…Nothing Like the Sun, Sting’s second solo studio album, celebrates its 35th anniversary this year. To celebrate this milestone anniversary, A&M Records is releasing an expanded edition of the album, available only digitally.
The expanded edition of …Nothing Like the Sun – the title was lovingly adopted from Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130: “My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun” – includes the original 12 songs on the album plus 14 bonus tracks that consist of B-sides, remixes, alternate versions, and instrumentals.
Released on October 1, 1987, …Nothing Like the Sun addresses a litany of subjects, many of which are deeply personal. Sting expressed this in his liner notes, “I look back on this album, and I realize that the record is about my mother, although I didn’t see it at the time. It’s about mothers and daughters, mistresses and wives, sisters… Every song has one of these themes. It surprised me.” Sting’s mother passed away in late 1986, shortly before the recording of …Nothing Like the Sun began at AIR Studios in Montserrat in early 1987.
Produced by Sting, Hugh Padgham , Bryan Loren and Neil Dorfsman, …Nothing Like the Sun is a subdued and reflective album, with the exception being the up-tempo lead single, “We’ll Be Together,” (7th track on the original album) an instant chart hit featuring Annie Lennox. Other key songs on the album highlight Sting’s development as a solo artist. “The Englishman in New York” (3rd track on the original album) is a quirky, jazz-influenced song about his fellow expatriate in New York, famed writer and gay icon Quentin Crisp, while “Fragile” (6th track on the original album) paid tribute to Ben Linder, an American civilian engineer killed in Nicaragua by the Contras in 1987.
Some of the subjects on the album were born out of Sting’s awareness while participating in Amnesty International’s Conspiracy of Hope tour in 1986. Narrated in stirringly vivid detail, “They Dance Alone” (the fifth track on the original album) recounts the actions the singer observed of wives and daughters of certain men in Chile who were tortured and murdered by the then-military dictatorship. These wives and daughters would dance the country’s traditional dance known as the Cueca by themselves, with only photos of their missing loved ones pinned to their clothing.
…Nothing Like the Sun has been certified 2x platinum by the RIAA, topped the album charts in two countries, the UK and Japan, and also peaked at No. 9 on the US Billboard 200. The album’s aforementioned lead single, “We’ll Be Together,” had a strong chart impact upon its release, ultimately reaching No. 7 on the US Hot 100. The album’s second single, “Be Still My Beating Heart,” was nominated for two Grammy Awards, including Song of the Year and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance in 1989, and climbed to No. 2 on Album Rock Tracks, No. 15 on the Hot 100, and No. 37 on Adult Contemporary. The album’s other three singles were “Englishman in New York,” “Fragile,” and “They Dance Alone.” In the US, …Nothing Like the Sun garnered three Grammy nominations in 1989, including Album of the Year. In the UK, …Nothing Like the Sun received the BPI’s Brit Award for Best British Album of the Year in 1988.
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Here’s a list of all the tracks on the extended edition of …Nothing Like the Sun (digital only) – Click here to listen to the album:
- The Lazarus Heart
- Be Still My Beating Heart
- Englishman in New York
- History Will Teach Us Nothing
- They Dance Alone
- We’ll Be Together
- Straight To My Heart
- Rock Steady
- Sister Moon
- Little Wing
- The Secret Marriage
- Conversation With A Dog [Bonus Track]
- If You There [Bonus Track]
- Up From The Skies [Bonus Track]
- Someone To Watch Over Me [Bonus Track]
- Ghost in The Strand [Bonus Track]
- Englishman in New York / Ben Liebrand Mix [Bonus Track]
- Englishman in New York / Ben Liebrand Mix (Edit) [Bonus Track]
- Fragile / dj MONK’s Extended Vocal Remix Version [Bonus Track]
- Fragile / dj MONK’s Radio Edit Version [Bonus Track]
- Fragile / dj MONK’s Hard Rain Dub Version [Bonus Track]
- Fragile / Bedroom Rockers Remix Version [Bonus Track]
- We’ll Be Together / Extended Mix [Bonus Track]
- We’ll Be Together / Alternate Version [Bonus Track]
- We’ll Be Together / Instrumental [Bonus Track]
Click on this link to read this article in French version.