ARTIST: The Police
TITLE: Outlandos d’Amour
YEAR RELEASED: 1978
CHART ACTION: #23 US, #6 UK
SINGLES: Roxanne (#32 US, #12 UK), Can’t Stand Losing You (#2 UK), So Lonely (#6 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Next to You
LINEUP: Sting, Andy Summers, Stewart Copeland
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Pseudo punk trio creates album with some fantastic songs based on reggae and new wave. It slowly builds momentum for the band.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Recording when they could, for a very low budget, the Police’s debut album has some brilliant songs done in varied styles. Many were influenced by ‘punk’ and indeed they originally came out as a punk band. But when Andy Summers came into the group that quickly went away. (Summers had a long career going back to his work with Zoot Money and Eric Burdon. He wasn’t fooling anyone.)
Most of the songs are excellent, with Sting coming up with inventive lyrics and arrangements and the band switching from new wave to reggae and sorta-punk with no problem. There were some throwaways on there, don’t get me wrong, and thus it’s not a complete album. But the singles above and a few of the deep cuts are fine representations of a band, indeed, a UK music industry, transitioning out of punk and into…something else.
While if you’re looking to fill your Police album collection, you may not want to start here, but don’t skip on the really good stuff.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Stewart Copeland played with Curved Air for a while before forming the Police. Also, the UK didn’t buy their stuff until they hit in the US and the record company re-released their stuff.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.
GRADE: B+: Six, maybe seven great songs out of 10.