Sting

From Northern Skies to Fields of Gold

Paul Carr

Sting

Paul Carr

Distributed for Reaktion Books

248 pages | 30 halftones | 5 3/4 x 8 1/4
Paper $16.00 ISBN: 9781780238135 Published December 2017 For sale in North and South America only
Gordon Sumner was born in a mainly working-class area of North Tyneside, England, in 1951. Decades later, we would come to know him as Sting, one of the world’s best-selling music artists. Sting was the lead singer of the Police from 1977 to 1984 before launching a hugely successful solo career. In Sting:From Northern Skies to Fields of Gold, popular music scholar Paul Carr argues that the foundations of Sting’s creativity and drive for success were established by his birthplace, with vestiges of his “Northern Englishness” continuing to emerge in his music long after he left his hometown.

Carr frames Sting’s creative impetus and output against the real, imagined, and idealized places he has occupied. Focusing on the sometimes-blurry borderlines between nostalgia, facts, imagination, and memories—as told by Sting, the people who knew (and know) him, and those who have written about him—Carr investigates the often complex resonance between local boy Gordon Sumner and the star the world knows as Sting. Published to coincide with the fortieth anniversary of the formation of the definitive line-up of the Police, this is the first book to examine the relationship between Sting’s working class background in Newcastle, the life he has consequently lived, and the creativity and inspiration behind his music.
Review Quotes
Sarah Murdoch | Toronto Star
"This biography isn’t an all-encompassing look at the life of Gordon Sumner. It is, however, the first to examine the strong sense of 'place' evident in Sting’s music and lyrics, beginning with his working-class roots in northern England. The author, himself a musician, is a professor of popular music analysis at the University of South Wales; this is accessible scholarship that will be of greatest interest to those steeped in the musical culture of the past half-century."
Paul Trynka, author of "Sympathy for the Devil: The Birth of the Rolling Stones and the Death of Brian Jones"
“Perhaps fittingly, this enjoyable book opens by describing how Gordon Sumner grew up on the borderline, between the Roman Empire and the uncharted wildlands to the North. It shows how where we come from—whether real, or imagined—defines us, and delves deep into those liminal zones between fact and fiction, to put Sting in a new geographical and cultural context.”
Allan F. Moore, Department of Music, University of Surrey
"Carr’s carefully researched study of Sting is clearly written out of deep appreciation for the man and his music, but it demonstrates why even non-fans should get to know him. Rather than focus on anecdote and personality, the book gets to the heart of what makes Sting tick musically without being drily academic. It negotiates well the seeming contradictions of this Geordie 'world citizen,' providing fascinating detail about aspects of Sting’s sound, how it signifies, and how it has been achieved, leading to a rounded picture of a major musician."
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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