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January 30, 2007 5:32 PM   Subscribe

Rumors of The Police reuniting to perform at the 2007 Grammy Awards have been confirmed! I wonder which songs they will play?
posted by augustweed (150 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Whatever song they play, I predict it will be one I am VERY sick of hearing!
posted by newfers at 5:35 PM on January 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


To tell you the truth I really wonder if Sting & Comp. can muster up the energy to play "Canary in a Coal Mine."

Wrapped around your Finger, perhaps Roxanne ibn a lower register and slower tempo.

I would go if I was given free tix.'
'
posted by RubberHen at 5:36 PM on January 30, 2007


put a bullet in my brain pan? is that the song they will play? cause i love that one.
posted by nola at 5:36 PM on January 30, 2007


Uhhh. From the second link:

Members of The Police have so far refused to confirm rumors that the band is planning to reunite in 2007 for dates in Britain and the United States, with this year marking the 30th anniversary of the release of "Roxanne."
posted by grateful at 5:40 PM on January 30, 2007


Sting reprises his Feyd Rathu breakout role and steps naked out of a big box filled with steam while Andy sings "Mother".
posted by hal9k at 5:41 PM on January 30, 2007 [2 favorites]


I'm hoping they play "Guns of Brixton", myself.
posted by mr_roboto at 5:42 PM on January 30, 2007 [2 favorites]


I will kill him!


Seriously, though, early Police is tough to beat for pure pop tastiness.
posted by gottabefunky at 5:43 PM on January 30, 2007


Fuck the Grammy show. The Police should play The Chance again.
posted by Smart Dalek at 5:43 PM on January 30, 2007


I'd bet a fair amount of money that one of the tunes will be "Every Breath You Take," because it was a big hit and because it's been sampled a few times in later songs. It's also over-rated drivel.

So yeah, this is a really bad idea. I really loved The Police. I even like some of Copeland and Summers' work after The Police. I've grown to truly despise Sting as a musician and human being though. So please don't do this mkay tia.
posted by bardic at 5:45 PM on January 30, 2007


I don't want to be one of those your-favorite-music-sucks Mefites, and I kinda hate to admit this, but I never really cared for The Police.

Ok, Roxanne was cool, but only because Eddie Murphy made it cool in 48 Hours.

I just could never get in to them. My friends played all the albums hoping I would see the light, but it just never stuck.

Still, I know they were liked by many, so for those that could find the love, this will probably be cool.
posted by quin at 5:45 PM on January 30, 2007


Hopefully Sting won't make Roxanne sound like the theme from Survivor like most of his recent stuff.
posted by brundlefly at 5:47 PM on January 30, 2007


Rumors of The Police reuniting to perform at the 2007 Grammy Awards have been confirmed!

So, I guess there'll be a tour? Hmm, I wonder which one of the three guys ran out of money and fell at the feet of the other two, sobbing and wailing and beseeching the others for a fat payday?

Ehh, I actually like the Police and early Sting. Perhaps something good can come of this, like reminding Sting how to make the solo stuff a little more rock n' roll.
posted by frogan at 5:50 PM on January 30, 2007


Ooo!! Ooo!!! I hope they play that one song!!!!!!
posted by The Deej at 5:50 PM on January 30, 2007


Maybe Sting should just do another Lexus commercial and save everyone the trouble.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:51 PM on January 30, 2007


I saw them on their last tour in '83 ("Police Picnic" at Exhibition Stadium, Toronto). Guess who opened for them? James Brown.
posted by davebush at 5:52 PM on January 30, 2007


I only bothered posting CNN's link because CNN confirmed the reunion on TV a little while ago. (if the TV said it, then it must be true)

They were my favorite band when I was a teenager. They should do a complete reunion tour while they can. Sting's solo career has plateaued, and a lot of the other geezers who haven't died have been doing reunions. Sting and Stewart may have a few years ahead of them, but Andy was approaching 'geezer' status when The Police formed.
posted by augustweed at 5:53 PM on January 30, 2007


Sting, where is thy death?
(not mine. Forgot where.)
posted by hal9k at 5:55 PM on January 30, 2007 [8 favorites]


This should be just about as interesting as the Sex Pistols reunion.
posted by blaneyphoto at 5:58 PM on January 30, 2007


Chopsticks.
posted by ibmcginty at 6:00 PM on January 30, 2007


It's kinda fun to remember back to what huge fans some of my friends were (and I still love early Police, and some of their later stuff, too). But when your buddy is excited at Don't Stand so Close to Me #2, which may be the worst cover ever of any song by any band ever ever (ever), and laments that they were going to do a whole album of covers of their early work and isn't that cool but Stewart's arm was broken, can you believe it (probably by their record label)...well, that's an intervention moment.

(It's like meeting some perfectly lovely woman in her mid-thirties who still has Duran Duran posters as the focal point of her decor.)

In other words: sometimes it's best to keep your high school lust object only in your feverish memory, forever perfect and unchanging, rather than tracking her down only to find out she didn't age any better than you have.

My LP records, they're all scratched.
posted by maxwelton at 6:02 PM on January 30, 2007


hal9k nearly made me spew my nice red wine.
posted by tula at 6:05 PM on January 30, 2007


Some Sting song came on the radio the other day and I hummed along for a good thirty seconds before I realized what was going on and quickly switched the station. This greatly disturbs me.
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 6:06 PM on January 30, 2007


They don't offend me so much. I like the first four albums, and their musicianship isn't to be sneezed at, I think. Mostly interesting stuff and some good rockers.

My girlfriend is currently hanging from the ceiling (figuratively), yelling at me to pull every string I've got to try to go there and see them live.

I don't know as I still have those kind of strings, tho I did once...
posted by zoogleplex at 6:07 PM on January 30, 2007


Nothing would be as interesting as a Sex Pistols reunion so long as they got Sid to tour again.
posted by lekvar at 6:07 PM on January 30, 2007


Here in Vancouver, talk radio has been delivering breathless updates about alleged "sightings" of members of the trio, who are reportedly holed-up at some north shore rehearsal space.

"Stewart was spotted buying a mocha at the Kitsilano Starbucks!"

"Sting was up on the slopes at Whistler!"

Which should tell you all you need to know about this dreadful place and that dreadful band.

