Police - Synchronicity POLL

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Allright, folks. I don't know. As far as I can tell, there's never been a thread for this album before, or at the very least a poll. I welcome you to prove me wrong. I just found this LP on vinyl in my stacks. No one can stop me. Sting might have been very sexy back then, and Stewart Copeland as well, but I'd just about pay Andy Summers to go to bed with me. Summers wins.

p.s. vote for King Of Pain, hint hint

Poll Results

OptionVotes
6. Synchronicity II 17
9. Wrapped Around Your Finger 11
1. Synchronicity I 11
8. King of Pain 9
7. Every Breath You Take 8
5. Miss Gradenko 5
2. Walking In Your Footsteps 3
10. Tea In the Sahara 3
4. Mother 1
3. O My God 1


Earl of Gothington Manor (Bimble), Monday, 6 April 2009 07:29 (twelve years ago) link

OF A DARK...SCOTTISH LAKE...

Earl of Gothington Manor (Bimble), Monday, 6 April 2009 07:33 (twelve years ago) link

2. Walking In Your Footsteps
3. O My God
4. Mother

These are all pretty shitty aren't they?

Dom Cry For Me, Passantino (NickB), Monday, 6 April 2009 07:56 (twelve years ago) link

Yep.

Kings of Lygon (SeekAltRoute), Monday, 6 April 2009 08:10 (twelve years ago) link

Typical rebellion. I'm not bothered.

Earl of Gothington Manor (Bimble), Monday, 6 April 2009 08:49 (twelve years ago) link

God, there are people on this board who would LOVE to fuck with me. They'd love to figure out some way to provoke me to some point where I'd tell them off or cause a scene or whatever. And they lie in wait, in the bushes, waiting for the big Bimble war. But they're not going to get one. I'm bored with the agenda of these commoners.

Go get one Peter Gabriel thread, first. THEN talk to me.

Earl of Gothington Manor (Bimble), Monday, 6 April 2009 08:57 (twelve years ago) link

"Synchronicity 1". Song doesn't get nearly enough love.

Alex in NYC, Monday, 6 April 2009 11:56 (twelve years ago) link

CHA!

Alex in NYC, Monday, 6 April 2009 11:56 (twelve years ago) link

2. Walking In Your Footsteps
3. O My God
4. Mother

"Miss Gradenko" is fairly patchy as well, but "Tea in the Sahara" boasts lyrics even Spinal Tap would have winced at.

By the way, don't forget "Murder By Numbers" (initially appended to the cassette version).

Alex in NYC, Monday, 6 April 2009 11:57 (twelve years ago) link

I like "Ms Gradenko"'s goofy lyrics; it matches the goofy music beat for beat.

The Screaming Lobster of Challops (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 6 April 2009 13:17 (twelve years ago) link

King Of Pain by a mile.

Daniel, Esq., Monday, 6 April 2009 13:19 (twelve years ago) link

I can't stand to listen to most of this record any more -- specifically "King of Pain," "Wrapped Around Your Finger" and "Every Breath You Take." "Syncronicity II" isn't far behind.

That said, "Syncronicity I" is outstanding.

Naive Teen Idol, Monday, 6 April 2009 14:02 (twelve years ago) link

I know what you mean. I didn't burn out on King Of Pain. I think it's because it was the one big single from the record that didn't have a music-video made for it, so I was exposed to the song less.

Daniel, Esq., Monday, 6 April 2009 14:20 (twelve years ago) link

"synchronicity ii." "many miles away, there's a shadow on the door, on a cottage on the shore, of a dark, scottish lake. many miles away. . . ."

kamerad, Monday, 6 April 2009 14:58 (twelve years ago) link

Yes, that is a lyric in the song.

Naive Teen Idol, Monday, 6 April 2009 15:10 (twelve years ago) link

That's the song wherein The Police say fuck it and imitate Rush.

