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The Last Ship

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Editors’ Notes

Sting’s first album of original material since 2003’s Sacred Love, The Last Ship, is also the basis for his late-2014 Broadway production. Sting grew up in the '50s during the dying days of shipbuilding in his town, which was dependent on it. The local industry finally collapsed in the ‘80s. Now Sting pays tribute with a song cycle heavy on Celtic sea chanteys, acoustic instrumentation, and somber, hard-won truths. A lilting song such as “August Winds” and the ballad “I Love Her but She Loves Someone Else” let Gordon Sumner, the vocalist, sing at his purest. “Language of Birds” adds electric guitars and hand drums. Guests such as Jimmy Nail (on the album highlight “What Have We Got?”) and Becky Unthank (“So to Speak”) appear on the standard version, while AC/DC’s Brian Johnson appears on two tracks (“Shipyard,” “Sky Hooks and Tartan Paint”) on the deluxe edition, moving past his heavy metal shriek for the hardness of a dockworker from an earlier time.

Customer Reviews

Um, what?

I love Sting and was excited to see a new album. Didn't even question the purchase...until I listened to it. It really sounds like he was disappointed to be left out of the Les Miserables cast so he wrote his own soundtrack. The album makes no sense as a stand-alone piece, and I will likely never listen to it again. Bummer.

Awesome Album

This is one of my favorite Sting albums. It’s not typical; but if you give it a few plays you may actually start loving it. It’s music for a play. Plus I love it that Sting sings in his real voice. He’s a Geordie… and this is his real accent. This whole collection is based on his life when he was growing up, in Wallsend (Newcastle) UK. Lots of sea shanty songs, and ballads… amazing! There is a lot of emotion in these songs about a way of life that no longer exists. The play will be on Broadway in the fall 2014. Glad to see he’s doing something different (this has taken him 3 years of his time. It’s brilliant, actually.

A drunk pub singer - what a waste of talent

I don't know why Sting thinks this is worthy of listening. Just seems like a whole bunch of ballads he sings for his own entertainment. These are definitely NOT songs I would put on repeatedly, I can barely listen to ONE! Just sounds like some semi-talented drunk singing in some Irish pub up north for a small group of similarly drunk friends and his own entertainment. Boy, what waste Sting! Hugely disappointed!


Born: October 2, 1951 in Wallsend, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

After disbanding the Police at the peak of their popularity in 1984, Sting quickly established himself as a viable solo artist, one obsessed with expanding the boundaries of pop music. Sting incorporated heavy elements of jazz, classical, and worldbeat into his music, writing lyrics that were literate and self-consciously meaningful, and he was never afraid to emphasize this fact in the press. For such unabashed ambition, he was equally loved and reviled, with supporters believing that he was at...
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