(Okay, this is a truly great album, especially the first disc, recorded at a concert before they were hu-uge. But by the second disc, recorded just before Synchronicity, Sting's pompous asshattery has well set in.)
posted by docgonzo at 6:08 PM on January 30, 2007


oooh, reggae (the one genre of music i cannot stand) performed by old white guys! LET ME IN ON DAT
posted by keswick at 6:09 PM on January 30, 2007


This should be just about as interesting as the Sex Pistols reunion.

Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:14 PM on January 30, 2007


does this reunion qualify as Police Brutality?
posted by jonmc at 6:15 PM on January 30, 2007 [2 favorites]


I'm gonna watch it. But, why did Sting split from them anyway?

blaneyphoto; what sex pistols reunion?
posted by snsranch at 6:15 PM on January 30, 2007


I was trying to find something online about the feud between Miles Davis and Sting, but had no luck. Anyone know a source?
posted by Burhanistan at 6:18 PM on January 30, 2007


I admit it, this is the one reunion tour I'd go to. It'd probably burst my fanboy bubble which is still STILL intact, some nearly 20 years since my high school obsession, but that would probably be a good thing.
posted by papercake at 6:20 PM on January 30, 2007


Wake me when The Cats and the Fiddle reunites.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:20 PM on January 30, 2007


WOW! Is it true that Todd Rundgren is going to fill in for Sting?
posted by R. Mutt at 6:20 PM on January 30, 2007


I'm gonna watch it. But, why did Sting split from them anyway?

Stewart and Sting hated each other in spectacular fashion and couldn't be in the same room at the same time at the end.
posted by papercake at 6:21 PM on January 30, 2007


I liked the Police. I like that they quit while they were on top. Big reason they quit though is that they hated the fuck out of each other and would have killed each other if they did another album. I read an interview of Stewart Copeland and they actually played on a whim at Sting's wedding. The band they hired was on a break, and people goaded them into playing. Copeland said the first few bars were fun, but then all the old things started coming up. Sting glaring at Stewart because he was off or something etc.
posted by Eekacat at 6:22 PM on January 30, 2007


We should start a betting pool -- which will happen first -- the inevitable Sting/Stewart Copeland fistfight, or the Eddie Van Halen/David Lee Roth fistfight?
posted by eustacescrubb at 6:22 PM on January 30, 2007


I was walking thru the grocery store a little while ago whistling "Walking In Your Footsteps" -- and now you're telling me the dinosaurs are indeed coming out to play. Synchronicity, indeed!
posted by pax digita at 6:24 PM on January 30, 2007


hal9k nearly made me spew my nice red wine.

tula nearly made me drop my joint.
posted by augustweed at 6:28 PM on January 30, 2007


Roxanne's shit sandwich.
posted by dbiedny at 6:29 PM on January 30, 2007


You can see the last time they got together on youtube for the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame in 2003.

Roxanne

Message in a Bottle

Every Breath You Take
posted by eperker at 6:29 PM on January 30, 2007


the feud between Miles Davis and Sting, but had no luck. Anyone know a source?

In the Miles autobiography, he gets pissy that Sting's poaching his band members. Later on he won't play with Daryl Jones any more because he says playing with Sting's made him "too showbiz".
posted by Wolof at 6:31 PM on January 30, 2007


They MIGHT still sound halfway decent, but if they make anything new it is going to be awful.
posted by weretable and the undead chairs at 6:36 PM on January 30, 2007


blaneyphoto; what sex pistols reunion?

I couldn't remember exactly when it was so I'll quote wikipedia here...

"The surviving members of the Sex Pistols reformed in 1996 for the six-month 'Filthy Lucre World Tour', which included dates in Europe, North and South America, Australia and Japan,[4] as well as appearances at the Phoenix Festival and Crystal Palace National Sports Centre in England ("Pistols at the Palace"). In 2003 they toured North America for three weeks, as part of their 'Piss Off Tour.'"
posted by blaneyphoto at 6:38 PM on January 30, 2007


I hope he brings his lute
posted by slapshot57 at 6:40 PM on January 30, 2007


Hate solo Sting, but man, not The Police. There's a massive difference.
posted by davebush at 6:45 PM on January 30, 2007


blaney, I just asked a friend about it and he said it sucked the big ARSE! (So I now understand the gyst of your comment.)

Oh, bother.
posted by snsranch at 6:46 PM on January 30, 2007


We should start a betting pool -- which will happen first -- the inevitable Sting/Stewart Copeland fistfight, or the Eddie Van Halen/David Lee Roth fistfight?

Well, the obvious solution is a lead singer exchange.
posted by jonmc at 6:48 PM on January 30, 2007


Relevant Onion article.
posted by picea at 6:51 PM on January 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


Copeland hated Sting?

It must be difficult to know that you achieved fame and fortune by riding an asshole's coattails the whole way.

I mean, really, what did he write?

(Breaking out my old dusty albums...)

By my count:And parts of:And that's it.

Not exactly "The Police's Greatest Hits".

Not even exactly "The Police's Greatest Hits V: The Other Hits".

Yeah, yeah, I know, great drummer.

Great drummers are a dime a dozen. He's the Police's Ringo.
posted by Flunkie at 6:51 PM on January 30, 2007


I'll wait until they come to Casino Rama.
posted by juiceCake at 6:51 PM on January 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


I agree with davebush. I like the Police! And not just that godawful Every Breath You Take crap... I can remember listening to all the original albums with my dad when I was a kid.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 6:53 PM on January 30, 2007


How does that N.W.A. song go again?
posted by AmbroseChapel at 6:57 PM on January 30, 2007


Q: Hey, what do Sting and a hooker have in common?

A: They both start suckin' when the Police ain't around...
posted by stenseng at 6:58 PM on January 30, 2007 [3 favorites]


Flunkie - check out Copeland's soundtrack for the film "Rumblefish." It's far more creative and interesting than anything Sting's done post-Police.
posted by davebush at 6:59 PM on January 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


Fine, but not related to my point. Copeland wouldn't have bagged a major film score if it hadn't have been for Sting.
posted by Flunkie at 7:03 PM on January 30, 2007


You can try to pry The Soul Cages and Dream of the Blue Turtles (hell.. even Ten Summoner's Tales and Nothing Like the Sun) from my cold dead hands, but they will grip them so tightly that instead your own fingers will tear loose from your hands leaving bloody stubs that you will stare at and scream.
posted by weretable and the undead chairs at 7:18 PM on January 30, 2007 [5 favorites]


They won't do "Driven to Tears," though they should.

