Sting - Ten Summoner's Tales

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Sting - Ten Summoner's Tales
Ten Summoner's Tales.jpg
Studio album by Sting (alternate cover design not for sale)
Released March 9, 1993
Recorded June–December 1992
Studio Lake House, Wiltshire, England
Genre Pop rock, soft rock, jazz rock
Length 52:31
Label A&M
31454-0070-2 (Canada, US)
31454-0075-2 (International)
Producer Sting, Hugh Padgham
Sting chronology
The Soul Cages
Ten Summoner's Tales
Fields of Gold: The Best of Sting 1984-1994
Singles from Ten Summoner's Tales
  1. "It's Probably Me"
    Released: 23 June 1992
  2. "If I Ever Lose My Faith in You"
    Released: 1 February 1993
  3. "Seven Days"
    Released: 1 April 1993
  4. "Fields of Gold"
    Released: 1 June 1993
  5. "Shape of My Heart"
    Released: 1 August 1993
  6. "Nothing 'Bout Me"
    Released: 4 February 1994
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars
Chicago Tribune 3/4 stars
Encyclopedia of Popular Music 4/5 stars
Entertainment Weekly A
Los Angeles Times 3/4 stars
Rolling Stone 4.5/5 stars
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 3/5 stars


  "Ten Summoner's Tales" is the fourth solo studio album by the English rock musician Sting. The title is a combined pun of his family name, Sumner, and a character in Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, the summoner. Released in 1993, it explores themes of love and morality in a noticeably upbeat mood compared to his previous release, the introspective "The Soul Cages" released in 1991 after the loss of both his parents in the 1980s.

This album contains two US hits; "If I Ever Lose My Faith in You" reached No. 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 and "Fields of Gold" reached No. 23.

"Ten Summoner's Tales" was shortlisted for the 1993 Mercury prize. In 1994, it was nominated for six Grammy awards including Album of the Year (losing to Whitney Houston‘s The Bodyguard), winning Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical, Best Male Pop Vocal Performance ("If I Ever Lose My Faith in You") and Best Long Form Music Video, while "If I Ever Lose My Faith in You" was also nominated for Record and Song of the Year.

A laser disc and VHS of the album were released, containing live performances of all songs on the album at Lake House.

A promotional disc was made where Sting discusses some of the songs on the album. There is also a live album produced during the Ten Summoner's Tales era titled "Meadowlands of Gold", which contains 13 tracks performed at the Meadowlands Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The songs consist of tracks from the album, and a few Police songs and a cover of The Beatles' "A Day in the Life".




The album was recorded at Lake House, Wiltshire, mixed at The Townhouse Studio, London and mastered at Masterdisk, New York. The cover of the album was photographed at Wardour Old Castle in Wiltshire, featuring Hrímnir, an Icelandic horse Sting owned for a period.

A long form "performance" video of the entire album was filmed at Sting's Lake House property. The audio used is partly from the album, but partly recorded as played by the band during the filming. This film was released in conjunction with the album. The video went on to win a Grammy Award for Best Long Form Video in 1994 and was directed by Doug Nochol and produced by Julie Fong.

On 11 August 1994, a compact disc of "Ten Summoner's Tales" became the first item ever securely purchased over the Internet, for $12.48 plus shipping.

There was also an interview disc released for the album, in which Sting talks about all tracks on the album.

The second track on the album, "Love Is Stronger Than Justice (The Munificent Seven)", is titled after Seven Samurai and The Magnificent Seven. According to the interview disc, the idea came to Sting when he wanted to write a song in the 7/4 time signature. The song Seven Days is also noted for Vinnie Colaiuta's sophisticated playing in the 5/4 time signature.

The international-exclusive track "Everybody Laughed But You" was excluded from Canadian and American album releases. However, US singles from the album include the song, and a version of the song with different lyrics titled "January Stars".

The singles for "Ten Summoner's Tales" also give credit to Fernandes Guitars, as Domonic Miller plays a Fernandes P-Project Acoustic Electric Nylon guitar throughout the album.


Track listing

All songs written by Sting except where noted.

