Friday, 15 August 2014

Sting 'This Cowboy Song'

Chart Peak: 15
'This Cowboy Song' was a sparkling No. 15 hit for Sting together with toaster Pato Banton in early '95... Sting's other solo successes include 'Englishman In New York', 'If You Love Somebody Set Them Free', 'Seven Days' and 'If I Ever Lose My Faith In You'.
I'm not sure why of all Sting solo hits up to this point, anybody would mention the Number 25 hit 'Seven Days' over a bigger hit like 'Fields Of Gold', or indeed the single before this 'When We Dance', which had been his only solo Top 10 hit (apart from collaborations). Like that single, the original version of 'This Cowboy song and its hammy video were promotional tools for the former Police man's first hits compilation; however the lead track on the British single was this more reggae-oriented mix with the addition of a verse by Pato Banton. It was a well-timed addition since Banton, though a well-established presence on the reggae scene, had just had a Number One in late 1994 with his version of 'Baby Come Back', establishing himself temporarily as a mainstream presence and as current pop star, he may have been there to make a Sting single seem a bit more relevant than it otherwise would; I know it was barely fifteen years after the early Police hits but Sting had something of an image problem and even though he could still get his singles onto the radio and into the charts, he was already perceived as quite MOR.

If the song had actually been any good it might even have worked. The Banton version is certainly an improvement, just because his "follow your destiny" section emphasises the silliness of the song, but you couldn't really call this a highlight of anyone's career, and that's probably why nobody seems to remember it now. One of those interesting little byways of the Now albums.

Also appearing on: Now 18
Available on: Fields Of Gold - The Best Of Sting 1984 - 1994

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