Every Breath You Take: The Classics

Every Breath You Take: The Classics

Lean, taut and evocative, the sound of the Police arrested the attention of the rock world in the late ‘70s. Cool textures, insistent beats and brooding lyrics defined this virtuosic yet visceral trio. Every Breath You Take: The Classics, a revised collection of the Police’s most familiar tunes, emphasizes their mastery of the singles format. Stewart Copeland, Andy Summers and Gordon “Sting” Sumner downplayed their technical chops in favor of New Wave edginess, but even a casual listening to their signature songs reveals their musical gifts. From early reggae exercises like “Roxanne” through snappy pop tunes like “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic” and elegantly-flowing numbers like “Every Breath You Take,” the Police show impressive range and depth. Sting’s vocals — often smolderingly passionate, sometimes darkly introspective — could convey themes of erotic danger (“Don’t Stand So Close to Me”), free-floating angst (“King of Pain”), and pure escapism (“De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da”) equally well. Even when aiming for the Top 40, the band laid down challenging grooves, driven by Copeland’s intricate percussion and embellished by Summers’ luminous guitar. It’s all here in this no-nonsense summation of the Police’s productive heyday.

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