They'll probably do "Every Breath You Take," yawn.
posted by blucevalo at 7:21 PM on January 30, 2007


Flunkie . . . Sting may not have made it beyond playing jazz bass in small venues had Copeland not formed the band. It was the band's synergy that got them their solo gigs. Poor Andy. It must have sucked having to deal with all of that mess.
posted by augustweed at 7:21 PM on January 30, 2007


Sorry, flunkie, but I couldn't disagree more. Stewart is as responsible for the Police's sound as anyone. In fact, all three were, imho, equal contributors to the sound of that band - they are all tremendous and, in fact, UNIQUE players. I realize that this is not something that anyone can prove, but I just felt the need to represent for Stewart Copeland. He's very high on any list of greatest rock drummers - Bonham, Moon, Starr, Richie Hayward, Charlie Watts, Copeland, Levon Helm, Zigaboo Modeliste, etc.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 7:21 PM on January 30, 2007


Stewart is as responsible for the Police's sound as anyone.
In some vague, non-quantifiable, non-songwriting way? Okay.
posted by Flunkie at 7:22 PM on January 30, 2007


They'll probably play something crappy like Tea in the Sahara.
posted by NoMich at 7:23 PM on January 30, 2007


Wow fingers_of_fire, did we have the same thought and hit send at the same time or what?
posted by augustweed at 7:23 PM on January 30, 2007


The whole Sting/Copeland hate thing always killed me because while Sting wrote most of their big tunes, the songs themselves basically feature the drum as the lead instrument. That's what I first liked about the Police, that seemed so different: under the vocals the guitar is the percussion, the bass is --as usual-- the bass, and the freakin' drums are the lead. The drums and Sting's vocals are in harness pulling the pop machine along.

Or maybe Stewart was the primary arranger and that's why Sting hated him: his songs had to ride to the top on Stewart's percussion-driven arrangements.

Or maybe they're both dicks and nobody cares.
posted by umberto at 7:23 PM on January 30, 2007


Or maybe Stewart was the primary arranger
Or maybe he was the drummer.
posted by Flunkie at 7:26 PM on January 30, 2007


This totally chuffs me out! I grew up with The Police and will probably actually watch part of the Grammy's now.
posted by fenriq at 7:35 PM on January 30, 2007


Sting, where is thy death?

It's a lift from Joe Queenan, for the record. And yeah, it still makes me laugh too.
posted by Skot at 7:45 PM on January 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


I thought I'd read somewhere that Sting admitted that he took the Police over as his songwriting vehicle, once he realized he could. So, that might have caused some resentment.

And I can't think of the Police feud without thinking "fuck off you cunt." That's what Copeland is supposed to have written on his drum set, targetted at Sting. Picea's Onion link is highly insightful.

I hope they do something interesting, like at least Message in a Bottle, something that hasn't been murdered on the radio, but whatever. Todd Rundgren fronting the Cars, that sounds seriously awesome.
posted by ibmcginty at 7:48 PM on January 30, 2007


Go ahead and laugh, but when the Grammys start and they fire up "Message in a Bottle" - I'll have goosebumps. This band was part of my youth and I'm glad I'll get to see them play again.
posted by davebush at 7:49 PM on January 30, 2007


Synchronicity is the first cassette I ever bought with my own money. The Police were the first band I ever really "loved." And Sting was my first mad celebrity crush. My room was papered with pictures of him. Then one day my high school boyfriend pointed out how often he posed with his arms crossed so that his biceps looked bigger.

I still love the Police, though.
posted by jrossi4r at 7:51 PM on January 30, 2007


Sting pissed off Miles Davis and lived? I may just have to reevaluate my opinion of the man.

Nothing would be as interesting as a Sex Pistols reunion so long as they got Sid to tour again.
posted by lekvar

Lord knows his playing ability would be none the worse.
Ditto the smell, probably.

posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:54 PM on January 30, 2007


I like "Tea in the Sahara."

Then again, I also love "Synchronicity II." So there.

Here's a good one: I was reading some of the comments on this thread to my boyfriend, who said: "So, has anyone called the Police 'emo' yet?"

Metafilter: Pretty Soon Someone's Going To Cry Emo
posted by bitter-girl.com at 7:56 PM on January 30, 2007


<derail>I have next to no opinion on the police, but this whole thread just reminds me how much I wish Waters and Gilmour could get along.</derail>
posted by flaterik at 8:00 PM on January 30, 2007


Flunkie, I love a good music-nerd fight as much as the next guy, but methinks you're being willfully obtuse. Yes, Sting wrote their best songs. He wrote most of their songs. Then he leaves The Police, and continues to write songs. A few decent ones on his first two solo albums, I'll admit, and then what? Flirting with technically tight but soul-less jazz, new age balladry, utter wankery.

Which is to say that arguably Copeland and Summers were the the annoying siblings who called him on his egotistical bullshit often enough that he could sit down and filter things down into great three-minute tunes.

And for Copeland, here's another vote for his film work. It's some pretty interesting stuff. And if you want to hear some excellent drumming, listen to "Murder by Numbers." Specifically the time change when the first verse begins. Sure, it's 3/4 to 4/4, but in the context of pop music that's pretty hawt.
posted by bardic at 8:09 PM on January 30, 2007


derail>I have next to no opinion on the police, but this whole thread just reminds me how much I wish Waters and Gilmour could get along.
posted by flaterik


Isn't this enough for you?
posted by Burhanistan at 8:10 PM on January 30, 2007


how much I wish Waters and Gilmour could get along

They did, shockingly, at Live 8. Sounded pretty good too.
posted by bardic at 8:12 PM on January 30, 2007


And what Burhanistan said, obviously.
posted by bardic at 8:13 PM on January 30, 2007


I really liked the Polish maintenance guys at the hotel in Greece that I managed for a while back in '89, who would go on and on about how much they loved 'Stink'. I thought at first it was some kind of eurotrash code for teh buttsecks. Like Stink himself though, it did get a little annoying after a while.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:15 PM on January 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


