Re: PM:X2 Thorsday Soundoff - 30 January

Author:John Frank
Date:2020-01-31 16:49:24
In Reply To:Re: PM:X2 Thorsday Soundoff - 30 January by Matt Johnsen
The Police - Every Move You Make: The Studio Recordings, Do Do Do Do, De Da Da Da (Japanese/Spanish, '86), Mont de Marsan 1977-05-08. Every Move You Make is a new box set of all The Police studio albums, plus a bonus disc of studio b-sides. It's somewhat infutriating in that it doesn't include ALL of the band's non-album studio cuts, and in fact includes fewer than were on the Message in a Box set from the 90s. It does, however, include a SINGLE track that was omitted from that earlier box set (the atrocious "remix," which is actually an entirely new recording, of "Truth Hits Everybody," that Sting and Andy must have shat out in a couple hours of preproduction for Synchronicity. The drums are programmed, the arrangement blows, and Sting sounds bored. Nevertheless, it's nice for completists like me, because this track was only previously available on a couple very rare vinyl singles from the 80s. I owned it as the b-side to the Dutch 45rpm single for "Synchronicity II"). That said, this set is actually amazing, if only for the mastering. The entire catalog was remastered at Abby Road, and it's simply astounding how good these albums sound after all these years. The sound is so vastly improved that I struggle to understand how they so badly botched the last two rounds of remastering (in 2003, and before that for Message in a Box). All those De Do Do Dos are studio cuts that were not collected on Message in a Box. The first two were from a double A-side single comprising Japanese and Spanish language cuts of the original recording. These HAVE been officially released on CD since Message in a Box (the Japanese one was included on a bonus 3" CD with the initial Japanese pressing of a compilation called The Very Best of Sting & The Police, and the Spanish one was included on a comp of English-language pop groups performing songs in Spanish), but the officially released CD versions (especially the Spanish one) sound like shit compared to my original vinyl single. The song was also re-recorded in 86 for Sting's doomed effort to release an entirely re-recorded comp of Police hits, which also yielded the rather awful "Don't Stand So Close to Me '86." The '86 version of DDDD,DDDD was long only a fable, but it was eventually released, without any acknowledgement, on the SACD and CD-DTS versions of the reissue of Every Breath You Take, The Singles, which was the comp originally released in '86 that included the remake of "Don't Stand So Close to Me." It's even worse than that other re-recorded Zenyetta Mondatta track, and it's clearly not even a proper rendition but a demo featuring Sting and Andy only. Lastly, I went back in time and listened to this earliest known live recording of The Police, which was also the last show to feature the original second guitarist, Henry Padovini. The Mont de Marsan festival was a pretty famous punk fest headlined by The Clash, and the set played by The Police includes a bunch of songs that they never recorded in the studio, or which radically changed form before they were. The sound on the copy I have is pretty decent for an audience boot of unknown providence from 1977, but it still sounds crummy. And that's all I'm going to say about The Police for this week, students!
That was really scary. At least you did not write it in ALL CAPS, I guess.

"It's not exactly a horrible album, but it's no better than something by, I dunno, Pagan's Mind or some other shirt-tucking nerdprog band." - Matt Johnsen of Pharaoh
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