The Soul Cages
|The Soul Cages|
|Studio album by Sting|
|Released||22 January 1991|
|Recorded||April – November 1990
Studio Guillaume Tell, Paris
Villa Salviati, Migliarino, Italy
|Singles from The Soul Cages|
|Los Angeles Times|||
The Soul Cages is the third full length studio album released by Sting. Released in 1991, it became his second No. 1 album in the United Kingdom. The album was dedicated to Sting's recently deceased father who died in the late 1980s. The Soul Cages is a concept album in which the songs are a reflection of his relationship with his father and how he felt after his death.
It spawned four singles: "All This Time", "Mad About You", "Why Should I Cry For You" and "The Soul Cages".
The title track won Sting the first ever Grammy Award for Best Rock Song in 1992.
Overview and concept
The Soul Cages is a concept album focused on the death of Sting's father. At the time, Sting had developed a writer's block shortly after his father's death; the episode lasted several years, until Sting was able to overcome his affliction by dealing with the death of his father through music. The first song written for The Soul Cages was "Why Should I Cry for You", and Sting has stated the rest of the album flowed quite easily after that first hurdle was overcome. Most of the songs have motifs related to sailing or the seas (Sting's father, according to Sting's autobiography, Broken Music, had always regretted not becoming a sailor.) There are also references to Newcastle, the part of England where Sting grew up.
Album opener "Island of Souls" tells the story of Billy, the first son in a family line of riveters. As he watches the ships his father helped create set sail, Billy dreams of taking his father along with him to escape by sea; his dreams become more prevalent as his father is injured and given three weeks to live. "All This Time" chronicles Billy's desire to bury his father at sea. The middle section of the record focuses mainly on the town Billy lives in and its people, before the highly introspective "Why Should I Cry For You". Musically, a mournful Northumbrian Pipe motif at the end of "Island of Souls" returns to open "The Wild Wild Sea", where Billy loses his way in a tempest only to find himself steered to safety by the spirit of his father. In another fantastical narrative on the album's eponymous track, Billy's father is being held captive by a demonic fisherman, with whom Billy wagers his life in a drinking game in a bid to set his father's soul free.
Finally, the album ends with the moody, slightly-enigmatic "When The Angels Fall", which serves as a final thesis on the Catholicism which so heavily influenced Sting's upbringing; particularly regarding his father's spiritual beliefs. Musically, the song acts as a full stop for both the album's content and Sting's own personal torment, with the song's fluctuating tonality finally resolving to a firm and secure G major, marking a return to “home” (in this case, the home key of the earlier, conceptually significant, track "All This Time”) and providing an overwhelming sense of acceptance, redemption and subtle-nostalgia; beautifully realised in the album's closing “lullaby” motif. The character of Billy is referred to in the third person for the first three songs and in the first person for the last three songs.
In an interview with Charlie Rose aired on 10 December 2010, Sting mentioned that he was working on a "mood piece", a musical project and book in collaboration with Pulitzer winner Brian Yorkey. The work would be based on an album he released many years ago concerning the loss of his father, growing up in Newcastle and witnessing the passing of the shipbuilding industry there. He admitted being scared of the prospect of pulling it all together but expressed confidence in it working out. This project has since been confirmed as the musical 'The Last Ship'
At the time this album appeared, the music industry was starting to shift away from using CD longboxes. Sting, a committed environmentalist, wanted to eliminate the amount of cardboard waste caused by the longbox. The original packaging was a fourfold cardboard case that could be modified to look like a longbox, and folded back into a jewel box sized CD package for home storage. In Germany, the CD was sold in jewel cases as well as longboxes. The cover painting was a commissioned work by the Scottish artist Steven Campbell.
Until the release of Symphonicities in July 2010, The Soul Cages was the only studio album by Sting not to feature a photograph of himself on the cover.
All songs written by Sting.
|1.||"Island of Souls"||6:41|
|2.||"All This Time"||4:54|
|3.||"Mad About You"||3:53|
|4.||"Jeremiah Blues (Part 1)"||4:54|
|5.||"Why Should I Cry for You"||4:46|
|6.||"Saint Agnes and the Burning Train"||2:43|
|7.||"The Wild Wild Sea"||6:41|
|8.||"The Soul Cages"||5:51|
|9.||"When the Angels Fall"||7:48|
Some pressings erroneously list "Why Should I Cry for You" before "Jeremiah Blues (Part 1)".
- Additional tracks
- "Vengo del sur" (Spanish Version of "Why Should I Cry for You") — Bonus track for Spanish edition
- "Muoio per te" (Italian Version of "Mad About You") — Bonus track for Italian edition
Adapted from booklet.
- Sting: Vocals, Bass, Mandolin, Synclavier
- Dominic Miller: Electric and Acoustic Guitars
- David Sancious, Kenny Kirkland: Keyboards
- Branford Marsalis: Saxophone
- Paola Paparelle: Oboe
- Kathryn Tickell: Northumbrian smallpipe
- Manu Katché: Drums
- Ray Cooper, Vinx, Bill Summers, Munyungo Jackson, Skip Burney, Tony Vacca: Percussion
Adapted from booklet.