The Screaming Lobster of Challops (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 6 April 2009 15:12 (twelve years ago) link

Murder by Numbers

Mr. Que, Monday, 6 April 2009 15:12 (twelve years ago) link

no doubt, alfred. that one, "omegaman," and "no time this time." nti, it's the lyric in the song

kamerad, Monday, 6 April 2009 15:16 (twelve years ago) link

i was so excited for this album. i was in 8th grade, and it's one of the first albums i remember anticipating the release date and making sure i got my dad to drive me to the record store the day it came out. the police were my first "favorite band," or at least the first one that was mine and not borrowed from my dad's records (beatles, stones, etc). so of course i was convinced it was genius and loved it to pieces for several years. in retrospect it's possibly my least favorite police album. i'm sure being burned out on it is part of that, but it also has a pretty high embarrassment-to-riches ratio, sting's insufferability was really hitting its stride. still, both "synchronicity" tracks are good jams if you subtract the lyrics, "every breath you take" is unassailable even if no one ever needs to hear it again, "king of pain" has a great chorus. i think i'll vote for "wrapped around your finger" because i like the slinky melody, and the underlying venom is if anything even more pronounced than on "every breath." (among other things, sting sounds like a very bitter dude on this album.)

paper plans (tipsy mothra), Monday, 6 April 2009 16:19 (twelve years ago) link

I know what you mean. I didn't burn out on King Of Pain. I think it's because it was the one big single from the record that didn't have a music-video made for it, so I was exposed to the song less.

^^^^Yeah, this. What was the deal with that? Was it even a single in real form? I didn't know that. It was just played more on the radio than other songs on the album, far as I knew.

Earl of Gothington Manor (Bimble), Monday, 6 April 2009 16:36 (twelve years ago) link

Also that was a fantastic post, Tipsy.

Earl of Gothington Manor (Bimble), Monday, 6 April 2009 16:38 (twelve years ago) link

I just happen to have the book Synchronicity by Carl Jung beside me right now. I tried to read it before and got nowhere, but I definitely respect that dude. No joke.

Earl of Gothington Manor (Bimble), Monday, 6 April 2009 16:38 (twelve years ago) link

wrapped around your finger

synch II & King of Pain are good jamz tho. but yeah, probably my least favorite Police

now is the time to winterize your manscape (will), Monday, 6 April 2009 16:39 (twelve years ago) link

I just happen to have the book Synchronicity by Carl Jung beside me right now. I tried to read it before and got nowhere, but I definitely respect that dude. No joke.

Wow. wonder if there's a word for that.

•--• --- --- •--• (Pleasant Plains), Monday, 6 April 2009 16:45 (twelve years ago) link

It's between 'King Of Pain' and 'Synchronicity II' - might go for the former, just for the middle-eight (which I'm sure The Dismemberment Plan borrowed somewhere along the line). Does anyone have a good word to say about 'Mother'?

Gavin in Leeds, Monday, 6 April 2009 17:05 (twelve years ago) link

I went with Synchronicity II though Synchronicity I, Wrapped Around Your Finger, and King of Pain were all close for me.

I love how pissed off and aggravated Sting sounds on this one and it has some of Summers' coolest guitar work.

Moodles, Monday, 6 April 2009 17:13 (twelve years ago) link

Basically I could listen to the singles and "Synchronicity I" on endless repeat; I chose "SII" but really it could have been any of them.

maybe u should tell that to your laughing vagina (HI DERE), Monday, 6 April 2009 17:15 (twelve years ago) link

"Wrapped Around Your Finger" playing inside Subway at lunch today.

•--• --- --- •--• (Pleasant Plains), Monday, 6 April 2009 18:07 (twelve years ago) link

i'll be one of the 15+ to vote for "every breath you take", but the only one to admit it

prostitutes all over the place (k3vin k.), Monday, 6 April 2009 18:10 (twelve years ago) link

Hahah oh my god, yeah. You are a hero, to vote for that and admit it. I salute you, man.

To Float Away On A Lifelong Song (Bimble), Monday, 6 April 2009 18:14 (twelve years ago) link

if any part of "every breath" is underappreciated i'd say it's the bridge, which has always sounded like a classic country tune to me.

paper plans (tipsy mothra), Monday, 6 April 2009 18:18 (twelve years ago) link

havent listened in decades; between Breath and Wrapped for me. Sting really lays the other lyrics on with a trowel, esp Sync II (great Andy there tho).

