Friday, November 18, 2016

In Your Eyes

Here's my argument:

Peter Gabriel was with Genesis for roughly nine years. In that time he wrote or co-wrote a few dozen songs, many of which range from okay to very, very good. In the forty plus years since then he has written several dozen more, which range from good to transcendent.

Sting was with the Police for roughly six years (with another three tacked on where they weren't really a band in any meaningful sense but hadn't officially broken up either). In that time, he wrote several dozen songs, which range from okay to phenomenal. In the thirty-three or so years since then, he's written many dozen more songs, which range from good to very good.

What I'm saying is that Gabriel needed to break free from Genesis in order to become the artist he is, and we're all the better off for it. Sting, on the other hand, broke free from both the constraints of the Police and the full flowering of his abilities. Because he's been without the Police for nearly six times as long as he was with them, and in that time he hasn't created a single song as good as his half-dozen best Police songs, nevermind one which approaches this:

And while comparing another song to "In Your Eyes" would normally be unfair, in this case, it really isn't, since if Sting never wrote a song better than this slice of brilliance, he's certainly written several—"Message in a Bottle," "Every Breath You Take," "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" and so on—that are very comfortable peers, at the very least. For a few years there, he seemed to turn them out on a yearly basis. And then....not.

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