Outlandos d'Amour (Remastered)

Outlandos d'Amour (Remastered)

Going by their backgrounds, The Police were one of the most unorthodox bands associated with the nascent punk era. Vocalist-bassist Sting worked as a school teacher by day and a jazz musician at night, while drummer Stewart Copeland was a tour manager and drummer for the prog band Curved Air. And guitarist Andy Summers had been kicking around the British music scene since the 1960s, with stints playing with (among others) Soft Machine and The Animals. When the musicians came together as The Police, they filtered these disparate influences into a lively debut album, Outlandos d’Amour. Fittingly, the trio made the album with another unexpected pick: engineer Nigel Gray, a medical doctor who moonlighted in music and operated the Surrey Sound Studios. Recorded on a shoestring budget over six months, Outlandos d’Amour included the expected raucous barn burners (“Truth Hits Everybody”) alongside laid-back reggae rock (“So Lonely,” “Can’t Stand Losing You”) and quirky pub rock (“Hole In My Life,” “Born in the 50’s”). Musically, Sting’s nimble basslines meshed well with Copeland’s fluid grooves, giving Outlandos d’Amour a crisp, no-nonsense rhythmic foundation, while Summers dug into his arsenal of experience for guitar riffs. An urgent vocalist, Sting brought depth and sincerity to these yearning songs—which also helped the tango “Roxanne” (featuring a narrator who tells his beloved she no longer has to work in a red light district) an unexpected hit. And in what would become a hallmark for The Police, the album contains a few sonic curveballs—the laugh and uneasy piano at the beginning of “Roxanne,” or a spoken-word bridge on the tensile “Be My Girl—Sally.” In the end, Outlandos d’Amour is one of the most influential albums of the punk era—a forward-looking record that captured the excitement and energy of the burgeoning New Wave movement.

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