Category: the police

On this day in music history: October 3, 1980 – “Zenyattà Mondatta”, the third album by The Police is released. Produced by The Police and Nigel Gray, it is recorded at Wisseloord Studios in Hilversum, NL from July 7 – August 7, 1980. With the success for their first two albums behind them, The Police begin to feel pressure from all sides to deliver another hit album. With the music industry in the midst of a major downturn, the stress becomes all the more palpable. The band carry that tension with them into the studio, with only a short period of time to record and mix the album. The album is recorded in The Netherlands rather than in England like first two, for tax exile purposes. This friction manifests itself during the sessions, with the band arguing with each other on what material should make the final cut, and how they should be played. It is on “Zenyattà” that Sting becomes the dominant songwriter in the band, with eight of his songs being selected out of the final eleven. One of the major disagreements is over the instrumental track “Behind My Camel” written by Andy Summers. Sting vehemently hates the song to the degree that he refuses to play on it. Even going so far as to take the multi-track reel of the song, and burying it in the garden behind the studio. Wrapping up the sessions in only a month, recording is completed on the morning of the same day that the band are scheduled to begin their third world tour. The album is the last to be co-produced by Nigel Gray (having worked on the first two Police albums also) who charges the band a £25,000 fee to produce the album. It pushes the total recording budget to £35,000, more than twice what the first two albums cost to make combined. Gray is eventually ousted by band manager Miles Copeland when the two argue over royalty points. The album is their most successful to date, and provides them with their major commercial breakthrough in the US, spinning off the hit singles “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da” and “Don’t Stand So Close To Me” (both #10 Pop). It also wins two Grammy Awards for Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal (“Don’t Stand So Close To Me”) and Best Rock Instrumental Performance (“Behind My Camel”) in 1982. Originally released on CD in 1984, it is remastered and reissued in 1995. The album is remastered again in 2003, as a hybrid SACD and a red book CD with enhanced content, featuring a Quick Time video of “Don’t Stand So Close To Me”.  Out of print on vinyl since 1989, it is remastered and reissued as a 200 gram LP by Universal Japan in 2007. A 180 gram pressing is issued by A&M/UMe in 2008. It is remastered again in 2018 as a half speed 180 gram mastered LP by Miles Showell at Abbey Road Studios. “Zenyattà Mondatta” peaks at number five on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

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On this day in music history: September 3, 1982 – The first US Festival is held at Glen Helen Regional Park in Devore near San Bernadino, CA. The massive three day concert is sponsored by Apple Computer co-founder Steve Wozniak and produced by Bill Graham Presents, the event intended to be a “celebration of evolving technologies; a marriage of music, computers, television and people”. Twenty major acts play over the three day Labor Day weekend including The Police, Talking Heads, The B-52’s, Pat Benatar, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, The English Beat, Santana, The Grateful Dead, Jackson Browne, Jimmy Buffett, Oingo Boingo, The Cars, The Ramones, The Kinks, and Fleetwood Mac among them. The festival attracts over 300,000 people, over the three days that it is held. In spite of the sweltering heat (reaching as high as 110°F), 35 drug overdoses, and a $12 million financial loss by Wozniak on the first festival, it is deemed successful enough that a second and even bigger festival (lasting four days) taking place over the Memorial Day Weekend in May of 1983.

Help support the Behind The Grooves music blog with a donation at: PayPal.Me/jharris1228