You know, flunkie, judging from your strong opinion about this, I'd surmise that you are pretty well-versed in various aspects of pop music, and are therefore able to compare, for example, the relative loudness in the mix of the drums on your average Police record versus virtually any other record by any other band. That's right - on Police records, the drums are really fucking LOUD. Even on quiet songs. The way the drums operate in that band simply helped define the very sound of the band. Now - was this right, or good? Well, that's another question. Did it contribute to Sting and Stewart not getting along? Probably. But to say that Stewart was merely a sideman to Sting and his writing abilities, I'd say that that's a fairly baseless position.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 8:22 PM on January 30, 2007


I saw them in '81 at Madison Square Garden when I was 16 thanks to my very cool older sister. Great show, it was right before MTV started and before Sting really became an ass. The Tom Robinson Band opened.
posted by octothorpe at 8:26 PM on January 30, 2007


Which is to say that arguably Copeland and Summers were the the annoying siblings who called him on his egotistical bullshit often enough that he could sit down and filter things down into great three-minute tunes.
If by "arguably", you mean "hypothetically", okay.

Moreover, I'm not sure why "keeping Sting grounded" is so obviously something that any other drummer (or guitarist or producer or wife or guru or whoever) would've found completely impossible, and why therefore, based on the evidenceless supposition that this actually occurred, Copeland so obviously deserves an immense share of the credit for Sting's prolific early years.

Finally, the sole evidence for any of this (i.e. "Sting needed to be grounded") in the first place could more easily be explained by the obvious:

Sting just got old, uninspired, and uncool.

It's happened to a lot of rockers, and is the norm, not the exception. That Copeland was there during Sting's young, inspired, cool days does not imply that he was the cause of it -- and that's the only thing your argument has going for it.
posted by Flunkie at 8:28 PM on January 30, 2007


That's right - on Police records, the drums are really fucking LOUD. (...) But to say that Stewart was merely a sideman to Sting and his writing abilities, I'd say that that's a fairly baseless position.
Could another drummer not have played that loud?
posted by Flunkie at 8:30 PM on January 30, 2007


Pissing contest about someone else's piss?
posted by Burhanistan at 8:32 PM on January 30, 2007


I would like to hear less Sting and more Copeland
posted by sswiller at 8:49 PM on January 30, 2007


Flunkie writes "Could another drummer not have played that loud?"

Nobody else sounded like him. The Police were alright, definitely competent musicians, but what always drew me to them was Copeland's playing. I played drums for years, and he always stood out as not only very talented but also someone who developed his own musical voice through his instrument. An average studio drummer would have just backed the tracks without intruding, and without imparting much at all. The band would have sounded very different with someone else.
posted by krinklyfig at 8:54 PM on January 30, 2007


I played drums for years
I have known several Copeland uber-fanatics. All of them assigned mystical, evidenceless, non-drumming value to Copeland's overall contribution to the Police.

And all of them were drummers.

Look, the guy's a great drummer. I'm not denying that, and in fact I've already pointed it out, without having been prompted.

But that doesn't really imply anything.
posted by Flunkie at 8:57 PM on January 30, 2007


Flunkie writes "I have known several Copeland uber-fanatics"

I'm not one of them. I don't own one album with him on it, and I don't think I could find a track with him on it in my digital files. I admire his musicianship a great deal, however.

"And all of them were drummers."

What does that tell you?

"Look, the guy's a great drummer ... But that doesn't really imply anything."

You doubt his influence on the band's music, as if anyone else could have made that sound, as if they were replaceable, as long as Sting was behind it. As a musician, as someone who knows a bit about what it takes to create a sound and a voice, I disagree.
posted by krinklyfig at 9:03 PM on January 30, 2007


It tells me that drummers assign large amounts of non-drumming value, without evidence, to Copeland's overall contributions to the Police. What does it tell you?

Your version of events may be God's Honest Truth; I'm not claiming it's incompatible with reality. It's just that there's no evidence that it is so.

What we know about those early years is that the Police pumped out a lot of great songs in a short time. And they were written by Sting.

And we also know that Copeland wrote a few forgettable ones along the way.

Oh, and he played loud.
posted by Flunkie at 9:08 PM on January 30, 2007


*sigh*

It was put forth pretty well from the mouth of the great leader:

No Eagles Reunion!

Same goes for you, Sting!


/totally thought we were over this shit

and it should be totally obvious, they'll do a 6-8 minute mashup playing part of, but not all of the following songs: Every Breath You Take (which will be the opener - mark my words), Roxanne, Can't Stand Losing You, King of Pain, Message in a Bottle, and Spirits in a Material World. Sadly, Wrapped Around your Finger, the only song I can swallow by the Police assuming it were wrapped in Bacon, will be omitted. Ironically, Kevin Bacon will play Sting in the bio-pic of the Police. How's that for synchronicity?
posted by Ufez Jones at 9:14 PM on January 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure why "keeping Sting grounded" is so obviously something that any other drummer (or guitarist or producer or wife or guru or whoever) would've found completely impossible

Because Sting's a raging egomaniac who decided to surround himself with the musical equivalent of "Yes Men" after he left The Police?
posted by bardic at 9:19 PM on January 30, 2007


and that's the only thing your argument has going for it

Actually, I gave you a specific example of Copeland being a pretty talented drummer by pop/rock standards. If you can prove that Sting snuck into the studio and erased Copeland and re-recorded himself like Paul did to Ringo, then you win.

But I see this is an emotional topic for you. I shall say no more.

(Unless I feel like saying more.)
posted by bardic at 9:21 PM on January 30, 2007


Great drummers are a dime a dozen. He's the Police's Ringo.

Maybe you're right, but you're still wrong. Anyone other than Ringo and the Beatles just would not have had that sound. Same with the Police. Watch their Hall of Fame induction video: Copeland is the one keeping it all together. His timing is impeccable, his energy crucial to their sound. In fact, in the HoF performance, Sting's playing show-off with his "Just Listen to my Sting Voice!" impression--heck, the only reason they sound like the Police in that performance is because of Copeland.

The Police fucking ruled. And Sting's a fucking wanker. Great song-writer, great voice, but still a first-class prick.

