Over 35 years after "Every Breath You Take" took the charts by storm, Police drummer Stewart Copeland thinks guitarist Andy Summers deserves a bit more credit for the song's success. Copeland was publicizing the new Police box set Every Move You Make: The Studio Recordings, and chatted with Classic Pop magazine about the band's biggest hit, which topped the charts for a whopping eight weeks and snagged the band the 1984 Grammy for Record Of The Year.
Copeland explained, "The demo was obviously a hit, but it was nothing like the current version, as Sting was singing the chords over a Hammond organ. Andy went, 'Guys, hello? We're a guitar band?' Andy is truly clever with harmony and worked out the song's arpeggiated guitar figure. One of our favorite in-band riffs is that, when Puff Daddy sampled 'Every Breath You Take' on 'I'll Be Missing You,' he sampled Andy's guitar figure, not the melody or the lyrics. Me and Andy go, ' Go on Sting, pay Andy his royalties,' and Sting will say, 'Okay Andy, here you are. . . ' Not reaching anywhere near his wallet."
Copeland admitted he hasn't listened to a Police album in full "since July 1983, or when ever it was that we'd finished mixing Synchronicity. . . We made great records, despite the fact it wasn't very comfortable to make them. It's only now that we understand what our conflict was about and acknowledge that everyone's point of view was valid. And we had a very strong work ethic. Nobody ever shirked, nobody ever stayed home."
He went on to say that the Police was a true team: "All three of us were always leaning forward — and that's the personality in each of us that led to the conflict: one person was anointed the god of all music, while the other two were still pushy sons of bitches. Among all that tension, there was always a positive attempt to make it work."
Every Move You Make: The Studio Recordings collects all five of the Police's legendary albums along with a 12-track, sixth disc entitled Flexible Strategies featuring exclusive bonus material of non-album recordings and B-sides. Copeland said, "I really like our B-sides. . . I wish Sting had sung some of Andy's songs. I thought a lot of them were pretty catchy. . . .It astonished me that my favorite Police song is in the B-sides column. . . There are other songs on Synchronicity I would have swapped for 'Murder By Numbers.' I really like our B-sides."
Stewart Copeland told us that by the time the Police headed to Montserrat to record 1981’s Ghost In The Machine, there just wasn’t enough room to fit everyone’s ideas onto the tracks: ["It became harder and harder to put aside our creative vision and deal with each other. And even though we were very, very tight socially — and, y'know, when we were not making music, we were (laughs) getting along really well. The only thing we disagreed about was music. Strange, because that's why the whole world was interested in us, was the music that we made while screaming at each other. But, I think the explanation is, rather than three guys, who grew up in the same town, and loved the same music — you're gonna make, kind of one-dimensional music. But, we're three different guys, who grew up in different places, and have different ideas about what music is for — let alone what we like. That means that the band is going to be multi-faceted."] SOUNDCUE (:42 OC: . . . be multi-faceted)
Stewart Copeland On Police Studio Tensions :