On this day in music history: July 9, 1983 – “Every Breath You Take” by The Police hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 8 weeks. Written by Sting, it is the biggest hit for the Anglo American rock band fronted by bassist and lead vocalist Sting (born Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner). Sting writes the song after going through a bitter divorce with his first wife, actress Frances Tomelty. Often misconstrued as a tender love song, the songs ambiguous lyrics hide a much darker subtext. It is about being obsessed with a former lover, being consumed with jealousy, wanting to possess and control them. Sessions for the song are tense when Sting and drummer Stewart Copeland clash over Sting’s perfectionism regarding the drum and percussion parts. The two actually have a physical fight over the matter, causing engineer/co-producer Hugh Padgham to nearly walk off of the project. They eventually settle their differences and complete the track. Released on May 20, 1983, “Every Breath You Take” is the first single from the bands fifth album “Synchronicity”. An immediate hit, it is deemed “an instant classic” by fans and critics alike. Entering the Hot 100 at #36 on June 4, 1983, it races to the top of the chart five weeks later. The song is also supported by a memorable and visually striking black & video music video directed by Kevin Godley and Lol Creme. “Every Breath You Take” wins two Grammy Awards including Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal and Song Of The Year in 1984. The original single release is backed with the track “Murder By Numbers, which is included as a bonus track on the CD and cassette versions of "Synchronicity”. After the huge success of “Every Breath You Take” and the split of The Police in 1984, Sting writes “If Love Somebody Set Them Free” (#3 Pop) as a response and an “antidote” to the previous song. It appears on his first solo album “The Dream Of The Blue Turtles” in 1985. He also mockingly quotes the chorus from “Every Breath You Take” at the end of “Love Is The Seventh Wave”, singing “every breath you take, every move you make.. every cake you bake, every leg you break…”. “Every Breath You Take” is sampled as the basis of the tribute record I’ll Be Missing You" by Puffy Daddy, Faith Evans and 112 in 1997. When Diddy and company perform the song on the MTV VMA Awards in September of 1997, Sting appears on stage with the group, singing part of the songs’ original lyric. “Every Breath” also featured in the season three opener to “The Sopranos’ episode titled "Mr. Ruggerio’s Neighborhood”, when it is brilliantly mashed up with Henry Mancini’s equally iconic “Peter Gunn Theme”. The music is used to underscore a sequence where the FBI are planting a bug in The Sopranos home, while the family are out. “Every Breath You Take” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

Help support the Behind The Grooves music blog with a donation by clicking on the link at: PayPal.Me/jharris1228

On this day in music history: June 1, 1983 – “Synchronicity”, the fifth studio album by The Police is released. Produced by The Police and Hugh Padgham, it is recorded at AIR Studios in Montserrat and Le Studio in Montreal, Quebec, Canada from December 1982 – February 1983. Released as the follow up to “Ghost In The Machine”, the albums title is inspired by works written by Arthur Koestler and Carl Jung, both of whom Sting is reading during the writing and recording of the album. The recording sessions are tense throughout, especially between Sting and drummer Stewart Copeland, which lead to a physical confrontation between the two during the recording of “Every Breath You Take”. Co-producer and engineer Hugh Padgham nearly walks off the project due to all of the fighting. Eventually, recording is completed with the band members tracking their parts in separate rooms. Upon its release it is a huge critical and commercial success, becoming The Police’s most successful album. It spins off four singles including “Every Breath You Take” (#1 Pop), “King Of Pain” (#3 Pop), “Synchronicity II” (#16 Pop) and “Wrapped Around Your Finger” (#8 Pop). The CD and cassette versions of the album contain the bonus track “Murder By Numbers” (also issued as the B-side of “Every Breath You Take”. The albums cover art features a series of individual pictures of the band on the front and back, taken by photographer Duane Michals. There are thirty eight different variations of the pictures and color strips of the jacket art designed by Jeff Ayeroff and Norman Moore, that are printed (including a promotional only cover without the color stripes printed on the front and back). For the entire original press run of the LP, A&M Records presses the album on JVC KC-600 audiophile vinyl to insure high quality pressings with a quiet playing surface. The cassette configuration is manufactured on BASF CrO2 chrome tape, also for better durability and sound quality. The album is nominated for five Grammy Awards, winning three including Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal, Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal, and Song Of The Year in 1984. The album is remastered on CD in 1995, and as an SACD in 2003. It is also reissued as a 180 gram vinyl LP in the Back To Black series in 2008. A newly remastered vinyl LP is also included in the box set “The Police ‎– Every Move You Make – The Studio Recordings” in November of 2018. “Synchronicity” spends seventeen weeks (non-consecutive) at number one on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 8x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

