on July 28, 2007
It is hard to believe that a band can become a Hall of Fame band with just five studio albums to their name, but the Police are such a band. This is an honor that the Police are most worthy of. The Police were sort of an off-shoot of the Punk Rock movement of the late 1970s. The band would eventually encompass other influences - namely Classic Rock, Reggae, Jazz, Dance, and even Folk. For the most part, it is fair to say there was a Punk Rock and Reggae influence on the band for their first two albums" - "Outlandos D'Amour" and "Regatta de Blanc". Both of these albums were terrific efforts - mostly because The Police used applied their unique style to a formula that worked. The Police would soon transform their sound to a more Classic Rock sound. With each successive album ("Zenyatta Mondatta", "Ghost in the Machine", and "Synchronicity"), the Police would continue to grow as a band and incorporate a variety of genres into their sound. In 1986, the Police officially disbanded and it wouldn't be until 2007 when they would officially reunite for a reunion tour. To build some momentum for the tour, the Police would release a two CD greatest hits collection entitled "The Police". This compilation does provide a good portfolio of the band's classic tracks.
"The Police" takes tracks from each of the band's five albums. Six tracks from "Outlandos D'Amour" ("Can't Stand Losing You", "Next to You", "Roxanne", "Truth Hits Everybody", "Hole in My Life", "So Lonely"); Four tracks from "Regatta De Blanc" ("Message in a Bottle", "Regatta De Blanc", "Bring on the Night", "Walking on the Moon"); Five tracks from "Zenyatta Mondatta" ("Don't Stand So Close to Me", "Driven to Tears", "Canary in a Coalmine", "De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da", "Voices Inside My Head"); Four tracks from "Ghost in the Machine" ("Invisible Sun", "Every Little Thing She Does is Magic", "Spirits in the Material World", "Demolition Man"); Eight tracks from "Synchronicity" ("Every Breath You Take", "Synchronicity I", "Wrapped Around Your Finger", "Walking In Your Footsteps", "Synchronicity II", "King of Pain", "Murder By Numbers", "Tea in the Sahara"). This collection also includes the band's debut single - not released on the five studio albums - "Fallout". There is an import version of this collection that includes two addition tracks - "The Bed's Too Big Without You" (from "Regatta De Blanc") and "Rehumanize Yourself" (from "Ghost in the Machine"). My big argument is that this collection tends to go too heavy on "Synchronicity" - with eight of the eleven tracks from that album on this collection. One can also make the argument not enough was taken from "Regatta De Blanc" or "Ghost in the Machine". For the most part, this compilation does a good job at taking the essential tracks from the Police's music portfolio.
One strength of this collection is that the tracks are chronologically arranged by the studio album they released. This allows you to see how a band has progressed over time. In the case of the Police, this is essential because I think it is important to hear how their sound evolved.
When considering a greatest hits compilation, it is important to know that bands often release several flavors of compilations.
"Every Breath You Take - The Singles": This was a compilation released in 1986. It only includes twelve tracks. It contains an updated version of "Don't Stand So Close to Me" called "Don't Stand So Close to Me '86"). All of the tracks on this collection are found on "The Police" 2 CD compilation. For the most part, this collection preserves the chronological ordering of the band.
"Every Breath You Take - The Classics": An Updated Version of "Every Breath You Take - The Singles". It includes both versions of "Don't Stand So Close to Me" and an additional version of "Message in a Bottle" (that version is not found on "The Police" 2 CD compilation). For the most part, this collection preserves the chronological ordering of the band.
"The Very Best of Sting and The Police": This provides a mix of Sting's solo work with some of the Police's best hits. There are two versions of this collection - one from 1997 and one from 2002 with the latter one being more complete. These compilations do not preserve the chronological ordering of the band.
"Message in a Box: The Complete Recordings": This is exactly as advertised. It includes every song from each of the five studio albums as well as some B side songs, live tracks, and songs not originally found on CD. These songs are arranged in chronological order on four CDs. It also includes the "Don't Stand So Close to Me '86" version.
It is worth noting that "The Police" 2 CD compilation is very good. If you are looking for a greatest hits collection by the Police, this stands up much stronger than the two "Every Breath You Take" compilations. It also provides more depth from the Police perspective than the two versions of "The Very Best of Sting and The Police". However, if one is considering a greatest hits collection, I would easily opt for the "Message in a Box" collection over this 2 CD compilation. You are going to get so much more for your money. You also get the benefits of a boxed set (including a very good booklet). Every song on this 2 CD compilation is going to be found on the "Message in a Box" collection. My recommendation would be to go for the "Message in a Box" collection over this 2 CD compilation.
on June 13, 2007
THE BAND: Sting/Gordon Sumner (vocals, bass), Andy Summers (guitars), Stewart Copeland (drums & percussion).
