He’s come a long way from the shipyards of England. That much is clear when Sting, clad in all black (including leather pants), glides into CBS Radio’s New York studios for a series of interviews promoting his Broadway show The Last Ship, which he’s recently joined as a cast member.

“I’ve been thinking about this project for a long long time,” he says. “I’ve probably been thinking about it my whole life! This is the town I was born and raised in, I’m telling the story of my young life in allegorical form. I come from a very tough town in the north of England, it’s tough economically too, so I’m telling my story. This is where I come from!”

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It probably would have been more commercially viable for the legendary artist to include lots of hits from his catalog in the show, there are only three songs from his pre-2013 catalog included (in 2013, he released a solo album, also called The Last Ship, featuring songs that are used in the musical).

And the older songs he did decide to include in the show aren’t necessarily his most popular ones: it features “Island of Souls” and “All This Time,” both from 1990’s The Soul Cages (the latter song was actually a top ten hit at the time) and “When We Dance,” a song written for 1994’s Fields of Gold: The Best of Sting 1984–1994.

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