Dr Morbius, Monday, 6 April 2009 18:21 (twelve years ago) link

can't tell if you're being sarcastic, bimble, but i genuinely like the song. probably because it's the song i've known since i was little - fuck da haters

prostitutes all over the place (k3vin k.), Monday, 6 April 2009 18:22 (twelve years ago) link

I've half a mind to vote for "Mother". Or rather I'd vote for "Mother" if I had half a mind, or something.

Myonga Vön Bontee, Monday, 6 April 2009 22:14 (twelve years ago) link

But no, I'll go for title track #1, which I wish was longer.

Myonga Vön Bontee, Monday, 6 April 2009 22:15 (twelve years ago) link

Synchronicity II for me. But I do have a great love of Mother and hell, the whole rest of this album.

It's still my favorite Police actually, but that's because I haven't consciously gone through their catalog as an adult. I just continue to enjoy it the way I have since my Mom first bought the cassette and played it in her truck on long drives.

Nate Carson, Monday, 6 April 2009 22:27 (twelve years ago) link

Was it even a single in real form?

Oh yeah. It reached No. 3 on the U.S. Billboard charts. And, as Wiki notes, "(i)nterestingly, King of Pain was the only single from Synchronicity that did not have an accompanying music video."

Daniel, Esq., Monday, 6 April 2009 22:31 (twelve years ago) link

I was a young 'un, but I remember "King of Pain" hearing a lot on the radio (around Big Country's "In a Big Country" and H&O's "Family Man"), so its chart position makes sense.

I'm crossing over into enterprise (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 6 April 2009 22:44 (twelve years ago) link

*but I remember HEARING "KOP," rather

I'm crossing over into enterprise (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 6 April 2009 22:45 (twelve years ago) link

I thought Family Man was mostly an MTV music-video phenomenon. I can't even remember hearing it on the radio. Great song, tho.

Daniel, Esq., Monday, 6 April 2009 22:47 (twelve years ago) link

I for one am pleased to not see the CD bonus track "Murder By Numbers" included although it's better than at least half the songs on this album, but it's just refreshing to see an accurate representation of the original release for once.

The lyrics of The Police, although consistently terrible, have always been overshadowed by how great the music is (in this one person's opinion). This is why songs like "Tea In The Sahara" are so good. Unfortunately, some people just can't get over bad lyrics.. which seems to be the case with most people posting here.

"O My God" is not shitty because the bass line is sick, and the outro is sublime.

And "Synchronicity 1" is way underrated.. I think I'm voting for that.. okay I just did.

billstevejim, Tuesday, 7 April 2009 17:30 (twelve years ago) link

I was a young 'un, but I remember "King of Pain" hearing a lot on the radio (around Big Country's "In a Big Country" and H&O's "Family Man"), so its chart position makes sense.

I suddenly want to make a huge 1983 mix.

billstevejim, Tuesday, 7 April 2009 17:37 (twelve years ago) link

H2O is the 1982 hit album from the duo Daryl Hall and John Oates. It featured three Top 10 U.S. singles, including "Maneater" which was the biggest hit of their career, spending four weeks at the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. The album title is a play on the chemical formula for water, where "H" is for Hall, and "O" is for Oates.

I'm crossing over into enterprise (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 7 April 2009 17:44 (twelve years ago) link

late 82 album = singles charted in 83 stfu

billstevejim, Tuesday, 7 April 2009 17:54 (twelve years ago) link

no! I was responding to Daniel about "Family Man."

