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Beat of the Day

Not a big fan of this group, though I enjoyed their records before Synchronicity:


1 Matt Blankman   ~  Aug 19, 2010 12:57 pm

It's all about Stew Copeland, baby. (Summers was pretty terrific, too)

Synchronicity was when Sting's ego finally overwhelmed everything else. It's not a bad record by any stretch, but it lacks the charm of the early lps. The Police worked much better as a funky punky reggae tinged new wave jazzy power trio. As arena pomp rock, they got dull.

2 NoamSane   ~  Aug 19, 2010 1:06 pm

[1] You nailed it Matt B. Can't really add anything to what you said. As a drummer I can never hear enough of Stewart C. on the early records. Spent practically my entire time in high school in the basement playing just about every song from the 1st 3 Police records w/ my sister on bass or guitar.

[0] Perfect song choice for me to Alex, 'cuz I left my wife and 8 month old daughter up in Vermont at her folks. She HATES the heat, but I had to come back to NYC to work.

3 Alex Belth   ~  Aug 19, 2010 1:07 pm

I just like the bassline. And those tirst two, four really, records are much fun.

4 Matt Blankman   ~  Aug 19, 2010 1:18 pm

So Lonely never gets old, even though there's not much to it.

5 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Aug 19, 2010 1:20 pm

The Police are one of those bands that, if I listen to one record, I have to listen to the rest of it. Message In A Box, their complete recording box set with b-sides etc. is highly recommended. The first album is the best, the second the worst (it was very much an album of leftovers), but they're all good, and the songwriting and musicianship is just brilliant without needing long run times to prove it.

And yes, Matt, Stewart Copeland is a god, and Andy Summers is underrated.

Man, don't get me started on the Police. Great, great band.

6 NoamSane   ~  Aug 19, 2010 1:21 pm

[3] tons of great bass lines on those Police records! It's funny how the bass was always right in your face on the Police albums (and guitar not as much), but then as soon as Sting switched to guitar for his solo work, the bass faded way back into almost every mix--except when Sting had the bass chair. Not sure if this was true as his career went on because I stopped listening to Sting oh, about 2 decades ago, but that was hilarious way back when.

7 NoamSane   ~  Aug 19, 2010 1:24 pm

[4] So Lonely and Walking on the Moon were the favorites in my basement.

[5] I like Regatta. I put it above Ghost in the Machine, fo' sho'. Message in a Bottle & Walking on the Moon by themselves are probably enough to elevate Regatta out of the basement.

8 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Aug 19, 2010 1:26 pm

[6] That's part of what's great about the Police, the bass is the primary instrument, that frees Summers up to focus on textures and gives Copeland room to play with and against the beat. Yet it all comes out pretty catchy and poppy most of the time due to the strength of Sting's songwriting/melodies/voice.

9 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Aug 19, 2010 1:30 pm

[7] I love the last song, "No Time At All" (which was actually a first-album B-side repurposed as an album track here because of their lack of material) as well as the two big singles you named and the two minor singles (including the one atop this post, all penned by Sting), but most of the Copeland-penned songs on Regatta sound like the filler they are.

10 NoamSane   ~  Aug 19, 2010 1:33 pm

[8] Completely true. In fact, It's one the keys to why they sound unique as a band. A. Summers a guitarist with mad skills, but a smaller ego in an era that was all about guitars enabled the Police to have a more open uncluttered sound. That = more room for Copeland-propulsion/syncopation and Sting's beautiful, but somewhat thin voice.

11 NoamSane   ~  Aug 19, 2010 1:37 pm

[9] No Time At All = great closer
I guess I was such a Copeland adherent that the filler didn't bother me.
Ghost always seemed to get bogged down in Stings's navel if you listen to it all in one sitting.

... looking at record jacket...

Basically Side 1 (thru Demolition Man) is superb. Side 2, OTOH, not one great song on it.

[the defense rests]

12 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Aug 19, 2010 1:52 pm

[11] I'm not going to argue they're among the Police's best songs, but I really enjoy most of side 2 of Ghost in the Machine.

"Rehumanize Yourself" is lots of fun despite it's bleak lyrics (with special bonus c-word, though used in the English sense meaning "idiot"). "Too Much Information" is hard not to dance to. "Omegaman" has a great atmosphere and sweeping feel, easily Andy Summers' best Police tune, though there's not much competition.

Ghost is a very atmospheric record. It's the Police's darkest, and Sting's introduction of saxophone, often used more for texture than melody, adds to that. The second side doesn't have any great songs, but it's very evocative and, I think, better as a whole than the collection of Copeland-penned or co-penned songs from Reggatta

13 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Aug 19, 2010 1:59 pm

Well, now I know what I'll be listening to for the next few days . . . cue up that boxed set . . .

14 NoamSane   ~  Aug 19, 2010 2:00 pm

[12] Alright. Good counter, Cliff. Not sure I really agree, but there's a good chance if I listened to both albums regularly now, in my early 40s, my opinions would be very different from those of my teen years.

15 The Hawk   ~  Aug 19, 2010 7:27 pm

If you like the band pre-Synchronicity doesn't that mean that you like almost the entire catalog?

16 The Hawk   ~  Aug 19, 2010 7:30 pm

I was actually thinking about Copeland the other day. What makes him great to me in one sense is that he does a lot of shit that would annoy me if it were anyone else - like the Dave Matthews Band drummer, for instance - but his feel is so ****ing great, he pulls it off every time.

17 The Hawk   ~  Aug 19, 2010 7:35 pm

Another thing, as I single-handedly commandeer this thread, is the Police are a great band in that they could play almost any song really well, but the thing that their legacy more or less rests on the admittedly pompous and insufferable Sting's great pop songs.

One unsung of those songs: "Canary in a Coalmine"

18 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Aug 19, 2010 9:03 pm

Copeland is awesome. Thelarmis, where are you on this thread??

19 Alex Belth   ~  Aug 19, 2010 10:16 pm

I guess I like them more than love their pre Synch stuff. I'd never call myself a fan, really. But I can listen to those first four records, at least 75% of it and be pleased. Canary in the Coalmine is my favorite tune by them probably.

20 Matt Blankman   ~  Aug 19, 2010 11:54 pm

The overwhelming of the charms of The Police by Sting's growing insufferability is summed up nicely by the difference in his delivery of the "Nabokov" line in the two versions of Don't Stand So Close To Me. In the Zenyatta Mondatta version, it's a funny rhyme, a cheeky allusion. When they re-did the song as "Don't Stand So Close To Me '86" he turned it into a self-impressed, pretentious, "look at me" moment ("...that faaaaamous book by Nabokov."). Spare me, Gordo!

21 Hank Waddles   ~  Aug 21, 2010 11:27 am

Holy shit, I can't believe I missed this thread. That's what I get for going on vacation. Love the Police. And although I agree with everyone about Synchronicity, Message In A Box is one of the collections that I always have to have with me. I actually saw them on their recent tour, and they were surprisingly good -- just Stewart, Andy, and Sting, no one else in stage-- and they absolutely rocked.

As for Sting, he's been irrelevant foravout twenty years, but his double live album, "Bring on the Night" is awesome.

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