THE DISCS: (2007) 28 songs on 2 discs clocking in at approximately 110 minutes (Disc-1 at 50 minutes, disc-2 at 60). Included with the discs is a 6-page fold out containing song titles/credits/times, band photos, a "Police Raid Madam Wong's" (1979) advertisement poster, a 1-page intro, what songs came from which albums, and year released. Remastered digi-paks were released in 2003 of the band's entire catalog - with the sound on this Police compilation being superb, I'm assuming these are digitally remastered... but fail to see in the liner notes indicating so. The song "Fall Out" is the only song to not be featured on one of the band's 5 studio albums - recorded prior to the band's debut in 1977 with Henri Padovani playing guitar. Label - A&M Records.
ALBUM REPRESENTATION: Outlandos D'Amour (6 songs), Reggatta De Blanc (4), Zenyatta Mondatta (5), Ghost In The Machine (4), Synchronicity (8), bonus track (1).
COMMENTS: Their rise in England was quick. Going from small pubs to monstrous tours and sold out stadium dates in less than 5 years. Releasing their first studio album in 1978, to their last in 1983. They covered several music categories - punk, jazz, reggae, rock & pop. Millions of albums sold, Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame members each... every music collectors library needs some Police in one way or another. Don't want to purchase all their studios albums or the pricey boxed set ("Message In A Bottle: The Complete Recordings"), this 2-disc compilation is THE place to start. THE GOOD: All the celebrated hits are here - "Roxanne", "Can't Stand Losing You", "Message In A Bottle", "Walking On The Moon", "Don't Stand So Close To Me", "De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da", "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic", "Spirits In The Material World", "Every Breath You Take", "Wrapped Around Your Finger", "King Of Pain", etc. There are some excellent deep album cuts including "Hole In My Life", "Bring On The Night", "Voices Inside My Head", "Demolition Man", "Murder By Numbers" and "Tea In The Sahara". Songs are presented in chronological order. To me, this is a bonus - you can hear the band change/grow from album to album... from raw punk, to polished pop rock outfit. The sound is flawlessly crisp. The 3-fold cardboard case is sturdy and well put together. THE NOT SO GOOD: No compilation is perfect and this one isn't either (however it's very close). Three small gripes. 1. - A few important (but not critical) songs missing - "When The World Is Running Down...", "Secret Journey", "The Bed's Too Big Without You", and the oddball from their debut "Be My Girl - Sally" (also - nothing from their underrated '95 live album). 2. - Large amounts of unused disc space - 30 minutes on disc-1 and 20 minutes on disc-2 - this is criminal. Including the 4 omitted songs (mentioned previously) and a few live tracks would have made this collection perfect in my book.. plenty 'o space. And lastly, 3. - Why the heck did it take almost 25 years to get here? Now that it's here, I suppose it was worth the wait. OVERALL: Excellent mix of Police tunes any way you slice it. Looking for a studio album - start with "Zenyatta Mondatta" or "Synchronicity" (beware of the song "Mother" here). Looking for a great introduction to The Police - look no further (5 stars).
on June 17, 2007
To kickoff their overwhelmingly-anticipated reunion tour, A&M Records has released a new compilation of the Police's finest work. Unlike their previous compilations, this new compilation, titled simply "The Police," spans two discs, with 14 songs on each disc. Those old one-disc compilations always seemed shallow to me - collecting their #1's just wasn't enough. I felt that only through a 2-disc set could those unfamiliar with the Police get a feel for the group. "The Police" accomplishes that goal, providing a fine sense of the group's style through 28 tracks, ranging from their rare first single, "Fallout," to "Tea in the Sahara," which finished off the original LP of the group's final album.
"The Police" has all the greats - you know, "Roxanne," "Message in a Bottle," "Don't Stand So Close to Me," "Every Little Thing She Does is Magic," "Every Breath You Take," etc. - along with a number of less-appreciated gems like "Demolition Man," "Driven to Tears," and "Bring on the Night." The breakdown of the songs picked from each album is as follows:
- "Outlandos d'Amour" (1978): 6 tracks.
- "Reggatta de Blanc" (1979): 4 tracks.
- "Zenyatta Mondatta" (1980): 5 tracks.
- "Ghost in the Machine" (1981): 4 tracks.
- "Synchronicity" (1983): 8 tracks.
