Ten Summoner's Tales
Ten Summoner's Tales
Ten Summoner's Tales.jpg
Studio album by Sting
Released 9 March 1993[1]
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
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

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.[10]

Ten Summoner's Tales was shortlisted for the 1993 Mercury Prize. In 1994, it was nominated for six Grammy awards, 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. It did not win Album of the Year, Record or Song of the Year. The album sold more than 10 million copies around the world.

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.[11] 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 featuring alternate musical takes of 3 tracks from the album, in addition to album versions of the remaining songs, was filmed as the band pretended to record the tracks at Sting's Lake House property. 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 Nichol 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.[12]

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 Dominic Miller plays a Fernandes P-Project Acoustic Electric Nylon guitar throughout the album.

1998 re-release

Ten Summoner's Tales was remastered and re-released in 1998. The re-release CD includes a bonus video track of "If I Ever Lose My Faith in You". It features the song "Everybody Laughed But You", which was excluded from the original 1993 release in the US and Canada. The song did appear on the original release in the UK, Europe, Japan and other territories, and the "If I Ever Lose My Faith in You" single. The instrumental track for "Everybody Laughed But You" was also used with an alternate lyric and released as "January Stars" on the "Seven Days" and "If I Ever Lose My Faith in You" singles.

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[13])   3:53
10. "Shape of My Heart" Sting, Dominic Miller 4:38
11. "Something the Boy Said"   5:13
12. "Epilogue (Nothing 'Bout Me)"   3:39

French bonus disc - five live recordings (later released as a promotional disc called Five Live)

  1. "All This Time"
  2. "Roxanne"
  3. "The Soul Cages"
  4. "Walking on the Moon"
  5. "Fortress Around Your Heart"


  1. "January Stars"
  2. "Everybody Laughed but You"
  3. "Mad About You" (Live)
  4. "Ain't No Sunshine" (Live)
  5. "Every Breath You Take" (Live)
  6. "Message in a Bottle" (Live)
  7. "Tea in the Sahara" (Live)
  8. "Walking on the Moon" (Live)
  9. "King of Pain" (Live)
  10. "Purple Haze" (Live)
  11. "Fortress Around Your Heart" (Live)
  12. "Roxanne" (Live)
  13. "Ne me quitte pas" (Live)
  14. "All This Time" (Live)
  15. "Island of Souls" (Live)
  16. "The Wild Wild Sea" (Live)



  • 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

Use in media

The backing track of "Shape of My Heart" was used, in a slightly altered way, by rapper Nas on his song "The Message" on the 1996 album It Was Written. In the later 1990s and the 2000s, it became a popular sample in R&B and hip hop songs, possibly inspired by Nas' usage. It has been sampled or interpolated in the following:

The song "Shape of My Heart" been covered by several artists:

The song "Fields of Gold" has also been covered by several artists:

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,[15] 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[16] Nominated
Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical[17] Won
Best Music Video, Long Form[17] Won
"If I Ever Lose My Faith in You" Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male[17] Won
Record of the Year[16] Nominated
Song of the Year[16] 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[19] Nominated


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Canada (Music Canada)[20] Platinum 100,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[21] Gold 28,537[21]
France (SNEP)[22] 2× Gold 350,000[23]
Germany (BVMI)[24] Gold 250,000^
Japan (RIAJ)[25] Gold 178,870[26]
Netherlands (NVPI)[27] Gold 50,000^
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[28] Platinum 100,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[29] Platinum 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[30] 2× Platinum 600,000^
United States (RIAA)[31] 3× Platinum 3,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone



Year Title Chart positions
US Hot 100[10] UK Singles Chart[52]
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)"[53] - -
1994 "Nothing 'Bout Me" 57 32


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  28. ^ "Solo Exitos 1959-2002 Ano A Ano: Certificados 1991-1995". Solo Exitos 1959-2002 Ano A Ano. ISBN 8480486392. 
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  • Stingoop.com Ten Summoner's Tales Release Details
  • sting.com Ten Summoner's Tales Release Details on Sting's official website
Preceded by
Gli spari sopra by Vasco Rossi
Gli spari sopra by Vasco Rossi
Italian FIMI Chart number-one album
20 - 26 March 1993
17 - 30 April 1993
Succeeded by
Gli spari sopra by Vasco Rossi
Gli spari sopra by Vasco Rossi
Preceded by
Songs of Faith and Devotion
by Depeche Mode
Austrian Chart number-one album
18 April 1993
Succeeded by
Songs of Faith and Devotion
by Depeche Mode

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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