Help support the Behind The Grooves music blog with a donation by clicking on the link at: PayPal.Me/jharris1228

On this day in music history: November 2, 1978 – “Outlandos d’Amour” the debut album by The Police is released. Produced by The Police, it is recorded at Surrey Sound Studios in Leatherhead, Surrey, UK from January – June 1978. Recorded at engineer Nigel Gray’s studio (a converted village hall), the finished album costs just £2,000 ($3,189 US dollars) to make. It initially fails to make any impact in the UK due to the BBC banning the singles “Roxanne” and “Can’t Stand Losing You” (being about prostitution and suicide respectively). Both are re-promoted and hit #12 and #2 on the UK singles chart respectively. The band promote the record in the US with the now legendary “low budget tour”, flying over on Laker Airways (now defunct), with The Police crisscrossing the country in a van, playing small venues and college campuses. The relentless tour schedule helps push the album and “Roxanne” on to the US charts, the latter becoming the bands first US top 40 single (#32 Pop) in April of 1979. Originally released on CD in 1983, it is remastered and reissued in 1995. It is remastered and reissued again in 2003, in standard jewel case packaging, and limited edition digi-pak. Out of print on vinyl since in 1989, it is remastered and reissued as a 180 gram LP in 2009 as part of UMe’s “Back To Black” vinyl reissue series. It is reissued again on vinyl in 2014, and as a single layer SHM-SACD by Universal Japan. “Outlandos d’Amour” peaks at number six on the UK album chart, number twenty three on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

