Sunday, 22 April 2012

Reggatta de Blanc - The Police (1979)

Reggatta de Blanc was the second album by The Police, released in 1979. It features the band's first two number 1 hits, "Message in a Bottle" and "Walking on the Moon".
The album took four weeks to record, spaced over several months. Unlike its successor, Zenyatta Mondatta, there was no pressure on the band. Stewart Copeland described it, "We just went into the studio and said, 'Right, who's got the first song?' We hadn't even rehearsed them before we went in."
Against the wishes of A&M, who had wanted to equip the promising band with a bigger studio and more famous producer, the Police opted to again record at Surrey Sound with Nigel Gray. The small budget (between £6,000 and £9,000) was easily covered by the profits of their previous album, Outlandos D'amour, further ensuring that the record label would have no control over the actual creation of the band's music.
Whereas Outlandos d'Amour had benefited from one of the most prolific songwriting periods of Sting's life, the recording sessions for Regatta de Blanc were so short on new material that the band even considered re-recording "Fall Out" at one point. To fill in the gaps, Sting and Copeland dug up old songs they'd written and used elements of them to create new songs. Much of the lyrics to "Bring on the Night" were recycled from Sting's Last Exit song "Carrion Prince (O Ye of Little Hope)", and "The Bed's Too Big Without You" similarly started as a Last Exit tune, while "Does Everyone Stare" originates from a piano piece Copeland wrote in college.
The album's title is a pseudo-French translation of "White Reggae".
The Police,Outlandos D'Amour / Reggatta De Blanc,France,DOUBLE CD,482275
The instrumental "Regatta De Blanc", one of the few songs written by the Police as a group, came from the long instrumental break in the live performance of "Can't Stand Losing You" and earned the band the 1980 Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Performance for "Bring on the Night" is about the execution of Gary Gilmore - though purely by accident. Under its original title of "Carrion Prince", the song was about Pontius Pilate. After adapting it into "Bring on the Night" for Regatta de Blanc, Sting read The Executioner's Song and was shocked that the intentionally abstract lyrics he'd written fit exactly with Gilmore's life story. He claims that since then, "I sing it with him in mind." "The Bed's Too Big Without You" was covered by reggae singer Sheila Hylton in 1981, which became a UK Top 40 hit.

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