- Arranged by Sting
- Produced by Sting and Hugh Padgham; QSound production assisted by Brian Cowieson and Scott Willing
- Recorded and mixed by Hugh Pagdham; assisted by Simon Osbourne, Yves Jajaget, Bruce Keene, Al Stone, Brian Scheuble and Efren Herrera
- Technical assistant to Sting: Danny Quatrochi
- Mastered by Bob Ludwig
- All songs published by Magnetic Publishing, Ltd./Blue Turtle Music
- "All This Time" (1991) – No. 5 US Hot 100, No. 1 US Mainstream Rock, No. 1 US Modern Rock, No. 9 US Adult Contemporary, No. 22 UK Singles Chart
- "Mad About You" (1991) – No. 56 UK Singles Chart
- "Why Should I Cry For You" (1991)
- "The Soul Cages" (1991) – No. 7 US Mainstream Rock, No. 9 US Modern Rock, No. 57 UK Singles Chart
|Austria (IFPI Austria)||Gold||25,000x|
|Canada (Music Canada)||Platinum||100,000^|
|Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)||Platinum||50,000x|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Gold||100,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||Platinum||1,000,000^|
^shipments figures based on certification alone
Chart precession and succession
Serious Hits... Live! by Phil Collins
|German Media Control Chart number-one album
1 – 21 February 1991
Innuendo by Queen
MCMXC a.D. by Enigma
|UK number one album
2 – 8 February 1991
Doubt by Jesus Jones
The Very Best of Elton John by Elton John
|Swiss Music Chart number-one album
3 – 10 February 1991
Innuendo by Queen
Cambio by Lucio Dalla
|Italian FIMI Chart number-one album
10 – 22 February 1991
Het beste uit de Top 40 van '90 by Various artists
|Dutch Mega Chart number-one album
16 February 1991
The Very Best of Elton John by Elton John
|European Top 100 number-one album
16 – 23 February 1991
The Immaculate Collection by Madonna
|Canadian RPM number-one album
2 March – 6 April 1991
Road Apples by The Tragically Hip
- Browne, David (1 February 1991). "The Soul Cages". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 24 June 2014.
- Kot, Greg (7 March 1993). "Feeling A Sting". chicagotribune.com (Chicago Tribune). Retrieved 1 October 2011.
- Will, Chris (20 January 1991). "STING "The Soul Cages"". articles.latimes.com (Los Angeles Times). Retrieved 18 October 2011.
- Robert Christgau review
- Sting in the UK Charts, The Official Charts.
- "Austrian album certifications – Sting – The Soul Cages" (in German). IFPI Austria. Enter Sting in the field Interpret. Enter The Soul Cages in the field Titel. Select album in the field Format. Click Suchen
- "Canadian album certifications – Sting – The Soul Cages". Music Canada.
- "Sting" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
- "French album certifications – Sting – The Soul Cages" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique.
- "Les Albums Platine". infodisc.fr (in French). SNEP. Retrieved 31 August 2011.
- "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Sting; 'The Soul Cages')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie.
- "Japanese album certifications – スティング – ソウル・ケージ" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan.
- Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970–2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9.
- "Solo Exitos 1959–2002 Ano A Ano: Certificados 1991–1995". Solo Exitos 1959–2002 Ano A Ano.
- "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Sting; 'The Soul Cages')". Hung Medien.
- "British album certifications – Sting – The Soul Cages". British Phonographic Industry. Enter The Soul Cages in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Gold in the field By Award. Click Search
- "American album certifications – Sting – The Soul Cages". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
- "australian-charts.com Sting – The Soul Cages" (ASP). Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 9 May 2013.
- "austriancharts.at Sting – The Soul Cages" (ASP). Hung Medien (in German). Retrieved 8 May 2013.
- Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 20 October 2011
- "dutchcharts.nl Sting – The Soul Cagesn" (ASP). Hung Medien. MegaCharts. Retrieved 12 September 2011.
- "InfoDisc : Tous les Albums classés par Artiste > Choisir Un Artiste Dans la Liste" (in French). infodisc.fr. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
- "Album Search: Sting" (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
- "Hit Parade Italia – Gli album più venduti del 1991" (in Italian). hitparadeitalia.it. Retrieved 7 May 2013.
- スティング-リリース-ORICON STYLE-ミュージック "Highest position and charting weeks of The Soul Cages by Sting" Check
|url=scheme (help). oricon.co.jp (in Japanese). Oricon Style. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
- "charts.org.nz Sting – The Soul Cages" (ASP). Hung Medien. Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 21 October 2011.
- "norwegiancharts.com Sting – The Soul Cages" (ASP). Hung Medien. VG-lista. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
- Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
- "swedishcharts.com Sting – The Soul Cages" (ASP) (in Swedish). Retrieved 1 May 2013.
- "Sting – The Soul Cages – hitparade.ch" (ASP). Hung Medien (in German). Swiss Music Charts. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
- "Sting > Artists > Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
- "allmusic ((( The Soul Cages > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". allmusic.com. Retrieved 1 May 20131. Check date values in:
- "Austriancharts.at – Jahreshitparade 1991". Hung Medien. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
- "RPM 100 Albums (CDs & Cassettes) of 1991". RPM. 21 December 1991. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
- "Dutch charts jaaroverzichten 1991" (in Dutch). Dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
- "Les Albums (CD) de 1991 par InfoDisc" (PHP) (in French). infodisc.fr. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
- 1991年 アルバム年間TOP100 "Oricon Year-end Albums Chart of 1991" Check
|url=scheme (help) (in Japanese). Retrieved 1 May 2013.
- "Hitparade.ch – Schweizer Jahreshitparade 1991". Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
- "Complete UK Year-End Album Charts". Archived from the original on 11 January 2012. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
- "Billboard.BIZ – Year-end Charts – Billboard 200 – 1991". billboard.biz. Archived from the original on 6 December 2012. Retrieved 1 May 2013.