I'm crossing over into enterprise (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 7 April 2009 17:58 (twelve years ago) link

yeah i'm down w/ tea in the sahara, even if it prefigures the solo sting tripe that was to come. i don't put much stock in lyrics though - unless it's so blatantly over-the-top or forgrounded in such a way that i can't get around it.

i think Becker/Fagen lyrics are the only ones where i actively pay attention and am not consistently dissapointed or embarrassed.

now is the time to winterize your manscape (will), Tuesday, 7 April 2009 17:59 (twelve years ago) link

fore-

now is the time to winterize your manscape (will), Tuesday, 7 April 2009 18:00 (twelve years ago) link

im all on defense today. sorry

billstevejim, Tuesday, 7 April 2009 18:01 (twelve years ago) link

Am I the only one who really, really loves Miss Gradenko?

i'm shy (Abbott), Tuesday, 7 April 2009 18:18 (twelve years ago) link

Ghost in the Machine is pretty solid front to back

frogbs, Monday, 2 August 2021 15:31 (five months ago) link

Mother >>>>>>>>> most solo Sting

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 2 August 2021 15:39 (five months ago) link

i've always had a soft spot for regatta de blanc. not everything on it is amazing, but the oddities are quite odd, and usually pretty enjoyable ("does everyone stare," in particular)

bezos did the dub (voodoo chili), Monday, 2 August 2021 15:45 (five months ago) link

My most-played album too. I think "It's Alright For You" and "No Time At All" are two of the best unheralded rockers in their catalogue.

Guayaquil (eephus!), Monday, 2 August 2021 15:50 (five months ago) link

*"No Time This Time"

Guayaquil (eephus!), Monday, 2 August 2021 15:50 (five months ago) link

The 8-track listing, btw:

Program 1
1-1 --- Synchronicity I
1-2 --- Walking In Your Footsteps
1-3 --- Mother

Program 2
2-1 --- O My God
2-2 --- Miss Gradenko
2-3 --- Tea In The Sahara

Program 3
3-1 --- Synchronicity II
3-2 --- King Of Pain

Program 4
4-1 --- Every Breath You Take
4-2 --- Wrapped Around Your Finger

pplains, Monday, 2 August 2021 15:53 (five months ago) link

For all of those long-haul truckers pumping Synchronicity between Merle Haggard 8-tracks.

Halfway there but for you, Monday, 2 August 2021 16:03 (five months ago) link

the title track and "Deathwish" are also very good on Reggatta - idk if I wanna say "best" but it's my favorite of theirs, maybe because it has the most Stewart Copeland input. when you listen to his stuff as Klark Kent and compare it to what Sting was doing it actually seems kinda clear that the signature Police sound was really Copeland's doing, it's just that Sting was writing all the good songs

frogbs, Monday, 2 August 2021 16:15 (five months ago) link

five months pass...

There's something really Billy Joel-ish about Sting's delivery on the pre-chorus sections of "Synchronicity II" --- "DADDy grips the WHEEL and STARES aLONE into the DIStance," "Red-light STAH-REET" etc. Maybe that's why I like it so much.

I Am Fribbulus (Xax) (Doctor Casino), Wednesday, 5 January 2022 20:18 (two weeks ago) link

hah yeah now that you mention it, totally

Synchonicity II seemed like it could've paved the way for a bunch of prog groups to try their hand at New Wave. though I suppose Rush already covered that territory. either way I suspect if they'd stuck around they would have been making albums like Big Generator by Yes

frogbs, Wednesday, 5 January 2022 20:30 (two weeks ago) link

omg i somehow never truly internalized that he was singing "We have to SHOUT aBOVE the DIN of ourrrRICEKrisPIES!" ---- that's really, wow, something. i really hate it as it's happening, but it doesn't seem to impact me finding the song awesome.

also... as beautifully cheesy as the video is (in keeping with the era when every fourth b-movie was now a Road Warrior knock-off), imagine how bad it would be if it was like Everlong and Sting's arm got all muscley at the end of every verse as the guy in the verse gets angry

I Am Fribbulus (Xax) (Doctor Casino), Friday, 7 January 2022 23:43 (one week ago) link

this album really has a ton of stuff I love on it, and a number of hits that always surprises me. it's just hard to really grapple with just HOW acidic and grim its outlook really is.

acidic and grim can obviously be the outlook expressed through a work of art... just when it starts up with the seemingly upbeat whirl of "Synchronicity I," i don't expect to spend so much time with these nightmare characters --- every one the focal point of a disconcerting arthouse drama with slight 80s/90s erotic-thriller vibes.

but --- am i right to assume for many of its biggest fans, that's what makes it great?

