The Police

The Police consist of Sting (bass and vocals), Andy Summers (guitar), and Stewart Copeland (drums).

I have very faint memories of listening to the Synchronicity album as a wee child. I rediscovered the album in middle school, then purchased the greatest hits album in high school. That was all I knew for a few years, until I got a record player and picked up all the vinyl albums. I also spent many hours in the car, listening to the "Live!" album during college.

There's a lot to like about the Police. As a drummer, Stewart Copeland's syncopated rhythm and emphasis on the cymbals is a refreshing change from the usual rock drumbeat. The band also has a bass-heavy sound, as Sting doubles on vocals and bass. The sound is heavily influenced by reggae, similar to the Clash. The lyrics cover a variety of topics from love to global issues. There's also a few humorous tracks, serving as just a 3-minute joke. And of course I can't forget Sting's random bouts of going "eeeEEEEYYYYYYYoooooOOOOOOO."

Nate's Epic Police Playlist

  1. King of Pain (Synchronicity 1983)
  2. Synchronicity II (Synchronicity 1983)
  3. So Lonely (Outlandos d'Amour 1978)
  4. Driven to Tears (Zenyatta Mondatta 1980)
  5. Invisible Sun (Ghost in the Machine 1981)
  6. Message in a Bottle (Reggatta de Blanc 1979)
  7. Too Much Information (Ghost in the Machine 1981)
  8. Next to You (Outlandos d'Amour 1978)
  9. Truth Hits Everybody (Outlandos d'Amour 1978)
  10. Can't Stand Losing You (Outlandos d'Amour 1978)
  11. Every Little Thing She Does is Magic (Ghost in the Machine 1981)
  12. Synchronicity I (Synchronicity 1983)
  13. When the World is Running Down (Zenyatta Mondatta 1980)
  14. On Any Other Day (Reggatta de Blanc 1979)
  15. Bombs Away (Zenyatta Mondatta 1980)
  16. Demolition Man (Ghost in the Machine 1981)
  17. Rehumanize Yourself (Ghost in the Machine 1981)
  18. O My God (Synchronicity 1983)
  19. De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da (Zenyatta Mondatta 1980)

Outlandos d'Amour (1978)

outlandos

What a great album. Every song on here is excellent (for the most part). The Police have a much more "raw" sound here than the refined sound on later albums. My favorite songs are "Next to You," "So Lonely," "Can't Stand Losing You," and "Truth Hits Everybody."

Next to You: One of the best songs on this album, fast paced and exciting. I also think it has one of the best choruses to sing along with. The "Live!" album has the better live version.

So Lonely: "This song describes my life!" is what I always say to my friends when it comes on the radio. Not sure if they get the joke. I love the slow, half time feel during the verses and the quicker chorus. It also has one of my favorite guitar solos. Best live version is on "Live!" disc 2.

Roxanne: I'm not a huge fan of this song. Not because it gets a lot of radio play, but just because I never liked it. However, it's still a good song, so you should listen to it if you want to.

Hole in my Life: The offbeat rhythm here always trips me up, with the slow relaxed drumbeat. The "tingly" piano part is also fun. The best part in the live version is when Sting shouts "You know this!...I know this."

Peanuts: The first of many strange Police songs. I don't know what Peanuts is or are, but Sting doesn't want to hear about the drugs they're takin'. The guitar sound is kinda high-pitched and out there, and there's some weird trippy sound (like a clarinet/oboe) towards the end.

Can't Stand Losing You: Classic Police song. It goes from talking about a guy depressed about a breakup, to talking about suicide. The first in many Police songs with less than ideal messages for the youth of today. All the live versions are excellent.

Truth Hits Everybody: This is one of my most quoted songs" the only certain thing in life is death." Right on, Sting. Also, "blow your head into the void" is a good line too. The chimes are an excellent choice during the interlude. The version on "Live!" is perfect, it picks up the tempo to just the right speed.

Born in the 50's: A song to help me reminisce about my childhood in the 1950's...just kidding. A nice bluesy tune. The "Live!" version is a great way to end the concert.

Be My Girl - Sally: One of the weirdest Police songs. In the middle, Andy Summers recites some lines about how he buys a blowup doll and makes her his wife. My favorite part is when the band comes in towards the end of the poem.

Masoko Tanga: The album closes out with a groovy track, with Sting saying something that's not in English, doing his Sting thing.

