Friday, July 9, 2010

The Police - Greatest Hits


Listening to the Police just brings me back to one summer in my youth, when Outlandos D'Amour and Regatta de Blanc formed the soundtrack of one very large, boozy, freewheeling trip by a bunch of friends I largely still see to this day.  It was the holidays in between high school and - whatever came next - for the group of 18, and we camped on the South Coast of NSW for what seemed like weeks.  Some of us (hi, Richard!) in two-man tents while others dossed down in the communal large tent where we'd gather for drinking games in the evenings.

And while that trip is still memorable for the very rude version of Hotel California we created (Hotel Aphrodisiac, very puerile) the musical soundtrack of that summer remains, for me, the Police's first two albums.  Oddly not Zenyatta Mondatta, even though it was released that year.

And it's the weird tracks, not the singles, that still resonate with me today. So while this collection's great, and features many of their stand out songs, the mere thought of listening to Be My Girl - Sally, It's Alright For You and Peanuts makes me resolve - we need the WHOLE COLLECTION (YourZ sez: yes, we do)  so we can play it for the 50th birthday reunion in a couple... of... years... *shudder* When did I get to be so old, anyway?



I was the eldest of 5 children and, as a teenager, my brother and I shared a detached studio in my parents' back yard (okay, for real, it was a large, insulated garden shed, but it was ours).  The necessity of this came about because my father, who was in the Armed Forces, was only a junior rank and could only get a three bedroom house.  How we survived with one bathroom, I still don't know.

Anyway, the point I was trying to make was that my brother and I would spend a lot of time in The Shed listening to music and trying to decide which rock star we most wanted to be.  One of the bands that was always on our list was The Police and, in particular, their album Reggatta de Blanc.  I recall seeing Walking On The Moon on the Australian music television institution, Countdown, numerous times before finally getting the album.  From then on, every thing they released, I owned.  I still have most of it too, on flat black plastic. (Mine says: I've got Ghost in the Machine on FBP but my cassette(!) of Outlandos & Regatta one album per side died years ago)

As a Greatest Hits compilation, this one is fair.  The big hits certainly are here, including the most inanely-chorused song in the world, De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da (what were they thinking) as well as some great album favourites.  But as Mine points out, it's subjective.  Personally, I would have plumped for Bring On The Night, On Any Other Day and Driven To Tears.  What would you have picked?


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  1. Another one of those 'buy the vinyl on the day of release' bands. Strange that I really don't play them much now. Of their time...springs to mind. However, play me 'Message in a Bottle' and I'm right there. Stewart Copeland - one of the best drummers ever? No contest.

  2. Martin, I agree with you completely. 'Message...' as well as 'Walking On The Moon' take me right back there. I don't know about 'of their time'. I think they're still as relevant as ever. Sting as an actor, on the other hand, well...