Kinda like the Beatles and Sir Paul.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:28 PM on January 30, 2007


I hope they do the one about the vegemite sandwich. That was gweat.
posted by kenlayne at 9:31 PM on January 30, 2007


Holy crap, didn't realize that it was so fashionable to be a Police hater! You all are apparently too hip and esoteric for me. Me, I like well written good alternative pop - that probably puts me in some Uncool club, but fuck cool clubs.

Also what's with the 'oh, Sting's such an asshole' talk? Bands break up - probably all three had something to do with it, as opposed to the pat excuse of 'ooh, lead singer had a huge ego'. Are people thinking he's an ass because of his environmentalism and political stances, or is it just cool to be a hater and hate the guy? I don't get that whole joy in hating people thing. That probably puts me in another uncool club.

Granted, talk of elder musicians reuniting usually makes me want to reach for something alcoholic, but not this time - as davebush and other fans have said, I'll be looking forward to it. Goosebumps indeed. Haters have fun hating - meanwhile, the rest of us will enjoy the music. Oh that's right - that's what it's about isn't it?
posted by rmm at 9:33 PM on January 30, 2007


Because Sting's a raging egomaniac who decided to surround himself with the musical equivalent of "Yes Men" after he left The Police?
Even assuming this "grounded" theory holds more water than the simpler "got old" theory, it is worth noting that at the time of the breakup, Sting was one of the biggest pop stars on the planet. It is not inconceivable that he had been grounded, Copeland or no, but that absurd levels of fame went to his head.

And even ignoring that (to remind you, we're now assuming that (1) His "cool to uncool" was due to him being "grounded" before the breakup and "ungrounded" afterwards, and (2) he was grounded before because someone else was grounding him), I have yet to see a reason to believe that Copeland was the one grounding him.

But let's assume that, too. So, we assume:
  1. "Cool to uncool" due to "grounded to ungrounded", rather than "young to old".
  2. His natural state is ungroundedness.
  3. Someone else kept him out of his natural, ungrounded state, rather than "immense fame went to his head".
  4. That someone was Copeland.
All assumed without evidence, mind you, but hey, let's play along.

Now we are left to explain how Zenyatta Mondatta - the midpoint of their output - was the last record that they actually worked on together as a band. According to them.

Before that album, on a typical album, they put out a bunch of great songs, written by Sting, and one or two Copeland and/or Summers tunes that time has forgotten.

After that album, on a typical album, they put out a bunch of great songs, written by Sting, and one or two Copeland and/or Summers tunes that time has forgotten.

This lack of change, despite Sting having lost Copeland's assumed grounding.

Again, maybe Copeland was the magical key to everything. I don't know. It's not inconceivable. But I don't think anyone else in this conversation knows that, either, yet I've seen far too many drummers act like the negation is inconceivable.

Despite the fact that the only thing we really know is that Sting wrote the songs we all remember.
posted by Flunkie at 9:39 PM on January 30, 2007


Oh Sting, where is thy depth?
posted by kirkaracha at 9:39 PM on January 30, 2007


It tells me that drummers assign large amounts of non-drumming value, without evidence, to Copeland's overall contributions to the Police. What does it tell you?

it tells me that you are a stubborn man who doesn't know a groove from a grind ... after all, genius, the fact that they were able to come up with that rock/reggae hybrid at all had everything to do with copeland's skills and little to do with sting's songwriting

by the way, i'm a guitarist, not a drummer and it's my opinion that copeland's the best musician in that band

Oh, and he played loud.

he was mixed loud, you mean ... shows what YOU know

by the way, copeland had to have something going for him ... after all the police were the 2nd fairly well known band he played in ... yeah, go figure, he was the experienced guy in that group
posted by pyramid termite at 9:42 PM on January 30, 2007


My point about Stewart Copeland's volume - that is to say, his volume in the mix, not necessarily the volume that he played it, which are different - is that his sound contributed to the overall sound of the band in a FUNDAMENTAL way. Again, I realize that this is a difference of opinion, and yours is different from mine, so it's all good. I'm just going to make two more points here in support of my opinion:

1) Show me another drummer who played like Stewart Copeland? His snare sound, his compositional approach to arranging his parts, where parts change relative to the song, HOW they change, when he chooses to drop the snare drum out, his feel, his groove - these are all expressions of HIS artistry. EVEN if we believe that Sting made all of these decisions for him - an absurd supposition - it's still STEWART COPELAND playing the parts. And the Police were, after all, a TRIO. To suggest that any one member of the band didn't influence the sound of the band fundamentally is an absurd point. I doubt Sting told Andy and Stewart what to play - that's not what writing a tune means. That IS what ARRANGING a tune entails, and I'd bet that that was more of a group effort. In fact, I heard an interview with Andy Summers about 6 months ago wherein he explained how he came up with his part on "Every Breath You Take". Sting wrote the tune - noone disputes that, but Andy wrote the guitar part. And Stewart wrote his drum parts, and in so doing, was instrumental (no pun...) in defining the sound of the Police.

2) The Police came out of REGGAE, for crying out loud. How do you play Reggae - or, for that matter, music influenced by Reggae - and NOT have the drums play a central role? Unverifiable, but I'll bet you anything that Sting wrote tunes with Stewart's playing in mind - and Andy's. With two such powerful musicians at your disposal, you'd be foolish not to.

OK, sorry for ranting. I think the Police rock, hope I get a chance to see them this year.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 9:44 PM on January 30, 2007


after all, genius
Why are you insulting me?
by the way, i'm a guitarist, not a drummer and it's my opinion that copeland's the best musician in that band
  1. My point has nothing to do with his musicianship
  2. In fact, I've said, more than once, without being prompted, that he's a great drummer
  3. Am I to be impressed that you're a guitarist? Should I mention that I've been in bands? Does that matter at all?
he was mixed loud, you mean ... shows what YOU know
Please. Please read the thread you're responding to. Please. I was not the one who brought up drum volume as an indicator of Copeland's value.
posted by Flunkie at 9:50 PM on January 30, 2007


Burhanistan and bardic: Yeah, I saw that, and was blown away by how good it was. I even went through a fair amount of effort to de-AOLify the official videos so I could have the videos & mp3s on my ipod. . . I just wanted them to tour afterwords so I could see it live.

