Live! (The Police album)

Live album by
Released May 29, 1995 (1995-05-29)
Recorded 27 November 1979; 2–3 November 1983
Venue Orpheum Theatre, Boston, Massachusetts; The Omni, Atlanta, Georgia
Genre New wave
Length 144:07
Label A&M
Producer Andy Summers
The Police chronology
Every Breath You Take: The Classics


The Very Best of Sting & The Police

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars [1]
Entertainment Weekly B+[2]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars [3]

Live! is a live album by The Police, released in 1995 on compact disc and cassette tape. It is the first live album of the band, and the only one covering the period when it was active. (A live album from the reunion tour, Certifiable: Live in Buenos Aires, would be released in 2007).

Contents [ edit ]

According to Andy Summers, the idea of releasing an album of live material by The Police went back as far as 1982. Up until that point, a few live tracks had only surfaced on B-sides and compilations such as Urgh! A Music War (1980). The plan was to have a new album of the band to act as a stopgap between Ghost in the Machine (1981) and Synchronicity (1983). The record was mixed and mastered in Canada but never released.[4] Similar plans took place in 1984 at the tail of the band's Synchronicity tour, but the project was shelved again, this time in favour of a greatest hits album (Every Breath You Take: The Singles). In 1995, thanks to the technical possibilities and greater running time offered by the CD format, the idea regained momentum and Summers was invited to produce. The album features the band performing at two very distinct periods of its career. Disc one contains almost the complete concert on 27 November 1979 at the Orpheum Theatre in Boston, Massachusetts. It features mostly material from the first two albums, Outlandos d'Amour and Reggatta de Blanc, as well as songs only released as singles or B-sides such as "Fall Out" and "Landlord". The performance was broadcast by the WBCN (FM) radio in Boston. Disc two contains excerpts from two concerts on 2–3 November 1983 in Atlanta, Georgia at The Omni during the Synchronicity tour for the album of the same name. On this occasion the band was augmented by three backing vocalists. Both shows were widely known to fans as they have been circulating in bootleg format for many years. The 1983 shows were also featured in the 1984 Synchronicity Concert VHS and the 2005 DVD release, and a live version of Tea in the Sahara has been released as the B-side of King of Pain in 1984.

Live! contributed to refresh the popularity of The Police about a decade after their break-up, at a time when all the three members were enjoying successful solo careers. It also had the merit of showcasing the band's live activity, and their propensity for rearranging and extending known songs such as "Roxanne" and "Walking on the Moon". An edited version of "Can't Stand Losing You" from the Boston performance was released as a single and reached number 27 in the UK charts, while the album itself reached number 25.[5]

Reception [ edit ]

Live! was generally well received. David Sinclair in Q magazine noted how the album added an important dimension to the band's recorded legacy by offering a reminder of why The Police were one of the great performing acts of their day.[6] Paul Colbert from Encore Magazine wrote: "It may have taken 10 years for a live album to materialise, but these two CDs were worth the wait, capturing two essential periods, two indispensable sets of material".[6] Andrew Abrahams emphasised the difference between the two performances, observing how the one in Boston "captures a hungry rock band on its ascent" while the one in Atlanta "is more predictable, revealing a super-group that has settled into fame and commercial acceptability".[6] In an interview in Q Magazine, Sting seemed to agree with this point. "I remember those small gigs so much better than the stadium shows. I can remember pretty well every night of the first tour: which gigs had tricky stairs to negotiate with the gear; what was said in the dressing room; which encores we did. But a stadium just looks like a stadium".[6]

Track listing [ edit ]

All songs written by Sting except when noted.

Disc 1 [ edit ]

  1. "Next to You" – 2:57
  2. "So Lonely" – 7:32
  3. "Truth Hits Everybody" – 2:34
  4. "Walking on the Moon" – 4:59
  5. "Hole in My Life" – 4:08
  6. "Fall Out" (Stewart Copeland) – 2:46
  7. "Bring On the Night" – 5:16
  8. "Message in a Bottle" – 4:27
  9. "The Bed's Too Big Without You" – 8:53
  10. "Peanuts" (Sting, Copeland) – 3:07
  11. "Roxanne" – 4:42
  12. "Can't Stand Losing You"/"Reggatta de Blanc" (Copeland, Sting, Andy Summers) – 7:54
  13. "Landlord" (Sting, Copeland) – 2:27
  14. "Born in the 50's" – 4:18
  15. "Be My Girl – Sally" (Sting, Summers) – 4:51

Disc 2 [ edit ]

  1. "Synchronicity I" – 2:52
  2. "Synchronicity II" – 4:44
  3. "Walking in Your Footsteps" – 4:54
  4. "Message in a Bottle" – 4:35
  5. "O My God" – 3:36
  6. "De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da" – 4:32
  7. "Wrapped Around Your Finger" – 5:21
  8. "Tea in the Sahara" – 4:52
  9. "Spirits in the Material World" – 2:57
  10. "King of Pain" – 5:53
  11. "Don't Stand So Close to Me" – 3:46
  12. "Every Breath You Take" – 4:37
  13. "Roxanne" – 6:10
  14. "Can't Stand Losing You"/"Reggatta de Blanc" (Copeland, Sting, Summers) – 6:48
  15. "So Lonely" – 7:26

Personnel [ edit ]

The Police
Additional personnel (disc 2 only)
  • Michelle Cobb – backing vocals
  • Dolette McDonald – backing vocals
  • Tessa Niles – backing vocals

Production [ edit ]

  • Producer: Andy Summers
  • Executive producers: The Police and Miles Copeland III
  • Engineers: Wolfgang Amadeus and Eddie King
  • Assistant engineer: Jun Murakawa
  • Photography: Lynn Goldsmith and Jill Furmanovsky
  • Art direction and design: Norman Moore

References [ edit ]

  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ "Live!".
  3. ^ "The Police Live".
  4. ^ Andy Summers, One Train Later, Piatkus, London, 2007
  5. ^ The Police in the UK ChartsArchived 26 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine, The Official Charts.
  6. ^ a b c d "The Police Live!". The Police.
What is this?