On this in music history: October 5, 1979 – “Reggatta de Blanc”, the second album by The Police is released. Produced The Police and Nigel Gray, it is recorded at Surrey Sound Studios in Leatherhead, Surrey, UK from February – August 1979. The album is recorded (for a small budget of between £6,000 and £9,000) in four weeks worth of sessions spaced over a period of six months. The studio is an old village hall converted into recording facilities (outfitted with a new 24-track tape machine acquired for the sessions) by co-producer Gray. Initially, the band are short of new material when recording begins, so Sting reworks two songs from his former band Last Exit that become “Bring On The Night” and “The Bed’s Too Big Without You”. Stewart Copeland also revives an old song written during his time in college that is completed as “Does Everyone Stare”. The album yields their first two UK chart toppers “Message In A Bottle” and “Walking On The Moon”, as well as helping to grow their every increasing fan base in the US. At the time of its US release, along with the standard 12" LP, the album is also issued as a limited edition double 10" vinyl set packaged in a gatefold sleeve and with a full color poster of the band. The band win their first Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental for the title track in 1981. Originally released on CD in 1984, it is remastered and reissued in 1995. It is remastered again in 2003 with the UK edition including the music video of “Walking On The Moon” added as enhanced content. It is also released as a hybrid SACD in the UK and single layer SACD in the US. It is also remastered and reissued (for a limited time) on vinyl as a part of UMe’s “Back To Black” vinyl reissue series in 2008. “Reggatta de Blanc” hits number one on the UK album chart, peaking at number twenty five on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: October 3, 1980 – “Zenyattà Mondatta”, the third album by The Police is released. Produced by The Police and Nigel Gray, it is recorded at Wisseloord Studios in Hilversum, NL from July 7 – August 7, 1980. With the success for their first two albums behind them, The Police begin to feel pressure from all sides to deliver another hit album. With the music industry in the midst of a major downturn, the stress becomes all the more palpable. The band carry that tension with them into the studio, with only a short period of time to record and mix the album. The album is recorded in The Netherlands rather than in England like first two, for tax exile purposes. This friction manifests itself during the sessions, with the band arguing with each other on what material should make the final cut, and how they should be played. It is on “Zenyattà” that Sting becomes the dominant songwriter in the band, with eight of his songs being selected out of the final eleven. One of the major disagreements is over the instrumental track “Behind My Camel” written by Andy Summers. Sting vehemently hates the song to the degree that he refuses to play on it. Even going so far as to take the multi-track reel of the song, and burying it in the garden behind the studio. Wrapping up the sessions in only a month, recording is completed on the morning of the same day that the band are scheduled to begin their third world tour. The album is the last to be co-produced by Nigel Gray (having worked on the first two Police albums also) who charges the band a £25,000 fee to produce the album. It pushes the total recording budget to £35,000, more than twice what the first two albums cost to make combined. Gray is eventually ousted by band manager Miles Copeland when the two argue over royalty points. The album is their most successful to date, and provides them with their major commercial breakthrough in the US, spinning off the hit singles “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da” and “Don’t Stand So Close To Me” (both #10 Pop). It also wins two Grammy Awards for Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal (“Don’t Stand So Close To Me”) and Best Rock Instrumental Performance (“Behind My Camel”) in 1982. Originally released on CD in 1984, it is remastered and reissued in 1995. The album is remastered again in 2003, as a hybrid SACD and a red book CD with enhanced content, featuring a Quick Time video of “Don’t Stand So Close To Me”.  Out of print on vinyl since 1989, it is remastered and reissued as a 200 gram LP by Universal Japan in 2007. A 180 gram pressing is issued by A&M/UMe in 2008. “Zenyattà Mondatta” peaks at number five on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: October 2, 1981 – “Ghost In The Machine”, the fourth album The Police is released. Produced by The Police and Hugh Padgham, it is recorded at AIR Studios in Montserrat and Le Studio in Montreal, QC, Canada from January – September 1981. Following the success of their previous release “Zenyatta Mondatta, The Police’s next album marks a noticeable shift in their sound, expanding beyond their basic rock trio sound. The new material sees The Police incorporating keyboards and horns prominently into the mix. The title is inspired by the work of novelist Arthur Koestler, of whom Sting is an avid reader. The released version of the first single “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” (#3 US Pop, #1 UK) is Sting’s original home demo recording of the song, with drummer Stewart Copeland and guitarist Andy Summers overdubbing their parts. Though Summers voices his displeasure at the inclusion of keyboardist Jean Roussel (Cat Stevens), playing on the track. His reason being that he feels that the piano parts, were uncharacteristic of The Police’s sound. The band find that they are not able to improve on the original demo, when they attempt to re-record the song in a proper studio. The second recording is eventually aborted, because of the large amount of recording budget spent on the demo. The albums now iconic cover artwork designed by artist Mick Haggerty, features digital numeral graphics that are actually caricatures of the three band members. The album spins off several singles including “Spirits In The Material World” (#11 US Pop, #12 UK) and “Invisible Sun” (#2 UK). Some original US copies of the "Ghost” LP are pressed on high quality audiophile vinyl, that