I did see Water's DsotM tour, which was really damn good, but... I wanted Gilmour to be there too.

...really I'm just bitter that I have no time machine and thus can't see a real Pink Floyd show, among other things.
posted by flaterik at 9:55 PM on January 30, 2007


It's like meeting some perfectly lovely woman in her mid-thirties who still has Duran Duran posters as the focal point of her decor

Heh. Conversation circa 2002 between dreamsign and his SO (back when she knew me only a little)

SO: what you picking up at the record store?
dreamsign: Def Leppard
SO: really? what album?
dreamsign: Pyromania!!
SO: ...uh... isn't that about 20 years old?

(not that I decorate with music posters or anything)

The Police was huge for me as a teen. I'd love to see them, but I'd be afraid, as some others have suggested, that the tunes would be changed almost beyond recognition for 'stylistic' purposes.

Also, that Police-Beatles comparison is dead on in terms of the roles of the various bandmates. Sorry, George.
posted by dreamsign at 9:57 PM on January 30, 2007


My point has nothing to do with his musicianship

you don't have a point ... copeland came up with the basic grooves that were the police's sound ... without that groove, sting's songs would have sounded pedestrian, for the most part ... (his later career offers plenty of evidence for that)

Am I to be impressed that you're a guitarist?

you needed to know that it's not just drummers that hold copeland in high esteem

Please read the thread you're responding to.

please don't repost other people's mindless opinions without thinking through them critically

you said he played loud ... own your words
posted by pyramid termite at 10:00 PM on January 30, 2007


I'll watch the Grammy Awards this year, for the first time, just to see the Police perform.

About Steward Copeland... don't forget Pecker.
posted by dtp at 10:01 PM on January 30, 2007


you don't have a point
Okay.
you needed to know that it's not just drummers that hold copeland in high esteem
For, what, the fourth (?) time, I think Stewart Copeland is a great drummer.
you said he played loud ... own your words
Good lord. Yes. I said "Oh, and he played loud". Yes. I said that. Yes.

Now please look at context.

Good night.
posted by Flunkie at 10:05 PM on January 30, 2007


im in ur poleez stingin ur drummer
posted by papakwanz at 10:12 PM on January 30, 2007


Good lord. Yes. I said "Oh, and he played loud". Yes. I said that. Yes.

Now please look at context.


the context was you being an utterly dismissive jerk about copeland's contribution to the police's sound, i believe

you've yet to refute my statement about his being responsible for the group's groove or why that is it important

you can't, that's why
posted by pyramid termite at 10:20 PM on January 30, 2007


You two should start a band.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:43 PM on January 30, 2007 [2 favorites]



Great drummers are a dime a dozen. He's the Police's Ringo.


C'mon, Klark Kent is great. Sure Sting has had more success after the breakup, but heck, Kim Deal sold more albums than Frank Black and it doesn't mean she's a better musician.
posted by bobo123 at 11:00 PM on January 30, 2007


Copeland the Ringo of The Police?

Ringo fitted into the Beatles' sound. But The Police fitted into Copeland's drums (they're big drums).
posted by FieldingGoodney at 11:07 PM on January 30, 2007


Hold up -- Copeland is Ringo? No, Copeland is Lennon. Sting is McCartney. Then the comparison works.

No offence to Ringo, but Copeland is one hell of a musician (note: I did not say 'drummer' -- just look at the man's soundtrack work).

For the Sting-bashers, yes the man is an arrogant twat, but he does have talent. His musical evoluation post-Police just has no resemblance to what it was before, so his fan base was largely built from scratch on styles that alienated his former fans (largely jazz, pop, and new-agey Bruce-Cockburn-enviropap). Some of his earlier solo stuff was not bad, though I think quality had an inverse relationship to popularity for pretty much all of it.
posted by dreamsign at 11:30 PM on January 30, 2007


Since this has devolved into a who-is-the-better-drummer thread, I will be the bad guy who brings up the unjustly dismissed; Tommy Lee, and Lars Ulrich.

Yeah, both are easy to hate for really good reasons, but the music geek in you has to admit that both of them, before they got famous for being assholes, had some honest talent in their trade.

Sure, one was a tripod with a hottie wife, and the other just ruined a good band, and became all that is wrong with music today. But when you go back to the origins, you can't deny that both of these guys had the percussive skill. They might not match up to the greats, but no one can deny that they both changed music as we know it. For better or worse, these are the forefathers of the music that plays on our radios today.

And to fall back on topic, both of their bands at their worst, were better than The Police at their best.
posted by quin at 11:39 PM on January 30, 2007


"...fueling speculation that the hit 1980s British band is planning a reunion tour."

We are living in the materialist world.
posted by pracowity at 12:10 AM on January 31, 2007


The Police are one of those bands that people have every right to get nostalgaic about.

You know, unlike, say, Van Halen.
posted by tehloki at 12:54 AM on January 31, 2007


Are any other reggae fans out there as tickled as I am by the "OMG the drums DOMINATED the Police's pop sound!" thingy going on in this thread?
That said, Synchronicity II = one of the best songs ever written.
posted by eparchos at 1:12 AM on January 31, 2007


Can I point out that Andy Summers is a god? And that you can still hear his influence to this very day in hundreds of other (lesser) guitar players?
posted by signal at 1:35 AM on January 31, 2007


Copeland was a hugely influential drummer. He had an idiosyncratic approach to mixing rock and reggae, and a distinctive kit balance that was widely copied. (Piccolo snare, octobans, splashy cymbals, etc.) Great technique that sat up well in the mix, too. I also like the Tony Williams-style open high-hat thrash he fills up so much spectrum with.

Ask any drummer.

/bass player
posted by Wolof at 2:39 AM on January 31, 2007


I went to see the Police at Shea Stadium in 1983 with 70 some odd thousand other devotees on what ended up being one of their last shows in the US. A relatively unknown band from Athens, GA opened up that day (nothing to do with anything, Joan Jett played in the second slot). I mostly remember the show as the first time I ever saw R.E.M., the Police were by that time irrelevant.

The Police get props for putting out two excellent records (though I hold the Cars'* first two in even higher regard), but they got less interesting over time. They were already pretty dull by Ghost in the Machine, despite the relative coolness of Invisible Sun.

