When he was on top of the world with the Police, Sting decided to go solo as there was really nowhere else to go. After a monster hit in the form of Every Breath You Take and the huge Synchronicity Tour, very few people expected a jazz solo project with accomplished musicians like Branford Marsalis.
It was a huge departure, but it it didn't stop there. Sting's solo output has been extremely diverse, with a range of themes and musical styles appearing.
There have also been some interesting projects that have included a lute album and classical reworkings of his songs. He's delivered plenty of hits as well, and his ruthlessly pursuit of perfection has delivered a body of work that few of his contemporaries can get anywhere near.
With his new album, 57th & 9th out this week, I thought it would be helpful to present the high points of Sting's career so far. Forget the odd song you've heard or the fact you've seen him playing a lute, these are the moments you need to experience.
Ten Summoner's Tales
This is easily his most accessible solo work
The Soul Cages
An introspective record that's deep, dark, desolate and carefully crafted
The Dream of the Blue Turtles
A huge departure from the Police that's so easy to play from start to finish
Fields of Gold
The new songs written for the album really stand out
Live in Berlin
This stunning live show features the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
All This Time
An amazing live show and an unmissable documentary of how it all came together