has a grey transcluent hue when held up to a light. Originally released on CD in 1984, the album remastered and reissued on CD in 1995. The CD is remastered again in 2003, with enhanced content that includes a Quick Time video of “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic”. At the same time, it is also issued as a hybrid SACD disc, with the SACD layer featuring high definition audio mastered at 24-bit/96KHz. Out of print on vinyl since 1989, it is remastered and reissued as a 180 gram LP in 2016. Mastered by Miles Showell at Abbey Road Studios in London, the LP is half-speed mastered for optimal sound quality, coming with a certificate explaining the remastering process. The vinyl release replicates the original vinyl packaging, and comes with an OBI strip wrapped around the LP spine. “Ghost In The Machine” spends six weeks at number two on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 3x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: July 9, 1983 – “Every Breath You Take” by The Police hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 8 weeks. Written by Sting, it is the biggest hit for the Anglo American rock band fronted by bassist and lead vocalist Sting (born Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner). Sting writes the song after going through a bitter divorce with his first wife, actress Frances Tomelty. Often misconstrued as a tender love song, the songs ambiguous lyrics hide a much darker subtext. It is about being obsessed with a former lover, being consumed with jealousy, wanting to possess and control them. Sessions for the song are tense when Sting and drummer Stewart Copeland clash over Sting’s perfectionism regarding the drum and percussion parts. The two actually have a physical fight over the matter, causing engineer/co-producer Hugh Padgham to nearly walk off of the project. They eventually settle their differences and complete the track. Released on May 20, 1983, “Every Breath You Take” is the first single from the bands fifth album “Synchronicity”. An immediate hit, it is deemed “an instant classic” by fans and critics alike. Entering the Hot 100 at #36 on June 4, 1983, it races to the top of the chart five weeks later. The song is also supported by a memorable and visually striking black & video music video directed by Kevin Godley and Lol Creme. “Every Breath You Take” wins two Grammy Awards including Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal and Song Of The Year in 1984. The original single release is backed with the track “Murder By Numbers, which is included as a bonus track on the CD and cassette versions of "Synchronicity”. After the huge success of “Every Breath You Take” and the split of The Police in 1984, Sting writes “If Love Somebody Set Them Free” (#3 Pop) as a response and an “antidote” to the previous song. It appears on his first solo album “The Dream Of The Blue Turtles” in 1985. He also mockingly quotes the chorus from “Every Breath You Take” at the end of “Love Is The Seventh Wave”, singing “every breath you take, every move you make.. every cake you bake, every leg you break…”. “Every Breath You Take” is sampled as the basis of the tribute record I’ll Be Missing You" by Puffy Daddy, Faith Evans and 112 in 1997. When Diddy and company perform the song on the MTV VMA Awards in September of 1997, Sting appears on stage with the group, singing part of the songs’ original lyric. “Every Breath” also featured in the season three opener to “The Sopranos’ episode titled "Mr. Ruggerio’s Neighborhood”, when it is brilliantly mashed up with Henry Mancini’s equally iconic “Peter Gunn Theme”. The music is used to underscore a sequence where the FBI are planting a bug in The Sopranos home, while the family are out. “Every Breath You Take” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: June 1, 1983 – “Synchronicity”, the fifth studio album by The Police is released. Produced by The Police and Hugh Padgham, it is recorded at AIR Studios in Montserrat and Le Studio in Montreal, Quebec, Canada from December 1982 – February 1983. Released as the follow up to “Ghost In The Machine”, the albums title is inspired by works written by Arthur Koestler and Carl Jung, both of whom Sting is reading during the writing and recording of the album. The recording sessions are tense throughout, especially between Sting and drummer Stewart Copeland, which lead to a physical confrontation between the two during the recording of “Every Breath You Take”. Co-producer and engineer Hugh Padgham nearly walks off the project due to all of the fighting. Eventually, recording is completed with the band members tracking their parts in separate rooms. Upon its release it is a huge critical and commercial success, becoming The Police’s most successful album. It spins off four singles including “Every Breath You Take” (#1 Pop), “King Of Pain” (#3 Pop), “Synchronicity II” (#16 Pop) and “Wrapped Around Your Finger” (#8 Pop). The CD and cassette versions of the album contain the bonus track “Murder By Numbers” (also issued as the B-side of “Every Breath You Take”. The albums cover art features a series of individual pictures of the band on the front and back, taken by photographer Duane Michals. There are thirty six different variations of the pictures and color strips of the jacket art designed by Jeff Ayeroff and Norman Moore, that are printed (including a promotional only cover without the color stripes printed on the front and back). For the entire original press run of the LP, A&M Records presses the album on JVC KC-600 audiophile vinyl to insure high quality pressings with a quiet playing surface. The cassette configuration is manufactured on BASF CrO2 chrome tape, also for better durability and sound quality. The album is nominated for five Grammy Awards, winning three including Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal, Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal, and Song Of The Year in 1984. The album is remastered on CD in 1995, and as an SACD in 2003. It is also reissued as a 180 gram vinyl LP in the Back To Black series in 2008. “Synchronicity” spends seventeen weeks (non-consecutive) at number one on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 8x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.