http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/5759eeddd5f7c0d93385c4f266bb768edba1546f.jpg Bring on The Night


Bring on The Night

Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 0 0
September 25, 1986

As a high-profile plan for musical and racial integration, The Dream of the Blue Turtles was one of last year's most significant projects. Unfortunately, the band Sting so carefully assembled was dominated by his earnest verbiage and limited by the requirements of his popmanship. Consequently, the record was an admirable muddle, hardly deserving of the ongoing documentation Sting seems to think it merits. After an album, a lengthy tour and a movie, a double live album may seem like narcissistic redundancy. But Bring On the Night is more fulfilling than any of the other Blue Turtle projects. Sting finally lets his band exhale, and the resulting gales can knock you down.

Sting correctly insists that his is not a jazz band — in the liner notes, he writes that the nomination of "The Dream of the Blue Turtles" for a jazz Grammy filled him with "horror and embarrassment" — but the instrumentalists all have distinguished jazz backgrounds, which means they're more capable of compelling improvisation than almost any rock band. On this album, they navigate a smart selection of Blue Turtles material, wisely avoiding the hits. The cool strut of "Consider Me Gone" is especially good. But they're shrewdest when rearranging old Police songs, the quality of which increases with the leniency of Sting's leadership. During a "Bring On the Night"/"When the World Is Running Down" jam, keyboardist Kenny Kirkland's barrelhouse romp prods Sting into celebrating the apocalypse. And saxophonist Branford Marsalis illuminates the coda of "Driven to Tears" with a white-light solo that pays tribute to Junior Walker.

Sting falters with the blues standard "Down So Long," and more of the arrangements should swivel like "Demolition Man." But the ensemble and individual playing tempers the singer's grim scenarios and resuscitates the notion of an uncompromised jazz-rock fusion. If only the world tour had come before the recording sessions, Blue Turtles might have been this good.

Bring On the Night is not being released in the United States and is available only as an import.

Album Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Bird on a Wire”

    Leonard Cohen | 1969

    While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

    More Song Stories entries »