Tuesday 27 February 2024

Namesakes #74: Sting

Here it is. The one you've all been waiting for! 

What is it about Sting that makes us love to take the piss out of him? Is it his lyrics? (Who else could rhyme cough with Nabakov? Or ask us, with a serious face, if the Russians love their children too?) Is it the fact that he claims his name was derived from the jazzy yellow and black pullover he used to wear? Is it because he was one of those teachers who thought all the girls fancied him? Is it all the great work (he tells us) he does for charidee? Is the tantric sex? Or is because he's such great mates with Bono? Whatever the reason, Sting has been a figure of ridicule for as long as I can remember. But let's face it, he's one of a kind. 

Isn't he? 


Guitarist Dave Howman and drummer Gavin Dare were the main songwriting team behind London glam-wannabes Sting in the mid-70s. Howman later went on to write music for Monty Python, One Foot In The Grave and the TV adaptation of The Wind In The Willows, as well as forming Melody Maker's 1983 "Band Of The Year", The Boyfriends.


Hey ladies! Don't you ever wonder how Sting does it in the shower? Well, here's your answer from 1978 and the The Disco Corporation of America!


Next, some Aussie proggers, also from 1978, with a lyric I'm sure Mr. Sumner would be extremely jealous of...

Hey, Mr. Blind Man,
Tell me what you see
Can you picture flowers?
Can you look out to the sea?


And now... the main attraction. Unlike Bono, I don't hate Sting. I even think some of the stuff he did with the Rozzers is excellent - particular So Lonely and Can't Stand Losing You, before too much of the cod-Reggae influence crept in. 

Solo though... I can't say he's written many songs that have leapt out of the radio at me. I had a look down his singles chart history and there was a lot of aural wallpaper. In fact, the only solo track I really like is his debut single (probably because he didn't write it), from the soundtrack of the movie version of Dennis Potter's controversial play Brimstone & Treacle, in which Sting "acts". 

Which Sting spreads a little happiness for you... and which Sting has you reaching for the calamine lotion?


  1. Sting 1 is a toptastic slice of 70s glam, all the better for sounding very like The Sweet

  2. #2 is risible, #3 is the right load of old bobbins that gives prog a bad name, and the change of direction at about 4 mins did nothing to improve the song; thankfully it did not drag on for 7 mins 53 seconds as the video suggested, stopping at 4 mins47 seconds. I did not play the second song. I lasted for 21seconds of Stink, which I bet is longer than any other reader today. So my vote is for #1

    1. I think Sting #3 also has the b-side on, hence the longer running time on the video.

    2. Also, it just occurred to me, looking at the picture at the top of the page... a sting is really just a little prick.

  3. Stink could spread a lot of happiness by never recording again

  4. It isn't entirely clear what it is #2 proposes they should do in the shower - hopefully not listening to #3, which is the dreariest thing I have heard in a long time, although I suppose the sound of running water might drown it out.

  5. I have a soft spot for Sting #4, mostly due to the Rozzers, but also because of the album Ten Summoner's Tales which we used as a demo album in my hi-fi selling days (it was a DDD recording, you see), so I know every note, still, thirty years later.

  6. Going through your series of questions in the intro was a hoot. Each “yes” in my head got louder and more dramatic. If I smoked I would have needed a cigarette after that paragraph. - Brian

    1. If I'd thought harder, I'm sure I could have written a longer list. Sting's Crimes Against Popular Culture...


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