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Publisher's Summary

Before he was nicknamed “Sting” by the leader of a local show band in northeast England, Gordon Sumner knew he was meant for more than his working-class background promised. He just didn’t know how to get there. In Upon Reflection, hear the singular talent trace his unlikely rise from his days as a young husband and father working as a local schoolteacher, to risking everything on a fateful move to London, and joining an aspiring punk band called The Police. 

The worldwide success of The Police was only the beginning of Sting’s four decades of glory, disappointment, accomplishment, and unexpected good fortune. Featuring new recordings of “Roxanne”, “Message in a Bottle”, “Fields of Gold”, and other classics, Upon Reflection finds the iconic artist revealing his fascinating journey in intimate detail. Hear how a provincial boy determined to make his artistic mark, found his way, and changed our musical landscape.

©2021 Sting (P)2021 Audible Originals LLC

About the Creator and Performer

Composer, singer-songwriter, actor, author, and activist Sting was born in Newcastle, England, before moving to London in 1977 to form The Police with Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers. The band released five studio albums, earned six Grammys and two Brits, and was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003.
As one of the world’s most distinctive solo artists, Sting has received an additional 11 Grammys, two Brits, a Golden Globe, an Emmy, four Oscar nominations, a Tony nomination, Billboard Magazine’s Century Award, and MusiCares 2004 Person of the Year. In 2003, he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II for his myriad contributions to music. Also a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, he has received the Kennedy Center Honors, The American Music Award of Merit, and The Polar Music Prize.
Throughout his illustrious career, Sting has sold 100 million albums from his combined work with The Police and as a solo artist. His most recent release, Duets, compiles some of his most celebrated collaborations from throughout his illustrious career, and will be followed by a Las Vegas residency, entitled My Songs, set to open in 2021 at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace.
Sting’s support for human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and Live Aid mirrors his art in its universal outreach. Along with wife Trudie Styler, Sting founded the Rainforest Foundation Fund in 1989 to protect both the world’s rainforests and the indigenous people living there.

What listeners say about Upon Reflection

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Sting reflects on life, opportunities and music

For some reason as I was listening to Sting reflect on his life, I kept thinking of the word "gentle." This is a gentle reflection on life from a man who--I can't believe it--will be 70 this year.

Sting has had a lot of time to look back on his story and to tease out the meaning and to find those moments that forever changed the course of his life--like writing "Roxanne" in a dingy Paris hotel after a walk through the red light district. (He makes sure to point out he returned to his hotel alone.)

That one song changed everything for his fledgling band The Police. That was the song that earned them a manager and a modest hit that got airplay on college radio stations as they were making their first rickety, by-the-seat-of-their-pants tour of the US. How many deserving bands, businesses and great ideas have died for lack of that one break?

In a modest hour and a half, Sting manages somehow to tell his life's story. He begins at the beginning as a boy growing up in the shadow of the Newcastle shipbuilding yards, yearning to escape, fearing he might not. And then charts the coming together of The Police, their success, and his drive to always find the surprise in a song and in life that led him, at the peak of The Police's fame, to ditch it all and embark on a solo career.

A lot of these stories will be familiar to anyone who's followed Sting's career or read his memoir, Broken Music (which I wish were on Audible). I kept finding myself going, yep, heard that one. Yet, Sting doesn't let the dust settle on the well-worn path. He's grown as a human being, and those hours of reflection add touches of fresh insight.

There are no deep dives here. The story's too short for that. But the selection of anecdotes threaded together with his songs--All This Time, Walking on the Moon, Message in a Bottle, I Hung My Head, Roxanne, etc--weave a colorful tapestry. And Sting is a natural storyteller. He's not scripted. I'm guessing he was recorded talking to someone--an interviewer who was edited out. But that other person was only there to get that conversational feel.

As for the gentle tone, I think that comes from the mood of reflection. It's like Sting's song "Fields of Gold," a man gazing across a field of barley with his love at his side, contemplating the wild mystery of life.

* A side note here. Sting does bring up this past year's COVID pandemic and lockdown, and how some of his songs have taken on new resonance in light of that. I had to laugh at this because when my state first shut down, I went to the local UPS store to mail a package...and was confronted by a wall of boxes with a narrow entry. (Their way of enforcing social distance between customers and staff.)

The box wall was confusing enough but then I noticed photos of Sting pasted at intervals along the wall. What's this all about? Then I read the text below the photos: "Don't Stand So Close to Me."

52 people found this helpful

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Sting

Still has it.
Will never lose it, until he is done.
Thank You for the music.

18 people found this helpful

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Better than ever!

Sting’s voice has only gotten better, more mature, clear and expressive! Better than fine wine! The versions of his songs remastered for this were stunning. Hearing from a true artist is always an honor. Enjoyed this thoroughly.

11 people found this helpful

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This is Why Audible Exists

Hearing Sting tell stories of his life and career is uplifting and inspiring. His narration is melodic, his stories are engaging, and the music resonates, lingering long after his spoken voice fades.
A must-listen.

10 people found this helpful

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Audible Originals finest! Thank you!

An absolute must listen for any fan of Sting. The listener is treated as an intimate friend as he shares stories that prove you never really knew anything about this talented man, until now. Sting also performs some pivotal songs in his career in a way that makes this audiobook a rare gem! I would have gladly forfeited a credit just to hear Sting talk but this is so much more. Very enjoyable but over way too soon! What are you waiting for?

8 people found this helpful

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a fantastic mix of stories and songs

If you enjoy sting's music, you'll absolutely love to hear the backstory behind those words...in his own words. A five star listen for sure.

8 people found this helpful

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Music and retrospective

Short surface level yet personal stories from Sting, punctuated by his songs. Few real surprises but it's still endearing to hear it with his own inflections.

Upon Reflection is typical of entries in this series. If you liked them, you'll likely enjoy this also. A fun way to kill an hour and a half.

7 people found this helpful

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Superb short memoir from Sting

This is a small gem! The wonderfully talented musician is a gifted storyteller. In his 60s, with his voice and musical abilities undiminished, even his frequent laughter adds to the story. The musical numbers are pure delight.

6 people found this helpful

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Sweet... but too short! Anyways it’s Sting!

I loved the casual reflective style of this chat about his life: childhood, musical beginnings, how some songs came to be, his outlook on life. This warm conversation blended with some of his songs are just wonderful for anyone to listen to but even more so for a fan of his work.

The only gripe I have is that I wanted more conversation and more songs, but who doesn’t.



PS

I really have to thank my sister in law Joselyn for introducing me, by accident, to his music back in 1991 (Ten Summoner’s Tales). She had a copy of this and I really was taken aback by the melodies, storytelling, harmonies. Very different to what I had heard up to that time. After that I was hooked to Sting and went back to understand his work with The Police and his later work as a solo artist.

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Cliff notes

It was great to have Sting himself narrating, I liked that. The story seemed a little glossed and short on details. Perhaps that is what was desired, I just wish there were a few more gritty details of his life and career. Overall I would recommend! Really liked the acoustic songs throughout the reading!

3 people found this helpful