Every single great from "Outlandos d'Amour" is contained in the collection, and for that the set deserves some applause. Only one great is absent from "Reggatta de Blanc," but it's one of the band's most popular songs, "The Bed's Too Big Without You." Two of the band's very finest are absent from "Zenyatta Mondatta," Sting's post-apocalyptic anthem "When the World is Running Down, You Make the Best of What's Still Around," and his delightfully pop "Man in a Suitcase." At least two tracks are overlooked from "Ghost in the Machine," "Rehumanize Yourself" and Andy Summers' bombastic fan favorite "Omegaman" (and possibly Sting's mystical "Secret Journey" as well). Needless to say, with an almost suffocating 8 tracks present, nothing from "Synchronicity" is overlooked. But the omission of those beauties mentioned above, 5 or 6 total, is upsetting. I would also have loved to see "I Burn for You," from the "Brimstone & Treacle" soundtrack, here. It's one of the group's most brilliant compositions and has been sorely neglected for years.
A rather curious aspect of this collection is the placement of the tracks. They are presented chronologically by album, but not in the order they would appear on the album, which is odd. Odder still is the decision to do that, and then to put the dreamy "Tea in the Sahara" at the end of the collection rather than the band's signature tune, "Every Breath You Take." Why not let "Tea in the Sahara" drift off into its ethereality and then finish things off with a bang with "Every Breath"? This is a minor detractor, though.
As a die-hard Police fan, I have my beefs with this compilation, but I would still highly recommend it to those unfamiliar with the band. They were truly one of the greatest groups of all time, and "The Police" is a fine way to get a sense of their style. However, due to the problems listed above, it's by no means the definitive collection, though it is the best one so far. All in all, it's a great career overview which I highly recommend.
on March 2, 2014
I already mentioned in my review of Stevie Wonder's Ingenious "INNERVISIONS" CD, that I went to high school in the early to mid-1980's, but I positively detested almost All 'Eighties' neo-Pop, Heavy-metal, and other forms of synthesized superficialities (parading as creative 'art'). Due to the dearth of real creativity, I had to Look back to the 1970's and especially 1960's = back to Beatles, Motown, Dylan, Hendrix, the WHO, early 70's Wonder etc, etc, etc.
But of course, there were some Brilliant Exceptions ==> U2, Pretenders, Natalie Merchant's '10,000 Maniacs' => but Especially the one and only 'POLICE'!!!
The compositions, Lyrics, performances of the POLICE were brimming with electrifying kinetic energies, considerable 'sharpness' & intelligence!!
Sting who wrote most of the songs, was an amazingly talented composer/writer, and obviously an exemplary singer/interpreter, and a very expert bass-player as well!
Andy Summers was a supremely gifted guitarist, who seemed equally adept at Rock/Soul/Reggae jams, but with the solid underpinning of a great Jazzman (i.e. a considerable amount of that lighting-fast Pat Metheny dexterity literally at his fingertips, so to speak!)
And Last, but certainly not least, Stewart Copeland on percussion => Copeland's playing is truly electric, and marvelous ==> his speed and precision seem uncanny = and even though Sting is usually noted as songwriter, I have to believe, that much of the POLICE's signature kinetic electricity & pinpoint sharpness, is due in Large part to Copeland's backbeat/ intricate rhythmic patterns, that securely undergird this whole enterprise (it's really sad when you read about all the tumult/ arguments/ disagreements that apparently occurred between Sting & Copeland, because obviously like the Lennon/McCartney pairing/ competitive rivalry, there was a magical Creativity that ensued!)
Favorite Songs are 'Message in a Bottle' (with signature quicksilver Rhythms, and electrical sparks); 'Walking on the Moon' (Bob Marley in Outer-Space!); "De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da" (awesome groove, also surprisingly insightful Lyrics!); "Every Little Thing She Does is Magic" (cinematic Love Song on steroids = romantic intensity); "Spirits in the Material World" (poetic, insightful, with a nearly SciFi-Futuristic dystopian outlook - truly one of a Kind!); 'Synchronicity I' (Kinetic Energies at Full Throttle); 'Synchronicity II' (any song referencing the Loch Ness Monster = has to grab your attention, with both Claws!!)
