Released: March 12, 1996
Peak: 5 US, 4 UK, 8 CN, 14 AU
Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.3 UK, 4.5 world (includes US and UK)
Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.
All songs written by Sting unless noted otherwise.
Total Running Time: 48:08
3.505 out of 5.00 (average of 17 ratings)
Awards: (Click on award to learn more).
About the Album:
Mercury Falling is “one of Sting’s tighter records,” AMG traversing the ground “between the pop sensibilities of Ten Summoner’s Tales and the searching ambition of The Soul Cages.” AMG His jazz explorations in the ‘80s received criticisms of pretentiousness from some critics who thought he took himself too seriously. However, “Mercury Falling feels more serious than The Dream of the Blue Turtles, primarily because of its reserved, high-class production and execution. Building from surprisingly simple, memorable melodies, Sting creates multi-layered, vaguely soul-influenced arrangements that carry all of the hallmarks of someone who has studied music, not lived it.” AMG
“Sting remains an engaging melodicist, as well as a clever lyricist.” AMG This album showed how much the fan base had shifted, though. Songs like Let Your Soul Be Your Pilot and You Still Touch Me sound like sure-fire hits and probably would have been in Sting’s peak commercial years when he was landing top-10 hits with “If You Love Somebody, Set Them Free,” “Fortress Around Your Heart,” “We’ll Be Together,” and “All This Time” in the ‘80s and early ‘90s. However, neither song even comes close to the top 40. Instead, Sting was now attracting more adult audiences. Both songs reached the top 5 on the adult alternative chart.
Sting also found himself surprisingly embraced by the country community. In 1997, he dueted with Toby Keith on a cover of I’m So Happy I Can’t Stop Crying which went all the way to #2 on the country charts. Johnny Cash covered I Hung My Head on his 2002 album American Recordings IV: The Man Comes Around.
Neither felt like an oddity, but natural fits for a genre steeped in story songs that played on sentimentality, clever twists with words, and sad-sack guys derailed by life. In the former, In “I’m So Happy,” Sting laments about a divorced father struggling with the absence of his kids. “I Hung My Head” uses the title phrase in multiple perspectives throughout the song to describe the misfortunes of a kid who accidentally shoots and kills someone.
Resources and Related Links:
Other Related DMDB Pages:
First posted 3/24/2008; last updated 8/26/2021.