I Am Fribbulus (Xax) (Doctor Casino), Friday, 7 January 2022 23:57 (one week ago) link

There's that moment in the middle of "Synchronicity II" when it turns into a Rush song -- that drum break!

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 8 January 2022 00:31 (one week ago) link

for many of its biggest fans, that's what makes it great?

Casual listeners probably think "Wrapped Around Your Finger" and "Every Breath You Take" are love songs, hate "Mother" and zone out through the rest. Fans invested in Sting's point-of-view might be glad that he became more "humanistic" and positive in his solo work?

"Synchronicity II" is a great piece of music, and the lyrics work OK as a sketch of a Doctor Who episode.

Halfway there but for you, Saturday, 8 January 2022 15:40 (one week ago) link

It really is a weird album to have been their world-beating commercial zenith. "Every Breath" obviously shouldered a lot of that, to a not insignificant degree on Sting's sex appeal. I remember the mom of one of my middle school friends totally fell in love with him via the video. If the lyrics were creepy, whatever, there was a point where the idea of Sting creeping on you was apparently an attraction.

But also at this point it doesn't feel contrarian for their biggest record to be a personal least-favorite.

I learned how to play "Sync II" on guitar at some point. Wasn't too hard, but was fascinatingly creative in the way it just keeps modulating forward in its through-composed arrangement.

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 8 January 2022 18:36 (one week ago) link

I'm curious as to what exactly Sting brought in as the composition or demo of "Synchronicity II". Are the guitar parts devised by him or Summers? If the latter, did Sting write the song around a bass line and a melody?

Halfway there but for you, Saturday, 8 January 2022 19:05 (one week ago) link

It really is a weird album to have been their world-beating commercial zenith. "Every Breath" obviously shouldered a lot of that, to a not insignificant degree on Sting's sex appeal.

they had a lot of commercial momentum too, iirc every album did better than the last and their management was super active in keeping them in the headlines. not to say they didn't deserve the success but there were some forces at work for them which other bands didn't get. if you played this album and XTC's English Settlement for a teenager today I wonder which of the two they'd guess sold 15 million copies. would anyone be able to guess that "King of Pain" was a much better hit than "Senses Working Overtime"?

frogbs, Saturday, 8 January 2022 19:23 (one week ago) link

also fun side note, Stewart Copeland's new group has "Miss Gradenko" in the setlist, which I don't think The Police ever played. they do it really well - Adrian Belew does a pretty good Sting impression

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4iAVIKwF6rA

the Gizmodrome live album has a few other obscure Police cuts - "Bombs Away" & "Darkness". if you dig his stuff it's a worthy listen

frogbs, Saturday, 8 January 2022 19:27 (one week ago) link

Should gizmodrome (such a bad name) ever tour the US (I don't think they will, as I think the record landed with a thud in 2017, and Adrian has his own schedule to attend to), I would be there like a mickey fickey. Stewart's police material & all the KC shit that was too belew for Fripp and Jakko on those last five or so tours? let me at it! the same show in London where they did the above, they also did "Darkness," "elephant Talk" and "Thela Hun Ginjeet." Let 'em do "something about you" and all the other Level 42 stuff I ain't heard…

veronica moser, Saturday, 8 January 2022 19:47 (one week ago) link

xposting, I'm pretty sure Sting wrote stuff like Message in a Bottle on guitar and Andy adapted it, but Synch II is odd enough that I do wonder what the demo was like. Maybe it was kind of developed out of a jam? That Rick Beato convo with Sting was pretty interesting. Every Little Thing, for example, is such a great song, but it's really novel that Sting wrote it around a whole tone scale (iirc) which is something you rarely encounter.

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 8 January 2022 19:54 (one week ago) link

xp yeah same here, I mean I actually liked the album but clearly the main appeal was in seeing them live. the live album that just came out is really good, though I wish they dug out more 80s stuff from the other members (instead, they play every song off the studio album except for the Curved Air instrumental at the end). oh well.

