
|Encyclopedia of Popular Music|||
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
|The Village Voice||C+|
The Dream of the Blue Turtles is the first solo album by English musician Sting, released in the United States on 1 June 1985. The album reached number three on the UK Albums Chart. It reached number two on the Billboard 200. In the US the album spawned four singles, "If You Love Somebody Set Them Free", "Fortress Around Your Heart", "Russians" and "Love Is the Seventh Wave". The album earned Grammy nominations for Album of the Year, Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, Best Jazz Instrumental Performance and Best Engineered Recording.
Background and release
The album is named after a dream of Sting's. Although the single "If You Love Somebody Set Them Free" reached number three in the US, it was a relative flop in the UK, where the album's track "Russians" (about Cold War nuclear anxieties, which had peaked in the 1980s) proved more popular.
In the UK the album was kept off number one in the week of its release by Marillion's Misplaced Childhood and Born in the U.S.A. by Bruce Springsteen occupying the top two places. However, in the United States, the album reached number two on the Billboard 200.
The movie Bring on the Night documents some of the recording work that produced this album, as well as the subsequent tour.
The songs include "Children's Crusade" (paralleling the destruction of the younger generation in World War I to the devastation brought about by heroin addiction in modern-day London); the original uptempo arrangement of The Police song "Shadows in the Rain"; "We Work the Black Seam" (about the UK miners' strike of 1984–85); and "Moon over Bourbon Street", a song inspired by Anne Rice's novel Interview with the Vampire. "Consider Me Gone" references the first quatrain of Shakespeare's Sonnet 35.
All songs written and composed by Sting, except where noted.
|1.||"If You Love Somebody Set Them Free"||4:14|
|2.||"Love Is the Seventh Wave"||3:30|
|3.||"Russians" (Prokofiev, Sting)||3:57|
|5.||"Shadows in the Rain"||4:56|
|6.||"We Work the Black Seam"||5:40|
|7.||"Consider Me Gone"||4:21|
|8.||"The Dream of the Blue Turtles"||1:15|
|9.||"Moon over Bourbon Street"||3:59|
|10.||"Fortress Around Your Heart"||4:39|
- "Another Day" - 3:54
- "Gabriel's Message" - 2:15
- "If You Love Somebody Set Them Free" (1985) #3 US Hot 100, #26 UK Singles Chart
- "Russians" (1985) #16 US Hot 100, #12 UK Singles Chart
- "Fortress Around Your Heart" (1985) #8 US Hot 100, #49 UK Singles Chart
- "Love Is the Seventh Wave" (1985) #17 US Hot 100, #41 UK Singles Chart
- "Moon over Bourbon Street" (1986) #44 UK Singles Chart - B-side of "The Ballad of Mack the Knife"
- Sting – lead vocals, guitar, double bass on "Moon over Bourbon Street"
- Omar Hakim – drums
- Darryl Jones – bass guitar
- Kenny Kirkland – keyboards
- Branford Marsalis – soprano and tenor saxophones, miscellaneous percussion
- Dolette McDonald – backing vocals
- Janice Pendarvis – backing vocals
- Pete Smith – additional background vocals
- Danny Quatrochi – additional background vocals, Synclavier
- Elliot Jones – additional background vocals
- Jane Alexander – additional background vocals
- Vic Garbarini – additional background vocals
- The Nannies Chorus – additional background vocals
- Rosemary Purt – additional background vocals
- Stephanie Crewdson – additional background vocals
- Joe Sumner – additional background vocals
- Kate Sumner – additional background vocals
- Michael Sumner – additional background vocals
- Pamela Quinlan – additional background vocals
- Eddy Grant – congas (track 7)
- Frank Opolko – trombone (track 2)
- Robert Ashworth – additional guitar
- Engineers - Pete Smith and Jim Scott
- Producers - Pete Smith and Sting
- Photography - Max Vadukul and Danny Quatrochi
- Art direction and design - Michael Ross and Richard Frankel
- Recorded at Blue Wave Studios, St. Philip, Barbados and Le Studio, Morin Heights, Quebec
- Mastered by Robert Ludwig, MasterDisk
|1986||The Dream of the Blue Turtles||Album of the Year||Nominated|
|Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male||Nominated|
|Canada (Music Canada)||Platinum||100,000^|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||2× Platinum||600,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||3× Platinum||3,000,000^|
^shipments figures based on certification alone
|Australian Albums Chart||32|
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The title of the album came from a dream that woke me up on my first night in Barbados. I dreamed I was sitting in the walled garden behind my house in Hampstead, under a lilac tree on a well manicured lawn, surrounded by beautiful rosebushes. Suddenly the bricks from the wall exploded into the garden and I turned to see the head of an enormous turtle emerging from the darkness, followed by four or five others. They were not only the size of a man, they were also blue and had an air of being immensely cool, like hepcats, insouciant and fearless. They didn't harm me but with an almost casual violence commenced to destroy my genteel English garden, digging up the lawn with their claws, chomping at the rosebushes, bulldozing the lilac tree. Total mayhem. I woke up to the sound of Branford in the room upstairs, riffing wildly on his tenor sax, followed by his unmistakeable laughter.
- "STING: Moon over Bourbon Street, 12". Retrieved 17 September 2012.
That was inspired by a book by Ann Rice, called 'Interview With The Vampire', a beautiful book about this vampire which is a vampire by accident. He's immortal and he has to kill people to live, but he's been left with his conscience intact. He's this wonderful, poignant soul who has to do evil, yet wants to stop. Once again, it's the duality which interested me.
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