Police nearly ‘throw away’ every breath you take – Reuters
Andy Summers says Sting and Stewart Copeland were ready to drop “Every Breath You Take”.
The former Police guitarist recalled his ex-bandmates clashing with the now-legendary riff of the 1983 hit from their fifth and final album, ‘Synchronity’, before the 79-year-old worked on it its magic.
Speaking to Guitarist magazine, Andy said when asked if he knew the rock classic was a hit purely from the iconic guitar part: “Well I didn’t just sit there brag.
“It was more about keeping those other b*******s happy.
“This song was going to be thrown away.
“Sting and Stewart couldn’t agree on how the bass and drums were going to go.
“We were in the middle of ‘Synchronicity’ and Sting said, ‘Well, go ahead, go ahead and make it yours.’
“And I did it in one take. They all stood up and clapped.”
“Every Breath You Take” was the biggest US and Canadian hit of 1983, topping the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart for eight weeks.
It went on to win the Grammys for Song of the Year and Best Pop Performance at the 1984 ceremony.
Sting also received the 1983 Ivor Novello Award for Best Musical and Lyrical Song from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors.
Andy added: “And, of course, this fucking thing went around the world, straight to number 1 in America.
“And the riff has become a kind of immortal guitar part that all guitarists have to learn.”
The rock legend also revealed that the three of them were in separate rooms for most of the recording of their latest record.
He said, “Synchronicity” was just me, alone in the studio with all my kit.
“Sting in the control room playing bass through the Neve desk.
“And Stewart in the room above the studio because of the acoustics and the separation that Hugh Padgham [producer] sought.
“We played most of these tracks with headphones.”
The band broke up in 1984 and the band’s former drummer Stewart, 69, later admitted the ‘conflict’ cost them their friendship, until they later realized it was their differences over the music that were causing their breakup.
He said: “For Sting, music was a pain reliever, an anaesthetic, a means of escape from the evil, harsh and sinister world, to a place of total, unassailable and unblemished beauty.
“For me, it’s a party: let’s light up this room and have fun.
“It can overlap – we’ve done five albums as Police.
“But the conflict grew and grew, from this diversity of goals.
“And now we understand that, and Sting and I get along great…as long as we don’t play music!”
Within a year of forming in 1977, the three members began bickering over Sting’s control of the group.
In his 2006 tome, “One Train Later,” Andy recalled a fight during a recording session for their 1981 album, “Ghost in the Machine.”
The chart-topping group reunited for a world tour in 2007, which ended in 2008.
Sting said in 2010 that he didn’t want to join the band because he found the music they were making uninspiring.