Reggatta de Blanc (1979)

reggatta

The Police honed their sound for this album, sounding like a more cohesive unit. There's still the same humorous songs, syncopated reggae beats, and heavy bass sound. My favorite songs are "Message in a Bottle," "It's Alright for You," "Walking on the Moon," and "On Any Other Day."

Message in a Bottle: One of the first non-Synchronicity songs I remember hearing. A quick upbeat song that suddenly drops off to barely a whisper during the chorus, the lyrics describe feeling alone yet discovering that everyone else is in the same situation. I like how the drum beat becomes more complex with each verse. The best live version is probably "Live!" disc 2.

Reggatta de Blanc: A quiet instrumental that slowly builds to a climax, this song is often played during live versions of "Can't Stand Losing You." I really like the version on disc 2 of "Live!"

It's Alright for You: Another fast-paced song, it has a cool guitar part with a very electronic sound.

Deathwish: I love the combination of rim clicks and synchronized guitar/bass parts. A relaxing song for the most part, except when the chorus speeds up.

Walking on the Moon: I like to sing this song while walking in the water with waterskis on my feet. I just hope my leg don't break. Another very low-key song with heavy reggae influences. I like all the live versions.

On Any Other Day: This song cracks me up. The premise is that a dad is having a really rough day, and it wouldn't be an issue...on any other day. Why is today different? Listen closely at the end to the Alvin and the Chipmunks song clip. Also, I like the lines "the other ones are complete b***s***" and "when the wombat comes, he'll find me gone." Whatever the heck that means.

Contact: The bass part during the verses is pretty powerful, but the guitar fits in nicely as well. Remember, he's got contacts "in my book and in my eyes."

Does Everybody Stare: This song starts out with just vocals and some piano, but quickly builds with the guitar and drum parts. The chorus, "does everyone stare the way I do / I only stare this way at you," is kind of cute. I think the way the drum part feels off-time from the vocals during the verses is pretty cool.

Landlord: This song comes on a little strong, there's lots of squealing n' screeching guitar. The vocal harmonies in the chorus are spot-on. The live version on "Live!" has even better vocals.

Zenyatta Mondatta (1980)

This album continues the rhythms and reggae sounds of the previous albums. Honestly, it could just be disc 2 of Reggatta de Blanc, the songs are good but they don't really stand out. My favorite songs are "Driven to Tears," ""Canary in a Coalmine," and "Bombs Away."

Don't Stand So Close to Me: A classic Police song. I enjoy it, but I don't actively choose to listen to it frequently (kind of like Roxanne). It tells the story of a teacher/student romance. Fun fact, if you listen to "Money for Nothing," by Dire Straits, you'll notice the line "I want my MTV" sounds exactly like "Don't Stand So Close to Me." Funner fact, the person who sings the high-pitched line at the beginning is none other than Sting! He was around when they were recording the song, so he offered his voice. Supposedly his lawyers were pretty intense so he gets 50% song credit!

Driven to Tears: I love the drums on this song. There's no straight beat, just some rhythms on the cymbal bell giving the song a real groovy sound. This version is good, but the live version on "Certifiable" will blow your mind. The guitar solo is killer.

When the World is Running Down: Eh, this version is alright, I do like they lyrics. "Certifiable" has a medley of "Voices Inside My Head" and this song, and it's kickass awesome. "Voices" lulls you into a quiet calm, then BAM this song smacks you right in the face. I love when Sting shouts "I HATE THE FOOD I EAT!" I think this song has the best guitar/bass solos on the entire album.

Canary in a Coalmine: Kind of a goofy upbeat guitar rhythm to go with a goofy song about someone who gets nervous at the slightest sign of trouble...like a canary in a coalmine.

Voices Inside my Head: Slightly creepy, haunting song. Way better version on "Certifiable," as mentioned above.

Bombs Away: Another silly song in the vein of "On Any Other Day." It puts a quirky spin on the life of a Middle Eastern dictator. The guitar solo has a cool "exotic" vibe.

De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da: I don't know why I like this song, I just do. Maybe it's just the slow, groovy verse rhythms, or the chorus of meaningless syllables. The "Live!" version is great.

Man in a Suitcase: Some reggae-heavy guitar sound. You should listen to it.

Shadows in the Rain: A nice, slow instrumental, to complement the next track.

The Other Way of Stopping: Much more upbeat sans-vocals song. That's all I've got.