I'd be curious to hear more of Sting's demos from the early days. it's interesting how Sting's solo stuff sounds nothing like The Police (despite Sting writing 75% of the material) but Copeland's Klark Kent material very much sounds like a pile of goofy lost Police tunes from 79-80. I wonder what their songwriting/recording process was like. A lot of the interviews imply that their songwriting process was way more collaborative than it appeared. like "Bring on the Night" is credited solely to Sting but no way he came up with that guitar line and rhythm...so how much exactly is left?

frogbs, Saturday, 8 January 2022 20:14 (one week ago) link

i really wish those Klark Kent songs were all on Police albums, recorded exactly as they are

I Am Fribbulus (Xax) (Doctor Casino), Saturday, 8 January 2022 20:32 (one week ago) link

like "Bring on the Night" is credited solely to Sting but no way he came up with that guitar line and rhythm

yeah, watch the first two minutes of this interview and it's pretty obvious who wrote the guitar part:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IeeZZj_HNs

and it's not just the notes that are important there, it's the actual sound of the guitar itself, the effects it's put through etc. but i guess lyrics and melody and the basic chord progression are what counts when you're talking about writing credits?

o shit the sheriff (NickB), Saturday, 8 January 2022 20:38 (one week ago) link

Andy and Stewart are really pretty unique sounding players and I think that accounts for Police sounding different to solo Sting. Compositionally O My God sounds like it would sit comfortably on Ten Summoners Tales.

29 facepalms, Saturday, 8 January 2022 20:41 (one week ago) link

Also think it’s kinda funny that Alex Lifeson spent the rest of the 80s trying to sound like Andy but Andy spent it trying to sound like Fripp.

29 facepalms, Saturday, 8 January 2022 20:44 (one week ago) link

Well, this will open a can of whatever, but we can discuss to what degree we credit musicians for coming up with unforgettable parts. Paul McCartney, to his credit, has repeatedly praised George Harrison for coming up with the unforgettable flamenco part in "And I Love Her" ("If you think about it, that's the song -- I didn't write that!"), but not so's he'd award him songwriting credit alongside him and Lennon.

More and more I think U2 and R.E.M.'s decisions to share credit works best in the long run -- if a long run is what you want.

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 8 January 2022 20:48 (one week ago) link

and it's true: every Police album outsold and outcharted its predecessor, a phenomenal achievement in America. They had the perfect combination of ruthless manager, talented as fuck musicians, good songwriter, and the peculiar FM/post-disco and MTV politics to make them in 1983 the biggest act in the world after Michael Jackson, a fact that's mind-boggling to consider.

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 8 January 2022 20:50 (one week ago) link

but i guess lyrics and melody and the basic chord progression are what counts when you're talking about writing credits?

Mike Doughty of Soul Coughing talks a lot about that in his book and yes I think from a strictly legal point of view those are the things that matter. whatever a guy can do with an acoustic guitar, I guess. SC's songs are all credited to the group, much to his chagrin, but I think he's very much wrong on this, because the band would've gone nowhere without the other guys. similarly I thought The Police should have gotten group credit; who knows how far Sting could've gone without the other two. wasn't there a story about how "Roxanne" didn't really work until Stew fucked around with the beat and turned it into a tango?

frogbs, Saturday, 8 January 2022 20:52 (one week ago) link

from that infamous drunken Revolver interview published in 2000:

Copeland: In my humble opinion, this is Sting's best song with the worst arrangement. I think Sting could have had any other group do this song and it would have been better than our version - except for Andy's brilliant guitar part. Basically, there's an utter lack of groove. It's a totally wasted opportunity for our band. Even though we made gazillions off of it, and it's the biggest hit we ever had, when I listen to this recording, I think 'God, what a bunch of assholes we were!'

Revolver: Stewart, who was responsible for the groove?

Copeland: I say all this knowing exactly who's responsible for the groove. And yet, with an absolutely straight face, I will blame my two scumbag colleagues for all of it.

Summers: Wait a minute! It's stunning in its simplicity. It does have a great guitar part. I'll take credit for that.

Copeland: Andy, since we're here, I'm going to back you up on this. You should stand up right now and say, 'I Andy want all the Puff Daddy money. Because that's not Sting's song he's using, that's my guitar riff.' Okay over to you Andy, Go for it...

