Editor’s Note: The Albumism staff has selected what we believe to be the 50 Greatest Live Albums of All Time, representing a varied cross-section of genres, styles and time periods. Click “Next Album” below to explore each album or view the full album index here.
STING | Bring on the Night
Selected by Andy Healy
Recorded during the supporting shows of Sting’s ‘The Dream of the Blue Turtles’ tour, Bring On The Night is a live album filled with flawless musicianship. With his Turtles’ band in tow (untouchable musos like Omar Hakim, Kenny Kirkland, Darryl Jones and Branford Marsalis) Sting delivers a powerful set of songs pulled from his burgeoning solo career and his heyday with The Police.
But the song choices (especially The Police tracks) aren’t the expected hits but rather deep dives into Sting’s rich musical history. Album opener, a mash-up of “Bring On The Night” and “When The World Is Running Down You Make The Best Of What’s Still Around” is a sublime extended jam of reggae, jazz, funk and pop delivered at blistering pace that charges the hair on your neck for the unbelievable full running time of 11:41.
Elsewhere on the album, other songs are taken out for extended strolls letting the musicianship at play shape the performance. It’s not jazz per se, but the improvisational chops are clearly on show here. Highlights like “Driven To Tears,” “Another Day,” and the haunting “Children’s Crusade” are all accentuated by the brilliant musicianship at play. The only sore point is that Omar Hakim’s brilliant drum solo is curiously absent from the brooding “Burn For You.” The perfect accompaniment to the strongly recommended documentary of the same name, this live album remains vibrant and exciting with every listen.