The 35th anniversary of Sting’s live album Bring On The Night, first released on July 1, 1986, has been marked by a video release on YouTube of the title track. The clip combines animation and live footage to capture, as does the album, the excitement of live performances by Sting and his stellar band in Europe in 1985. The video was previously part of a home video release, but has not been available digitally until now.
The Bring On The Night album followed the theatrical release in October 1985 of a feature documentary of the same name. Both projects were based on the busy period of live performances that followed the superstar’s hugely successful first solo album The Dream Of The Blue Turtles.
In early 1985, Sting recruited the band of A-list musicians who would play on that studio set, comprising Kenny Kirkland (keyboards), Darryl Jones (bass), Branford Marsalis (saxophone), Omar Hakim (drums), with backing vocalists Janice Pendarvis and Dollette McDonald. In May that year, he relocated to Paris, where he and the band played a series of shows at the Mogador Theater.
He was accompanied by a film crew, led by director Michael Apted, who filmed the band extensively over a nine-day period during rehearsals, at the Chateau de Courson, for the week of shows. Apted and his team interviewed all of the band members and documented the creation of the stage set and lighting, press conferences and photo shoots conducted at the time, and then filmed the concerts extensively.
The album incarnation of Bring On The Night featured performances from the Paris shows but also from those seven months later, in December, in Rome, Arnhem, and on a return trip to Paris, by which time the band had played some 80 shows together.
The album begins with a segue of The Police’s “Bring On The Night/When The World Is Running Down” but proceeds to focus chiefly on Sting’s new and recent solo material, rather than rely on staple Police hits. Lesser-known songs by that multi-platinum trio such as the B-side “Low Life” and a closing “Tea In The Sahara,” but elsewhere there are solo gems from The Dream Of The Blue Turtles like “We Work The Black Seam,” “Consider Me Gone,” and “Moon Over Bourbon Street.”
Bring On The Night went on to reach No.16 in the UK and the whole album won a Grammy Award in 1988 for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male, beating such other nominees as Michael Jackson’s Bad.
As the album liner notes conclude: “This was an awesome live band as anyone who saw them will tell you, and this release does the band’s memory justice. The especially pleasing thing about the album is the lack of obvious crowd pleasing Police favourites – ‘Roxanne,’ ‘Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic,’ ‘Message In A Bottle’ etc – with Sting instead relying on a mixture of his new material, Police medleys that show off the band’s virtuosity, and on long overlooked songs such as ‘Low Life’ and ‘I Burn For You.’ Great music played with style and skill – you can’t go wrong with Bring On The Night.”