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Prologue (If I Ever Lose My Faith in You)"   4:30
2. "Love Is Stronger Than Justice (The Munificent Seven)"   5:12
3. "Fields of Gold"   3:42
4. "Heavy Cloud No Rain"   3:39
5. "She's Too Good for Me"   2:30
6. "Seven Days"   4:40
7. "Saint Augustine in Hell"   5:05
8. "It's Probably Me" Sting, Eric Clapton, Michael Kamen 4:57
9. "Everybody Laughed but You" (Excluded from original Canada/US releases)   3:53
10. "Shape of My Heart" Sting, Domonic Miller 4:38
11. "Something the Boy Said"   5:13
12. "Epilogue (Nothing 'Bout Me)"   3:39



  • Sting: vocals, bass guitar, double bass, harmonica, saxophone
  • Dominic Miller: guitar
  • Vinnie Colaiuta: drums
  • David Sancious: keyboards
  • Larry Adler, Brendan Power: harmonica
  • John Barclay, Guy Barker: trumpet
  • Sian Bell: cello
  • James Boyd: viola
  • Richard Edwards: trombone
  • Simon Ficher, Kathryn Greeley: violin
  • David Foxxe: narration (devil's voice on "Saint Augustine in Hell")
  • Paul Franklin: pedal steel guitar
  • Dave Heath: flute
  • Kathryn Tickall: Northumbrian smallpipes, fiddle
  • Mark Nightingale: trombone
  • David Sanborn: saxophone


  • Produced by Sting and Hugh Padgham
  • Engineered by Hugh Padgham
  • Assistant engineer, mix assistant: Pete Lewis
  • Mixed by David Tickle and Hugh Padgham
  • Mastered by Bob Ludwig


Soundtrack appearances


A different version of "It's Probably Me", featuring Eric Clapton, was featured in the opening titles of Lethal Weapon 3. This version is available as a single. The song "Shape of My Heart" was featured in the end credits of the 1994 French thriller Léon: The Professional, replacing Éric Serra's "The Experience of Love" (a track that Serra eventually used in his 1995 soundtrack for the James Bond film GoldenEye). In 2011, "Shape of My Heart" was used to conclude the final episode of the seventh series of the British television drama series Hustle.



Grammy Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
1994 Ten Summoner's Tales Album of the Year Nominated
Best Engineered Album, Non Classical Won
Best Music Video, Long Form Won
"If I Ever Lose My Faith in You" Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male Won
Record of the Year Nominated
Song of the Year Nominated


Brit Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
Ten Summoner's Tales Best British Album Nominated
Sting (performer) Best British Male Artist Won
"Fields of Gold" Best British Video Nominated


Mercury Prize

Year Nominee / work Award Result
1993 Ten Summoner's Tales Mercury Music Prize Nominated



Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada) Platinum 100,000^
Finland (Musiikkituoattajat) Gold 28,537
France (SNEP) 2× Gold 350,000
Germany (BVMI) Gold 250,000^
Italy (FIMI) Platinum 300,000*
Japan (RIAJ) Gold 178,870
Netherlands (NVPI) Gold 50,000^
Spain (PROMUSICAE) Platinum 100,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland) Platinum 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI) 2× Platinum 600,000^
United States (RIAA) 3× Platinum 3,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone




Year Title Chart positions
US Hot 100 UK Singles Chart
1993 "If I Ever Lose My Faith in You" 17 14
"Seven Days" 25
"Fields of Gold" 23 16
"Shape of My Heart" 57
"Love is Stronger Than Justice (The Munificent Seven)"
1994 "Nothing 'Bout Me" 57 32




Sting - Ten Summoners Tales

German A&M Records 540 075-1 stereo (1993) 1st press.

Album manufactured in Germany.

The vinyl record attains a strong excellent grading, suggesting few plays.

Audio quality is very clear and strong throughout.

Both record centre labels are clean, unmarked, and free from tears, stains or stickers.

The album cover is in excellent condition, displaying only minimal signs of wear.

The album cover has a strong, undamaged spine, displaying very clear, printed script.

The original colour printed paper insert is excellently presented.

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