Summers: [meekly] Ok, I want all of the Puff Daddy Money.

Copeland: There you go, you feel better now don't you?

Sting: Okay Andy here's all the money. [pours some change on the table] Unfortunately, I've spent the rest of it.

Summers: I'll tell you what, Stewart, I'll take your share, I know Stings' not going to let me have his.

Copeland: So Sting's making out like a bankrobber here, while Andy and I have gone unrewarded and unloved for our efforts and contributions.

Sting: Life... is... f***ing... tough. Here I am in Tuscany.

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 8 January 2022 20:55 (one week ago) link

That interview is amazing, it’s so good I almost suspected it was fake

Is it true that Summers didn’t know about the Puff Daddy song until he heard it on the radio?

frogbs, Saturday, 8 January 2022 20:58 (one week ago) link

Andy's account of writing/recording that guitar line in his autobiography is great. It only sounds simple, but to play those single notes and nail the tone all the way through the song is a bit of mastery.

just remembered that andy summers will be 80 years old this year, which is just unfathomable to me

o shit the sheriff (NickB), Saturday, 8 January 2022 21:30 (one week ago) link

Andy is an absolute genius, and his sound/effects and knowing how to use them is a huge part of that. But give credit where credit is (literally) due: as much as it (king of) pains me to say it, I have no doubt Sting wrote the bulk of those songs. But Andy and Stewart were absolutely essential in coming up with those key creative parts and arrangements, and the fact that Andy does't get credit for making "Every Breath" better than Leo Sayer's "I Love You More Than I Can Say" is a travesty.

Still:

who knows how far Sting could've gone without the other two

Again, pains me to say it, but the fact that he has had a long solo career with lots of hits, whatever we think of them, says a lot. When was the last time any of you listened to Animal Logic?

Biggest mystery to me remains "Magic." There's famously next to no Andy on it, and the story goes Sting demoed and arranged it with a keyboard player named Jean Roussel, but no one talks about him.

In January 1981 Jean Roussel recorded the demo version of Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic with Sting at Le Studio in Morin Heights near Montreal.

They played all of the instruments, basses, guitars, synths, marimbas pianos , clavinets etc... and Sting sang.

The song was destined for Sting's first solo album.

Several months later Jean Roussel got a call in Montreal (where he was still living at the time) from Sting and Miles Copeland to fly ASAP to Monserrat, to re-record the title with Sting and the other two members of the band.

They worked on the song for about a week, and none of the versions recorded were anywhere as good as the demo...

Finally Sting decided to use the original demo - and the version that is on the group's album is the exact original demo which Sting & Jean Roussel recorded, with Stewart's drums replacing the drum machine used on the demo and Andy's additional guitar parts.

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 8 January 2022 22:07 (one week ago) link

There's a new book out about Stewart Copeland's drumming. Got it for Christmas and I just read about that Magic story! Book's really fun so far.

DT, Sunday, 9 January 2022 09:33 (one week ago) link

anything about this in it? would love to know what banshees track it was:

"Bombs Away" was recorded on a tape that Nigel Gray had just used with Siouxsie and the Banshees. Copeland said that "when he first set up his home studio he got hold of a load of second hand tape which included some stuff by Siouxsie and the Banshees. 'Bombs Away' was written on a Siouxsie and the Banshees backing track. I changed the speed and did things to the EQ to change the drum pattern. So with the desk I can get my song playing, then press a switch and there's Siouxsie singing away."

o shit the sheriff (NickB), Sunday, 9 January 2022 10:18 (one week ago) link

Does the book reveal the inspiration for all the hi-hat rolls/fills/flourishes or bringing back splash cymbals?

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 9 January 2022 14:37 (one week ago) link

Don’t tell the director I said soooooooo
But are you safe miss gradenkoooooooo

calstars, Monday, 10 January 2022 02:10 (one week ago) link

re: "everything little thing she does is magic", that's also covered in the revolver interview. they make it pretty clear that the usual band dynamic was sting recording demos that had the core of the song, but the other two never liked his arrangements & they'd totally rearrange the songs as a band. since sting wrote the core melody & lyrics, he got the credit even though the others wrote original parts of the arrangement too. for "magic", summers & copeland couldn't figure out any sort of satisfying rearrangement at all so they eventually resentfully resorted to just replicating sting's demo for once.

