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The Police: Live! (Remastered)

The Police

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Album Review

To coincide with their 30th anniversary reunion tour in 2007 the Police released the anthology The Police, the first two-CD retrospective ever assembled on the group. They may not have had a double compilation to their credit, but they had single discs and box sets, which may raise the question of whether they need a set like this — and the answer is yes, but this set falls just a bit short of being the definitive Police double disc. At only 28 tracks, this feels a little too slim. It may be twice as long as 1995's Every Breath You Take: The Classics (and, in a way, that was only 12 tracks, since that contained the 1986 remake of "Don't Stand So Close to Me" and a classic rock mix of "Message in a Bottle," which were little more than padding), but there are a handful of Police staples that are missing, including "Born in the '50s," "The Bed's Too Big Without You," "Shadows in the Rain," and "Rehumanize Yourself," and the heavy emphasis on Synchronicity (all but three songs from the LP are present; yes, Andy Summers' bizarro "Mother" is one of the tunes missing in action) threatens to overwhelm the second disc. That said, Synchronicity does deserve such a heavy exposure, given that it's the band's biggest album, and it's hard to argue with the rest of the selections here since it covers all the familiar hits and most, but not all, of the second-tier classics including "Truth Hits Everybody," "Bring on the Night," "Canary in a Coalmine," "Driven to Tears," and their first single, "Fallout." It may not seem like much, but if those aforementioned four tunes were here, The Police would have all the core songs from the trio and this would be truly definitive, but as it stands this collection stands as simply an excellent overview.

Biography

Formed: 1977 in London, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '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
The Police: Live! (Remastered), The Police
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