5/16/2009

Milestones: Regatta de Blanc

[Our series of posts on albums, movies, etc. which celebrate significant anniversaries this year continues with this one. -KJ]


THE POLICE

Regatta De Blanc

(A&M-1979)


Bearing a faux francais title--it's supposed to translate as "white reggae"--the trio's sophomore effort is definitely a step forward sound-wise from its predecessor. Its punchy bass, crisp drums and aggressive, but well-defined guitars came to be known collectively as "the Police sound"--widely imitated but never quite equaled. Kudos to producer Nigel Gray.

While Andy Summers has no solo-penned songs on this one, Stewart Copeland contributes three, two of which are among his very best: the humorous birthday nightmare "On Any Other Day" and the jazzy "Does Everyone Stare?" Of course, once again Sting wrote the bulk of the material--including such live staples as "Walking On The Moon", "Bring On The Night" and the all-time favorite among non-casual fans, "Message In A Bottle"--but Regatta is the most collaborative of Police albums as far as songwriting is concerned.

It also includes their best attempt at straight-up reggae: "The Bed's Too Big Without You". Legendary reggae producers/sidemen Sly & Robbie produced a cover of this last song, while The Roots' drummer ?uestlove is on record stating that "no pop album is more perfect than side two of Regatta De Blanc." Talk about props…

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