The 10 Greatest Police Songs Few Know But Should
Bring on the night, bring some tea from the Sahara too. Miss Gradenko may by stopping by for a sip. These are the 10 greatest Police songs few music fans know but should.
On this day in 1978 The Police began recording their debut album Outlandos d'Amour. The team of Sting, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland would go on to create one of the most impressive catalogues of music in rock history. Thanks to some big-time singles like "Roxanne", "Don't Stand So Close To Me", "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic", and "Every Breath You Take" The Police shot straight to rock stardom but as die-hard fans know there is much more to The Police than the hits.
There are only two bands whose entire library of songs are loaded into my phone; they are Van Halen and The Police. In fact, the very first album I bought was a Police album. My Dad was the Saturday morning DJ on WWCO in Waterbury back in 1983 and he used to play The Police's latest single "Wrapped Around Your Finger". Then I saw the video on MTV. Then I found out my older brother Marty was a huge Police fan. That's all I needed to make my move. I took my paper route money and used it to buy the Synchronicity album. I had my Mom drive me to the Caldor store in Southington so I could buy it. I still have that copy, I still love the album and, yes, I still love The Police.
So without further ado I have compiled the 10 greatest Police songs many non-Police fans don't know about but should. As a card-carrying member of The Police fan club I won't arrest you just yet. Just give these songs a listen and you'll avoid serious musical jail time.
Some of the best Police songs are some of their darkest and "Bring On The Night" fits that description.
The one-two punch of Stewart Copeland's high-hat surfing with Andy Summers simple but effective riff is instantly mesmerizing. This one has to be on every vampire's iPod. Daylight be damned.
Here's a fun Police tune that could have easily been a hit single. It's upbeat, it's fun, and it's got that classic reggae-rock Police vibe. If you're feeling some winter-time blues turn up this song and you'll be quickly cured.
Listening to the band's 1983 album 'Synchronicity' is a lot like watching a classic movie. The supporting cast is every bit as good as the star actors. For every massive hit single there is a great album track like this one "Miss Gradenko". Drummer Stewart Copeland gets songwriting credit on this track which is about secretarial paranoia in the Kremlin.
The 'Ghost In The Machine' album is definitely my favorite of all five Police studio albums. This underrated classic kicks in right away with Sting's bass before it dives right into a dark trip through a man's mind when he has too much idol time. An idol mind can be a devil's workshop. Just ask Sting. Better yet, just listen to this song.
There are moments on the 'Synchronicity' album that foreshadow what was to become of Sting's solo career and this song is an example of that. The lyrics are inspired by the Paul Bowles book 'The Sheltering Sky'.
Though this could easily have been a solo Sting song it's made that much better with the team of Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers behind him. No disrespect to the amazing musicians Sting has worked with but Copeland and Summers were, are, and always will be the best.
Much to my eventual disappointment I didn't get to hear this song when I bought the 'Synchronicity' album on vinyl back in '83. "Murder By Numbers" was included on the cassette and cd versions of the album so whenever I heard people mention this great Police song "Murder By Numbers" or if I heard a DJ play it on the radio I was scratching my head. Thankfully I eventually picked up the cd. Too bad Alfred Hitchcock wasn't around to do the same. He would have loved this song.
This hard-driving apocalyptic song was written by guitarist Andy Summers. He was inspired by the 1973 movie 'Soylent Green' where poverty and climate change have led to food rationing, and a big corporation creates food made by wicked and criminal means. This song is wickedly fantastic.
Before there was Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start The Fire" there was The Police "Born In The '50s". I can just see Sting proudly singing this one in the studio with his fists clenched and raised way up high. He was the voice of a new generation ready to change the world.
This track includes one of Sting's greatest vocal performances. He sings of humanity's inability to learn from its past mistakes in a tone drenched with sadness over African percussion and the flute before his sadness turns to frustration, thrusting into a high-powered verse at the 1:22 mark of the song.
From the 'Ghost In The Machine' album comes the Police song which defined the classic Police sound. Pounding drums, an amped-up reggae riff, and lyrics with a deep message sung so profoundly by Sting. Third World Countries needed help but had no voice. Sting was their voice.