The mention of Sting, who will play the Fillmore this Saturday, often elicits a face-contorting "ew" or an apathetic shrug from nonbelievers. He doesn’t always get credit for a three-decade solo career that began with his departure from the Police in 1984.
Despite the fact that Sting and his bandmates reunited in 2007 for a world tour, a bitterness from fans and the media somehow still lingers. He has been described as a perfectionist (to a fault), pretentious, arrogant, and a Bono-like, self-righteous eco-warrior.
In interviews, he comes off as aloof and serious at the same time. He believes in everything he’s ever recorded even when others don’t. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, he mentioned his oft-maligned 2006 album, Songs From the Labyrinth. "People had a go at me. People were like, 'I don't want to listen to the fucking lute.' I'd say, 'What's wrong with the lute?' I think the instrument suffers from the Monty Pythonization of the lute."
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Yet for all the bellyaching that accompanies Sting’s perceived missteps, the facts are hard to argue. He has 16 Grammys, earned both on his own and with the Police. He’s been ranked as one of the top songwriters of the century and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. And last year, at 64 years old, he released his 13th studio album, 57th & 9th, his first proper
Regardless of the public’s reaction to stories of Sting’s tantric sex escapades with his wife, the truth remains that he’s as talented as he is complex. Plus, “Roxanne,” “Shape of My Heart,” and “Every Breath You Take” are classics. And for that, we should be grateful this New York-loving Englishman is the way he is.