Bring On The Night is the first live album by former main-man of The Police, Sting. It was recorded in Paris, Rome and Arnhem between May and December 1985. Bring On The Night is also the name of a documentary about the early solo years of Sting which included the Paris concert.
Effectively he’s now the leader of a crack jazz rock group with saxophonist Branford Marsalis, keyboard player Kenny Kirkland (who has often played with Branford and Wynton Marsalis), bassist Darryl Jones (ex Miles Davis and he later went on to play with The Rolling Stones after Bill Wyman left) and drummer Omar Hakim (ex Weather Report and later Miles Davis).
Review Of Sting Bring On The Night
Set List Rating 9/10
- Bring On The Night / When The World Is Running Down You Make The Best Of What’s Still Around – 11:41 (originally on the studio albums Reggatta de Blanc and Zenyatta Mondatta by The Police.
- Consider Me Gone – 4:53 (The Dream of the Blue Turtles by Sting)
- Low Life – 4:03 (the b side, Spirits in the Material World)
- We Work The Black Seam – 6:55 (The Dream of the Blue Turtles)
- Driven To Tears – 6:59 (Zenyatta Mondatta)
- The Dream Of The Blue Turtles / Demolition Man – 6:08 (The Dream of the Blue Turtles and Ghost in the Machine by The Police)
- One World (Not Three) / Love Is The Seventh Wave – 11:10 (Ghost in the Machine and The Dream of the Blue Turtles)
- Moon Over Bourbon Street – 4:19 (The Dream of the Blue Turtles)
- I Burn For You – 5:38 (a song written for the film Brimstone and Treacle which starred Sting)
- Another Day – 4:41 (this was a B side added to The Dream of the Blue Turtles)
- Children’s Crusade – 5:23 (The Dream of the Blue Turtles)
- Down So Long – 4:54 (cover of a song written by Alex Atkins and J. B. Lenoir)
- Tea In The Sahara – 6:25 (Synchronicity by The Police)
This is exactly what live albums should be about. Bringing together an excellent collection of songs, changing them, creating medleys and really adding to the creativity shown on the original studio albums. I’m glad Sting resisted the temptation to feature the big hits from his time with The Police because it helps to make the album feel more special.
The Dream of the Blue Turtles is the first solo album by Sting where he built on the jazz elements he showed in later albums by The Police. Besteveralbums.com rank it as the second best Sting solo album although it’s overall ranking just inside the top 1,500 is too low.
Performance Rating 10/10
Sting gives the expert jazz musicians room to express themselves on much more accessible material.
I struggle to like jazz rock when there is too much formless, shapeless unmelodic instrumental noodling but this live album makes me want to investigate deeper into the genre.
Sting himself seems to sing better. I felt his voice was forced in various songs by The Police but he sounds more relaxed and less strained here and it’s kinder on my ears.
The recreation of The Police songs as jazz / jazz rock is masterful. There’s less adjustment to the songs from the solo album because the same musicians were used.
There are also two female backing singers to help round out the sound – Janice Pendarvis and Dolette McDonald.
Bring On The Night (from 1985 but not the album version)
I Burn For You (Paris 1985)
Atmosphere and Authenticity Rating 8/10
I’d have preferred a single concert rather than a compilation from three different venues over a seven month period. What you gain in performance, you can lose in authenticity as this is no longer Sting on a great night.
It feels live but the audience is variably involved. Again I think this will be partly down to the different venues. There is very little interaction with the audiences which risks making it feel more clinical.
Overall Rating – 27/30
It’s unusual to release a live recording as the second album in a solo career but Sting was right to be very proud of what this group was doing.
I think 27/30 is a fair rating although I can imagine a time when I can’t stop playing it, in which case it would go up.
What Other People Say
I’ve seen it listed in one general best live albums list:
Buying Sting’s Live Album Bring On The Night
You can get this live album from:
What Do You Think?
Do you agree with me and think that this is an excellent live album? If not, what’s wrong with it?
Sting’s Other Live Albums
I must review his other live albums:
- Acoustic Live In Newcastle
- All This Time
- Live In Japan
- Live In Berlin
The Best Live Albums
This is quite a hard album to classify but I’ve decided to include it in the poll of best classic rock live albums.
If you are interested in the results of the polls – and there has been quite a lot of voting in the popular polls – please click over to The Best Live Albums.
If You Like This, I Think You Will Also Like…
- The Police Live! (you will hear both sides of The Police on this album as it features concerts from 1979 and 1983)
- Steely Dan Live In America – I thought I’d already reviewed this one but it seems I haven’t yet.
- Gil Scott Heron Tour De Force – jazz meets soul and social commentary on this “best of live” style album.