Key To Music Grades

A - You will never be whole without it
B - Highly recommended
C - Flawed, but still pretty good
D - It's your money, not mine
F - Why couldn't this have been burned in Fahrenheit 451?

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Police - Reggatta De Blanc (1979)

Despite my frequent protestations concerning reggae's lack of discernible musical oomph in general, I am quite the sucker for it on Reggatta De Blanc, my favorite Police album. Master Cianan, also a reggae-hater, will become roiled if I even describe this album as being reggae-tinged, but the music speaks for itself; and besides, the album is called "White Reggae." Kiss my sharries, dude.

"Message In A Bottle" is possibly the Police's best-known song, but it holds a special little place in my head as evidenced by the multiple indents on my steering wheel (thanks Stew!) Anyone who thinks that drums should be relegated to the background obviously haven't heard hi-hat syncopation at its finest; that and Andy's repetitive guitar sequence in this song is mesmerizing at worst. The other well-known song, "Walking On The Moon" is so fucking good I wish it would materialize in tangible form so I can eat it. And I'm always hungry.

Otherwise, if you're still reading, it's because you're still interested. Populism is unfortunately a hacking bitch who never stays off my heels and I've got to appease those who only listen to FM radio and buy compilation albums. Actually, that's a lie; I just wanted to see if you were paying attention -- it's been awhile since I've posted. "Reggatta De Blanc," for those real Police fans out there or those who want to indulge mightily, is a loose rocking instrumental with an unforgettable groove; I dig the shit out of this one, especially since it follows "Message." Does anyone think Andy's guitar lines on "Bring On The Night" are amazingly beautiful? I love how his presence is quietly understated and yet he completely controls the song. "On Any Other Day" is a fun little number that sounds like a leftover from Music Madness From The Kinetic Kid that Sting somehow permitted to be on the album -- you know, before they fucking imploded with internal strife and split. All in all, this one is a doozy of a listen. If you love the Police, this may top your list as well. A


bob_vinyl said...

For years, I considered this my favorite Police album (and the more common fav, Zenyattà Mondatta, to my least favorite). Last year (after seeing them I suppose), I revisited the entire Police catalog over the course of a day or so and Reggatta didn't hold up as well. Sure, "Message in a Bottle" is one of their best tunes and "Walking on the Moon" isn't far behind. After that though, it gets a little thin (and by thin I mean most of the rest of the album is good to very good rather than outstanding). Interestingly, I also found that there's not a ton of difference between their best and worst work. Reggatta and Synchronicity are perhaps their least consistent albums and that is probably a greater tribute to the band than anything else.

Isn't it bizarre that Sting went on to be a soulless lite jazz sap who had more in common with Kenny G or new age than with good rock or jazz?

Master Cianan said...

On any other day is fucking great great great. I always enjoyed the obtuse little gems that Stew or Andy would wheedle Sting into allowing on the album.

Bob: you're right about there being little difference between their best and their worst. I'd never made that connection before, thanks.

Master Cianan said...

Oh, I'd like to mention that I have the Klark Kent (pronounced Klerk Kunt, BTW) album and it's just swell.

The Mad Hatter said...


That's funny because growing up I always thought Synchronicity was their best and Reggatta as my least favorite; now I've flip-flopped them. But you're right, there's not too much difference, quality-wise, with their best and worst. They just fucking rule. That said, Sting solo sucks. Frightfully bizarre that he took off in such a snooty shit-filled direction. I'm glad to he temporarily gave up the lute to reunite.

Master Cianan,

Those gems are hit and miss, but they definitely change up the mood of the album. I have the Kollected Works of Klark Kent it's some interesting stuff, for sure.

bob_vinyl said...

I'm generally pretty down on reunions and I'm totally down on that hypocritical, grown-up Sting, but I someone gave me a ticket to last year's Virgin Fest in Baltimore. I was actually gonna skip the Police, but ended up breaking down and watching them. In the end, I'm glad I did, because they did capture some of the magic. It makes me wonder what Sting is up to if he still has something left in the tank.

You know, I have that Klark Kent album and I never knew it was Stewart Copeland. Now I have to listen to it again. I have it out now and I think it's gonna jump to the front of the pile for tonight's listening.

The Mad Hatter said...

They did say they were up for another album possibly. Which is a dangerous proposition, I think, because like you said, there's not much difference in quality from album to album, and I kind of think a new one would be a letdown.

"Don't Care" is my fave from Klark Kent. He's got some kooky fun stuff.

bob_vinyl said...

I'm listening to the Klark Kent right now (on a green vinyl 10", no less) and I can't believe I didn't realize this was Copeland. It is cool, but it also shows why the three together were greater than the sum of their parts. And unlike Sting, at least it's good.

The Mad Hatter said...

Oh without a doubt. Together they were the perfect symbiosis. Even when Andy worked with Fripp it was an interesting, although mismatched, kind of cohesion. Stew is pretty imaginative and has a good sense of humor to boot. It's not really an amazing listen, but still worth it.