* Another band who failed to progress in any interesting way after their first two excellent records.
posted by psmealey at 4:32 AM on January 31, 2007


Since this has devolved into a who-is-the-better-drummer thread, I will be the bad guy who brings up the unjustly dismissed; Tommy Lee, and Lars Ulrich.

C'mon. Tommy was a great straight ahead rock drummer, I don't think anyone denies that. Despite how thoroughly cheesy Motley Crue was, I still have been known to put Too Fast For Love in heavy rotation on occasion. But I wouldn't elevate him to the pantheon. And Lars? Really? As much as I like Metallica, and certainly the early stuff, I definitely think he's the weakest link in that band.
posted by psmealey at 4:37 AM on January 31, 2007


Hey, check it out . . . "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" stands the test of time. That "Sting" dude is a bass-playing motherfucker.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:25 AM on January 31, 2007


Making the argument that 'Copeland < Sting' is like saying that Robbie Robertson was the true 'mind' of The Band, while Levon Helm was 'just the drummer'. It's just a silly stance to have.
posted by oliver_crunk at 6:32 AM on January 31, 2007


YAY, eparchos! Another "Synchronicity II" fan -- now I don't feel so alone.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 6:37 AM on January 31, 2007


I am happy about this. Be sure to read up on Stewart's father, he had quite the illustrious past. Ironic that Miles III's booking agency was FBI (Foreign Bookers International) and Ian's label was IRS records. Growing up as a Middle East Intelligence brat must certainly have influenced their collective musical tastes.
posted by rzklkng at 6:39 AM on January 31, 2007


Personal favorite = "So Lonely".
posted by rzklkng at 6:49 AM on January 31, 2007


Can I point out that Andy Summers is a god? And that you can still hear his influence to this very day in hundreds of other (lesser) guitar players?

Andy Summers was a great guitarist in The Police, but was a real "noodler" as solo artist (Golden Wire as an exhibit - very Miami Vice). As a song-writer, I liked "Omegaman" - I guess he was the George Harrison of The Police writing the odd great track with some some duffers along the way ("Mother" springs to mind).

My favourite Police album has to be Regatta de Blanc. Anyone who thinks Copeland didn't influence The Police's sound to a great degree should listen to the title track or No Time This Time.
posted by FieldingGoodney at 6:55 AM on January 31, 2007


Also, the trailer for Copeland's rockumentary, Everyone Stares, and a little something I made for you all...
posted by rzklkng at 7:10 AM on January 31, 2007


I guess he was the George Harrison of The Police writing the odd great track with some some duffers along the way ("Mother" springs to mind).

That's not the right allegory. Summers was sublime. While technically (and legally) Coupland and Sting wrote the songs, that's not really how it works in practice. Summer has an immense chord vocabulary, and the sophisticated and understated voicings he used colored every single Police song. So, while the writing credits might not have been his, his imprint is felt profoundly throughout the entire Police catalogue.

The rich (and very difficult to pull off), arpeggiated chord voicings employed in "Message in a Bottle" and "Every Breath You Take", to name just two examples, made those songs every bit what they were. Imagine those tunes, with guitar parts comprised ust of standard maj, min or min 7th chord voicings (pretty much the extent of most rock guitar players' knowledge), and they would end up sounding pretty lifeless.
posted by psmealey at 7:11 AM on January 31, 2007


FieldingGoodney: yes! Listened to RdB on the way to work today and realized that the title track is probably one of my favorite Police songs.

In all the Copeland-loving comments (which I agree with) nobody's mentioned his album The Rhythmatist which is FANTASTIC and seems to be his launching point, style-wise, for a lot of his soundtrack work.
posted by papercake at 7:12 AM on January 31, 2007


bobo123! I loved my green Klerk Kant 10-inch!!

Then again, I loved all things Police-related, when I was thirteen. Too young to see them at Bookie's, all I could do was pine. I had the first single, "Fall Out" (with Henry Padovani on it, pre-Andy, and written by Stewart, might I add), and all sorts of recorded ephemera that I may or may not still have. I even had a baseball shirt with a plasticky iron-on from the cover of Zenyatta Mondatta, on the front.

I finally got to see Sting at Pine Knob during the Dream of the Blue Turtles tour. It wasn't the same, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

Now I think of Sting as somewhat of an artifact. I associate him more with tantric sex and elevator music, instead of the very scary, sexy man who I loved when I was young.
posted by pinky at 7:23 AM on January 31, 2007


Here in Vancouver, talk radio has been delivering breathless updates about alleged "sightings" of members of the trio, who are reportedly holed-up at some north shore rehearsal space.

Since they showed up, the entire city has been blanketed in a veil of thick fog. Coincidence? Or a miasma exuded by them as a side effect of their deal with Satan? I'm pretty sure I know which answer I'd choose.

Walking On The Moon was awesome-- that song and Making Plans for Nigel convinced me in 1979 that it might be safe to listen to the radio again. I have no feeling one way or the other about the rest of the catalogue, except that I've always hated that stalker anthem Every Breath You Take. *shudder*
posted by jokeefe at 7:42 AM on January 31, 2007


so just to be clear, i'm the only one in the room who likes Sting's solo work? Fields of Gold guys, c'mon
posted by radiosig at 8:43 AM on January 31, 2007


Goodness gracious there's some shit-slinging going on here. Calm down boys.

I just wanted to say that the Police are rumored to be one of the headliners at this years Bonnaroo music festival.
posted by daHIFI at 8:57 AM on January 31, 2007


In case nobody above has said it, "Please Don't Stand So Close to Me" seems fairly obvious.

"Hey Andy, take a few steps back. No, a little more. Just a couple more. Yes, right there behind the curtain. Great."
posted by billder at 9:04 AM on January 31, 2007


Synchronicity II = one of the best songs ever written

Nope. Use "loch" or "lake," but don't use both in the same song to refer to the same body of water.

The Police get props for putting out two excellent records (though I hold the Cars'* first two in even higher regard)

I used to have an excellent Police/Cars mix tape.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:21 AM on January 31, 2007


Do you guys even remember what radio was like when the Police Debuted in 1978-1979?

The best you could hope for, as far as uniqueness, was Elvis Costello, Blondie or Cheap Trick in a sea of same-ol-shit like Anne Murray, Peter Frampton and Earth Wind And Fire.

