I finally did it after all these years... well, ten anyway.
I purchased The Police Live! 2-disc CD set. Why is this a big deal? It's not... not in the grand scheme of things. It is kind of cool for me though. I've wanted to see this band live since junior high (now commonly referred to as "middle school"” where I currently reside). Trust me, that's been a good while now. All of the members are still alive (as far as I know) but I highly doubt a reunion tour will ever materialize. As far as I can ascertain the last two shows they played together were the 1986 Amnesty International concert (which I recall seeing & taping) and Sting's wedding in 1992 (which I do not recall seeing or taping). Aside from the Amnesty show, I saw the Synchronicity concert video and I suppose that is as close as I will ever get...
So now I have this two disc set that was released ten years ago. It's recordings from two shows. The first in Boston in 1979. This must have been the Reggatta de Blanc tour, as Sting mentions "Walking On The Moon" as being from the "new album." It's a blast! Blast from the past. LOL This stuff is great! The band is full of energy and confidence. Stewart Copeland is one of my favorite drummers ever and he definitely soars on this set! Andy Summers guitar is energetic & warm. The really nice thing about this show is you can hear the guitar and the bass. They aren't competing for the same frequencies which you find in some recordings where the lines between guitar and bass are blurred--particularly today where guitar based music is usually much heavier, even in pop songs. This power trio shines in these live renditions of their early classics particularly considering the archaic equipment used in putting it to tape.
The second show was taped in Atlanta, 1983, the last tour. Synchronicity. The sound is fuller and perhaps a bit more polished but the essence & energy is still there. Sting's voice sounds better. More control? Mature. I remember a quote from one of them, something about how you really learn to play from touring (or was that a U2 quote? I don't recall at the moment). I believe it. This show has the classic Police guitar tones in there (Summers' signature chorus sound), but it's definitely edgier which is really cool. The drumming as always is impeccable. The mix is well done. One thing I have always enjoyed about Summers style on guitar was his ability to create atmosphere without overwhelming the mix. The songs could still breathe. That carries over live as well. I think it's useful for building tension and anticipation in a piece. The folks producing the solid walls of over-compressed ultra-distorted guitars that you find in a lot music today could take some queues from these guys. Dynamics matter in a well arranged piece of music. I find that lacking a lot today, but I also see that trend somewhat dissipating as time moves on. One can only hope. Overdoing any one thing in your playing can invite boredom in the listener...
Dynamics in music. Man I wish more producers would remember that concept. You don't have to peg the meters all the time, but what do I know?
Well, let's just say I shouldn't have waited ten years to get around to this one. Good thing those "buy one get 12 free CDs"” clubs are still around! ;-)
My favorite Police album? Ghost In The Machine
Tags: The Police music live