11 Songs, 34 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Emerging on the pop scene in the late ‘70s as spiky, blonde punks, the Police carefully shifted their image and sound towards a grander sophistication more in line with their professional pedigree as the new decade began. (Drummer Stewart Copeland had performed with the progressive group Curved Air, while guitarist Andy Summers was a veteran who had played with progressives from Kevin Coyne to Kevin Ayers). Their third album, 1980’s Zenyatta Mondatta, used the recording studio to great effect, fleshing out the band’s skeletal attack with a variety of overdubs. The group’s expert chemistry is displayed throughout, as the supple, effortless flow of “Canary in a Coalmine,” the instrumental complexity of “Voices Inside My Head” and the magical strut of the band’s mega-hit “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” immediately establish. The band intuitively understood how to balance their textured sonic ambitions with the simple economy of the pop song. “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da” perfectly illustrates this easeful embrace of elliptical rhythms and the pure musical joy of nonsensical syllables. A musical education can be an entertaining endeavor after all.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Emerging on the pop scene in the late ‘70s as spiky, blonde punks, the Police carefully shifted their image and sound towards a grander sophistication more in line with their professional pedigree as the new decade began. (Drummer Stewart Copeland had performed with the progressive group Curved Air, while guitarist Andy Summers was a veteran who had played with progressives from Kevin Coyne to Kevin Ayers). Their third album, 1980’s Zenyatta Mondatta, used the recording studio to great effect, fleshing out the band’s skeletal attack with a variety of overdubs. The group’s expert chemistry is displayed throughout, as the supple, effortless flow of “Canary in a Coalmine,” the instrumental complexity of “Voices Inside My Head” and the magical strut of the band’s mega-hit “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” immediately establish. The band intuitively understood how to balance their textured sonic ambitions with the simple economy of the pop song. “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da” perfectly illustrates this easeful embrace of elliptical rhythms and the pure musical joy of nonsensical syllables. A musical education can be an entertaining endeavor after all.

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