1987: Costello begins a songwriting collaboration with Paul McCartney, the man whom Glen Matlock got kicked out of the Sex Pistols for liking (-1).

1991: Sting beats Costello to the classical music label Deutsche Grammophon by 10 years with his recital of Peter and the Wolf (-1). Punks, resist the urge to call this a Deutsche bag!

1996: Costello teams with Burt Bacharach on "God Give Me Strength," and the pair write a whole album together in 1998, infuriating the network of Dionne Warwick psychic friends who felt she should've gotten a crack at these songs first (-1).

Elvis Costello: He's no punk, and neither is Sting.
Elvis Costello: He's no punk, and neither is Sting.


The Police, and Elvis Costello and the Imposters are scheduled to perform on Saturday, May 24.
Cricket Wireless Pavilion

1999: Sting's chart fortunes are back on the rise with "Desert Rose" a song he collaborates on with Algerian-born raï singer Cheb Mami (-1), a man who is currently under an international arrest warrant after being indicted in October 2006 for "voluntary violence, sequestration and threats" against an ex-girlfriend, and failing to answer a court summons (+1).

2003: Costello announces his engagement to jazz singer Diana Krall (-1) and releases North, an album of piano-based love ballads dedicated to his Canadian bride and dirges about his former marriage going south (-1).

2006: Sting releases Songs from the Labyrinth, an album of Elizabethan lute music (-1). The following year, Deutsche Grammophon will release a live album of this, featuring a lute-driven reworking of "Message in a Bottle" (-1).

Final tally: Sting: -4, Costello: 1.

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Generic Anonymity
Generic Anonymity

It's an interesting article; I'll give it that....But if we're rating singers on how punk they aren't, I'd prefer a less snobbish presentation.


Sting is horrible.

John Sec
John Sec

This is possibly one of the best pieces I've read in a long time.Curious about two things: Does EC & The Police touring together warrant neg. or positive "points" for either (or both) artists?Also, On Elvis' often overlooked "Mighty Like A Rose" (1991), in the song "Hurry Down Doomsday (The Bugs Are Taking Over)," there's a classic, screeming jab at Sting in a tune that is all about selling out: "Better make like a fly if you don't wanna die/Look out, there goes Gordon!"

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