Ghost in the Machine (1981)

ghost

Personally, this album could be the soundtrack for a British dystopian futuristic sci-fi movie. Maybe that's what they were going for? "Demolition Man" was featured in the Stallone movie of the same name. Fun fact, this was the first album with an English name. Also, the album art is meant to be a rendition of the band members. Most of the songs are less well known, but I still think they're pretty catchy. My favorite songs are "Every Little Thing...," "Invisible Sun," "Demolition Man," and "Rehumanize Yourself."

Spirits in the Material World: Probably the most reggae-related song on this album. I like the strange guitar solo in the middle.

Every Little Thing She Does is Magic: This song is awesome. After all the strange Police songs, it's nice to have a nice, old-fashioned romantic rock song. I like the upbeatness of the song, with the syncopated cymbals during the chorus. Also, it's great when the volume drops during the interlude before slowly growing and jumping back into the chorus. The "Certifiable" live version is interesting in that the guitar harmony at the beginning sounds much different than the studio version, so you're not really sure exactly which song you're listening to now.

Invisible Sun: This song has a very haunting sound, with the pounding drums and dystopian lyrics. The way Sting sings on "Certifiable" really brings out the emotion.

Hungry For You: The drum beat is much simpler and straighter than most other Police songs, giving it a much different feel. I also have no idea what he's saying most of the time, because he's speaking French. And I do not.

Demolition Man: This song also has a great drum beat, with the quarter-note bass drum and complex cymbal rhythm over it. I also love the use of saxophone.

Too Much Information: More saxophone! It gives the song a "big band" sound.

Rehumanize Yourself: Some of the funnier Police lyrics, including "violence here is a social norm." Otherwise, your average fast-paced Police song.

One World (Not Three): The reggae influences are back in this groovy tune. Remember, one world is not enough...for all of us.

Omegaman: I don't even know how to describe the strange wailing guitar sound, but it's pretty schnazzy. Omegaman sounds like it could be the next hit film.

Synchronicity (1983)

synch

This was my favorite Police album for many years (mostly because it was the only one I knew). The songs are a little more "out there," with thoughts on the interconnectedness of life, among other things. I think there's definitely a greater emphasis on the lyrics on this album compared to previous ones. It's also one of my favorite album covers (big fan of the simplistic color scheme), and I have it in poster form in my apartment. My favorites are "Synchronicity I," "Synchronicity II," and "King of Pain."

Synchronicity I: This track starts the album out strong. I really like the 6/8 time signature, the driving drumbeat, and use of synthesizer. This is also the first of a few songs on the album with multiple rhyming lines. There's a nice version on "Live!"

Walking in your Footsteps: Are humans destined to go extinct like the dinosaurs, figuratively walking in their footsteps? This is the question Sting poses in the song. I like the "African" percussive influences. The studio version doesn't do much for me, but the versions on both "Live!" and "Certifiable" are pretty powerful, full of emotion.

O My God: I love the saxophone and the bluesy sound on this track. No idea what it means, but Sting really wants to fill up that space.

Mother: Every guy's biggest nightmare, that "every girl he goes out with becomes my mother in the end." The first weird song on the album, but not the last. Don't play this song on date night.

Miss Gradenko: This song is pretty groovy with some strange lyrics. I like the vocal harmonies a lot too.

Synchronicity II: Hands down one of my favorite songs to sing to in the car. The lyrics are amazing, and there's tons of Sting's "EEEEEEYYYYYYYOOOOOOoooooOOOOOO" to yodel too. Nothing super special about the instrumental parts, which is why I think the lyrics make it so amazing. Definitely a fan of the Loch Ness Monster references. The "Live!" version is good, but the "Certifiable" version is unbelievable. One of my favorite live songs.

Every Breath You Take: This song completes my triad of "songs that are good but I don't listen to often." I used to think the lyrics were meant in a romantic way; they're definitely not.

King of Pain: The imagery in this song is soooooo good, you can picture everything in your mind and sense the painful emotion. The lyrics are up there with "Synchronicity II," a great sing-along in car rides. The guitar solo is good, but it's way better on the live versions (I think "Certifiable" is the better one).

Wrapped Around Your Finger: I think the studio version is okay, but I really like the way Stewart Copeland uses timpani in the "Certifiable" version.

Tea in the Sahara: My least favorite song on the album, but I'll admit I kinda like the drumbeat.

Murder by Numbers: This drumbeat is better, I like the use of syncopated rim clicks.