Revolver: More Schadenfreude. What can you tell me about 'Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic'?

Summers: Well, I'm going to get very insulting here. When Sting was off doing the demos in Canada, he used this pianist who was incredibly pushy.

Copeland: He wasn't pushy.

Summers: f*** he was! He even managed to come down to Montserrat when we were recording.

Copeland: He was just like us actually.

Summers: Well, yeah, but there wasn't room for him. He must have played 12 piano parts on that song alone. And as the guitar player I was saying, 'What the f*** is this? This is not the Police sound'.

Copeland: So we tried to make the song a Police song - which meant undoing all of Sting's arrangement. That was our basic policy anyway. Always has been. Throw out Sting's arrangement, keep his lyrics and the song. So we tried playing it slower than the demos, we tried my "rama-lama" punk version. Andy tried turning the chords upside down. We spent more time on this song than on all the other songs put together. One morning, in a state of extreme grumpiness, I remember saying, 'Okay put up Sting's original demo and I'll show you how crummy it is.' So Sting stood over me and waved me through all the changes. I did just one take, and that became the record. Then Andy did the same thing on the guitar. We just faced the music, but the bullet, and used Sting's arrangements and demo. Damn.

ufo, Monday, 10 January 2022 02:27 (one week ago) link

is that the demo that was on the Strontium 90 CD?

frogbs, Monday, 10 January 2022 02:55 (one week ago) link

TS: The Police (band) vs The Police (interview subjects)

gotta be honest this is tough for me. they were a world-historical pop act but they may be the greatest band interview of all time.

poster of sparks (rogermexico.), Monday, 10 January 2022 03:00 (one week ago) link

it's interview all the way for me

ufo, Monday, 10 January 2022 03:16 (one week ago) link

that interview excerpt is great. also, now i wanna hear Copeland's "'rama-lama' punk version" (also what exactly does he mean by that phrasing?).

I Am Fribbulus (Xax) (Doctor Casino), Monday, 10 January 2022 03:24 (one week ago) link

The estimable 80sography podcast recently published a track-by-track commentary by Hugh Padgham!

Vast Halo, Saturday, 15 January 2022 20:05 (five days ago) link

The Revolver interview:

https://www.sting.com/news/title/revolver

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 15 January 2022 20:22 (five days ago) link

Man, that Pittsburgh joke reminds me of an awkward evening with a loud relative.

birdistheword, Saturday, 15 January 2022 20:27 (five days ago) link

Lmao

Revolver: Bands like the Offspring cite 'Can't Stand Losing You' as an important early punk song. Wasn't it banned by the BBC?

Copeland: Actually, we got a lot of mileage out of it being supposedly banned by the BBC. In fact, all that really happened was that we didn't make their playlist, so we turned that into 'Banned by the BBC'.

Sting: Wait a minute - it was 'Roxanne' they wouldn't play. Then we had that publicity campaign with posters about how the BBC banned 'Roxanne'. The reason they had a problem with 'Can't Stand Losing You' was because the photo on the cover of the single had Stewart standing on a block of ice with a noose around his neck, waiting for the ice to melt.

Copeland: Oh, so it was all my fault?

Sting: No, no, I applauded you for doing that Stewart. The only problem is... you didn't actually go through with it. (laughs)

frogbs, Saturday, 15 January 2022 20:43 (five days ago) link

seriously they could reunite without instruments for a comedy banter tour and I'd be first in line for tickets

poster of sparks (rogermexico.), Saturday, 15 January 2022 23:13 (five days ago) link

We’re watching Only Murders in the Building; turns out Sting is in the show, in kind of an amusing way (speaking of comedy).

Rockin’, and rollin’, and whatnot (morrisp), Sunday, 16 January 2022 07:50 (four days ago) link

Sting otm about Copelands rhythms being completely in danceable though

frogbs, Sunday, 16 January 2022 19:30 (four days ago) link


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