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Message In a Box

The Police

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Album Review

Despite their legendary status, the Police only released five albums during their brief reign from 1978-1983. In addition, the trio had amassed a healthy amount of both studio and live B-sides, plus songs that only appeared on soundtracks. For the 1993 four-CD box set Message in a Box: The Complete Recordings, every single song the Police ever recorded is included. All the tracks were digitally remastered for the project, sounding superior to the original CD versions of the single albums. Also included is a 68-page booklet that includes an interesting (and often humorous) biography, a time line, and notes from all three bandmembers regarding the rarities that appear for the first time on compact disc here. But of course, the real charm of the box set is the music — album tracks ("Hole in My Life," "It's Alright for You," "Driven to Tears"), hits ("Message in a Bottle," "Can't Stand Losing You," "Spirits in the Material World"), and rarities ("Fallout," a live version of "Next to You") are all timeless classics. While the set is highly recommended to newcomers just discovering the wonders of the Police, longtime fans should consider replacing their tinny-sounding single CDs with the definitive Message in a Box. After all, it contains a total of 24 tracks unavailable (for the most part) anywhere else.

Customer Reviews

Absolute must-have collection

The songs on this excellent box set speak for themselves. The Police combined elements of punk, ska, reggae, pop, rock, new wave, proggressive rock and such into one unique package. No other band sounds like The Police, and their influence has never waned. Look at all the acts that have followed them that have sighted them as an influence. And if you ask me, Sting was never the same after parting company with Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland in 1986, but thankfully with their recent reformation, that has changed. I'm not going to suggest to check out Message in a Bottle or Wrapped Around Your Finger...everyone knows these songs. But this box set includes many lost classics, whether they be album cuts, b-sides or live cuts, and here are the ones I suggest you check out. You may not like them immediately, but give them a long listen and you will be rewarded! Truth Hits Everybody: listen to the sample! Next To You (live): neo-punk rock! It's Alright For You: again, listen to the sample! Deathwish: excellent Summers guitar work and a very moody piece Does Everyone Stare: featuring Copeland vocals at the start...a diverse and interesting composition Visions of the Night: listen to those lead vocals! The Bed's Too Big Without You (Mono Version): superior to the album cut Friends: an absolute cult classic Summers b-side...with some of the oddest lyrics ever put to tape Canary in a Coalmine: great almost ska-like beat Bombs Away: long lost classic track Behind My Camel: this is a Summers b-side and won a weird it's endearing Man in a Suitcase: about life on the road, with an excellent guitar/bass/drums driving beat Shambelle: again, another excellent Summers b-side, this time a driving instrumental with guitar sonics Omegaman: a Summers-penned track with Sting on lead voclas that was supposed to be the first single from Ghost in the Machine Secret Journey & Darkness: the excellent last two songs on the Ghost in the Machine album Low Life: a little sax in this one, but it works Miss Gradenko: a Copeland song with excellent instrumentation and Sting's witty vocal delivery Someone To Talk To: a Summers song with him on vocals. Great song...Sting should have sung this one, as Summers originally requested. It was originally the b-side to Wrapped Around Your Finger I Burn For You: originally slated for the Synchronicity album...excellent and powerful track Once Upon a Daydream: the original b-side of "Synchronicity II"

Partial Album?

I have the hard copy of this, and all the songs are in the iTunes version.....there's nothing partial about it. I just thought I'd inform anyone who is hesitant about downloading it.

The Greatest Compilation Ever!

I can't stand it when ITunes only has part of an album. This is a must have for anyone! Through this collection you can tell how much the Police evolved over the course of 6 years. All the tracks are great, not just the hits.


Formed: 1977 in London, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Nominally, the Police were punk rock, but that's only in the loosest sense of the term. The trio's nervous, reggae-injected pop/rock was punky, but it wasn't necessarily punk. All three members were considerably more technically proficient than the average punk or new wave band. Andy Summers had a precise guitar attack that created dense, interlocking waves of sounds and effects. Stewart Copeland could play polyrhythms effortlessly. And Sting, with his high, keening voice, was capable of constructing...
Full Bio

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