It was amazing bands like The Police got popular at all. The sound was seriously different that 90% of the stuff we had back then. And it paved the way for the great alt stuff of the eighties. So I can forgive Sting for wanting to make some real cash by doing New Age Whale Music.

The Police were great for what they were. Pop. The reunion? Well I like it that the kids get their own shot at what is relevant today and the old folks already had their shot and should shut up. I don't give two shits about or watch the Grammys anyway. But it might be nice to see if the Police could get it together.
posted by tkchrist at 9:28 AM on January 31, 2007


Do you guys even remember what radio was like when the Police Debuted in 1978-1979?

Good point. Punk was in full force in that period, but unless you had a cooler old brother or sister or had access to a low wattage hip college radio station (fortunately, I did) supplying you with access to the Clash, the Damned, the Ramones, the Sex Pistols, etc., very little of it was getting to you.

I would say the lone bright spot in arena rock at that time was ACDC, but the airwaves were mostly dominated by the smug, insipid, uninspired crap that Jackson Browne and the Eagles were putting out, else it was the horrendous pop from Barry Manilow, and some really tired shit from the Kinks, the Who and Led Zeppelin.

But it might be nice to see if the Police could get it together.

The Police in their prime were notorious for not rehearsing prior to going out on tour, and their early shows on each tour suffered terribly for it. I wager some cash that they won't sound very good at all, given that it's been more than a decade since they've played at all.
posted by psmealey at 9:45 AM on January 31, 2007


I would say the lone bright spot in arena rock at that time was ACDC, but the airwaves were mostly dominated by the smug, insipid, uninspired crap that Jackson Browne and the Eagles were putting out, else it was the horrendous pop from Barry Manilow, and some really tired shit from the Kinks, the Who and Led Zeppelin.

Don't forget the Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack, which was inescapable. I've come to appreciate it in retrospect, but at the time I just felt like I was being slowly tortured by soundwaves.

I just wanted to say that the Police are rumored to be one of the headliners at this years Bonnaroo music festival.

Oh sweet mother of... I can't imagine a worse fit. Or yes, I can, but this is just...

Hold it. Have the Glastonbury headliners been announced yet? It's The Who, right? What the hell is going on here?
posted by jokeefe at 10:13 AM on January 31, 2007


I mean, just to rant, who the hell would pay to see The Who perform in 2006? Why? I saw them in 1981, and even then there was a whiff of necrophilia around the whole enterprise.
posted by jokeefe at 10:17 AM on January 31, 2007


And that was twenty-five years ago, fer crissakes.

We were all there to see The Clash, who were also on the bill, and who were being widely derided for selling out by playing with dinosaurs.

I'll be quiet now.
posted by jokeefe at 10:18 AM on January 31, 2007


Lawn, uphill both ways, three feet of snow, blah blah blah. [/too much caffeine]
posted by jokeefe at 10:19 AM on January 31, 2007


Erm, who would pay to see The Who perform in 2007, even?

Either too much coffee, or not enough. *wanders away muttering*
posted by jokeefe at 10:22 AM on January 31, 2007


I like Anne Murray, tyvm.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:25 AM on January 31, 2007


posted by rzklkng
Be sure to read up on Stewart's father, he had quite the illustrious past


I've posted about that in the past here
posted by augustweed at 11:35 AM on January 31, 2007


who the hell would pay to see The Who perform in 2006? Why? I saw them in 1981

I saw The Who's farewell tour. In 1982.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:30 PM on January 31, 2007


The Police were great for what they were. Pop Reggae.

Fixed.
posted by eparchos at 3:11 PM on January 31, 2007


Well, they could play Every Fucking Breath You Fucking Take and it'll suck arse.

Or they could come on, rattle out some Can't Stand Losing You, So Lonely and (especially) Fallout in under 10 minutes before walking off, and it'd be the gig of the year.

Sadly I think I know which way it's going to turn out.

[UK persons over about 32 may recall them being interviewed on BBC2 during the last tour at $some_american_stadium and Copeland & Sumner "jovially" throwing each other around towards the end in between answering questions. Apparently that was the incident which resulted in several ribs bring broken and no further conversations occurring between them for three years.]

In honour of previously-mentioned green vinyl 10-inchers, my copy was actually within sight and I've just put it on the turntable which *still* sits near the TV in my house, thanks for asking.

np: Don't Care, Klark Kent

Also, fwiw, I think that after Every Little Thing, Darkness is the stand-out track on that album.
posted by genghis at 3:56 PM on January 31, 2007


*frowns at tkchrist, blasts "shining star" and "september"*
posted by pyramid termite at 5:14 PM on January 31, 2007


they'll play some fucking lame medly of their more popular shit, though I'm wishing for Synchronicity II.
posted by spish at 8:44 PM on January 31, 2007


Wow! I am not sure what to think. I used to be a huge Police fanatic back in the day. I still love their music and think it's really great but I'm just not as crazy about the band as I was then. One of the things, though, that I always respected the Police for was for not doing one of those pathetic, past-their-prime, don't-know-what-else-to-to, cash-in, desperate reunions that everyone else is doing. Oh well... Maybe ten years ago this would have been a great idea. I'm just a bit worried that they won't be able to pull it off anymore. Then again, those clips from the HoF performance show that they might still have it, at least until Sting goes off on some strange new vocal tangent. And I can't believe how old Summers looks.

I have to say that I do love Sting's solo stuff, not all of it of course, but there are two or three brilliant songs on every album. Sure, there is a lot of flakiness but Sting is still Sting.
posted by blue shadows at 10:22 PM on January 31, 2007


Fields of Gold guys, c'mon

DROBT was excellent, just nothing like The Police.
Actually, what blue shadows just said.
posted by dreamsign at 12:59 AM on February 1, 2007


Can a Jam reunion be far off?
posted by kirkaracha at 5:13 AM on February 1, 2007


Can a Jam reunion be far off?

Now that I'd get excited about. Recent gigs by the Gang of Four were fantastic, and the Pixies reunion wasn't exactly a disappointment, either.

Now if only I still fit into my narrow-leg black Levis...
posted by jokeefe at 10:57 AM on February 1, 2007


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