Sumner's Tales: Sting talks...
"I wrote the song in Norwich while Trudie and I were working on a film called 'The Grotesque'. If I look back to a golden age in my musical life, it probably coincides with the boom in soul music - Aretha, Sam and Dave, Booker T, James Brown. I was about 15 or 16, discovering sex and dancing and drinking, so that music means a great deal for me. If I had to pick my all time favourite songs they'd include 'Dock Of The Bay' by Otis Redding, 'When A Man Loves A Woman' by Percy Sledge, Aretha doing 'Respect', all that stuff. So having written in this mould I decided to bring in the famous Memphis Horns, who played on most of the great Stax records I mentioned. They still sound exactly like they did on those records, and they were great guys. At the same time, I'm not trying to reproduce Stax music. I'm utilising elements of it and putting kind of an ironic twist in it, which makes it more me."
'Mercury Falling' Tour Program, '96
"A friend of mine has AIDS, and it's a privilege to be around him because he has turned a corner and every moment to him is charged with meaning. He's so aware all of the time, and so he inspired 'Let Your Soul Be Your Pilot'. It's a song about death, or dealing with death in a way that offers some sort of hope. I actually think it's quite an uplifting song - the intent is for it to be uplifting."
Q magazine, 5/96
"That's the music of my adolescence. It's the music I lost my virginity to, the music I drove my first car to - all those Otis Redding and Al Green and Sam & Dave records are just burned into my brain. That music is always with me."
TOP Magazine, 3/96
'Let Your Soul Be Your Pilot' was the first single released from 1996's 'Mercury Falling' album and reached the #15 spot in the UK. The remixers again went to town on the track resulting in a variety of remixes including the 'A&G Classic Edit', the 'A&G Full Testament Mix', the 'A&G Great Divide Mix' the 'A&G Great Divide Dub' to name but a few. Indeed, a double pack 12" of remixes was made available, with none of them really improving on the original track. However, Sting told "Music Week" that they "took the single and sped it up a bit and even had the audacity to change some of the chords. But I really liked what they did". Arguably the most interesting bonus track appeared on one of the CD singles and was a re-recording of the Police track 'The Bed's Too Big Without You' featuring Ranking Roger (of The Beat/Special Beat fame). The track was re-recorded for inclusion on the soundtrack to the movie "The Truth About Cats and Dogs" and was a happy inclusion on one of the singles.