Anyway, the POLICE made Music in the 1980's seem almost bearable!! I also felt that (like they always say about Mozart)=> Listening to Songs by the Police, increases human IQ by at least 10 to 15 points!!
note: in Early 1984, I actually saw the POLICE Live, at Aloha Stadium in Hawaii (this was the first Big concert, I ever saw) = needless to say, the POLICE performance was completely AWESOME (all Kinetic Energies fully intact)!!! In addition, the opening Acts were Bryan Adams & Stevie Ray Vaughan*!! How Great is that!!!
note* makes me Long to hear Stevie Ray's version of Hendrix's immortal 'Little Wing' a truly inspired cover!! (it's a very rare few, that can do justice to Hendrix) - unfortunately, Stevie Ray Vaughan also 'gone too soon'
on August 27, 2015
My wife was listening to a radio station that plays 80s hits and wanted to get a greatest hits album from The Police. I bought the album, and while listening to it, I was reminded how much I used to enjoy listening to their music when I was growing up. With 28 songs, you certainly get your money's worth. I highly recommend it to people who want to get to know the band, and for people who want to add the band's best work to their collection.
on May 6, 2014
The Police need Sting and he needs the Police. I have listened to some of Sting's CDs and in my opinion after he left the group Police and was on his own, those CDs I really didn't like. But together the Police had some great music. I like their music because it was different than most groups. They had a wonderful sound together.
on June 19, 2007
OK, what you get with this collection is far superior to any previous collection. I'll give you that. However, it is still incomplete. As has already been pointed out the most glaring omission is "When The World Is Running Down..." Yes, "Don't Stand So Close '86" should be here too. However, I can understand it's omission as making that record was a bone of contention with the band in '86. My biggest gripe is where the hell is "Secret Journey"? It was a hit on my planet!
Each disc has 14 tracks and could've easily fit 15. I would give this collection 5 stars if they would've just made it an even 30 songs and included:
"When The World Is Running Down..."
on August 1, 2007
For those who bemoan the lack of additional songs, specifically 'The Bed's Too Big Without You', I would recommend seeking out the Australian or British edition of this compilation; it has all 28 songs from the American release and includes 'Bed's Too Big' and 'Rehumanise Yourself'. These two songs rectify the shortfall of songs from 'Regatta De Blanc' and Ghost In The Machine' (only four each on the American version) and makes it feel a significantly more comprehensive compilation.
Yes, there are still tracks missing that would make it truly perfect, but remember that the Police only released five studio albums; if A&M had added yet more tracks to this compilation it would have come close to negating the need to buy the original releases and they were never going to allow that to happen were they? So the thirty-song version is about as good as we could ask for, it's an excellent blast through the past. Enjoy!
on June 30, 2007
This collection was much needed, not only to introduce a new generation of fans to the Police's music as they reform and tour this summer but also to have an anthology that would stay in print, remastered for the ages, that summed up the "definitive" tracks for the iPod generation. The previous comps were severely lacking. The thing that gets me is that 2 tracks were left off this collection that would make it truly definitive, 2 tracks that most areas of the country still hear on rock radio and needed to be included to declare this collection the ultimate Police summation. I'm referring to "Peanuts", from Outlandos d'Amour and "When The World Is Winding Down, You Make The Best Of What's Still Around" from Zenyatta Mondatta. These are essential Police cuts and are familiar to even the most casual Police fans. The frustrating part is that they could have been included without sacrificing any of the songs on the collection! Sure, it's a little heavy on the 1st and last disc (with good reason), but there is more than enough room to have 15 songs on each CD, even 16 or 17! "Rehumanize Yourself"! "Bed's Too Big.."! "Shadows In The Rain"! Also missing....not as essential, but why? To leave room for another collection down the line? Without a doubt, When the World... is not only one of their most famous songs but one of their best. I can't believe they didn't get it right with 2 CDs to work with! Thing is, I've made a 1 CD Police mix for the car and was able to usually fit AT THE MINIMUM 18 songs on it, even using different tracks! If that were done here, this would have been a 5 star review. Oh well, there's always next time, right? Dig deeper, people!!! 5 stars for the music, 1 star for the short length and exclusions. I'm sorry to give this collection any less than the 5 stars it deserves but it's a waste and a shame. Congratulations to the Police for the successful reformation!
on June 10, 2007
I can think of only one track that belonged here but isnt and that would be "When The World Is Running Down." But the extra attention that is given to early Police over previous attempts at a compilation make this collection far superior. When I saw this collection included "Next to You", "So Lonely", "Regatta De Blanc", "Canary in a Coal Mine", and "Voices in My Head" , I had to have it. I never tire of hearing Stewert Copelands drumwork in the last 60 seconds of "Voices". The inclusion of "Tea in the Sahara" also bumps up the credibility. Listening to this collection gives you every side of the Police, not just the softer radio version of the band as was the complaint of their "Evvery Breath" greatest hits. Whoever compiled the songlist here did their homework.