Andy Summers Says ‘Every Breath You Take’ Was Crap Until He Got To It

6a017d3e0f2550970c01a3fce69300970b-800wiEamon O’Neill of Eon Music had an exclusive chat with the ex-police guitarist at the Progressive Music Awards in London a few weeks ago where he picked up the ‘Guiding Light’ Award.

Let’s remember “Every Breath You Take” is one of the most played songs of all time. There’s probably 100-500 radio stations around the world playing the tune right now.

Summers confirmed all the reports of the tensions between him and Sting and drummer Stewart Copeland back in 1983 during the recording of their biggest and their last studio album, “Synchronicity.” The guitarist says, “All the interaction between us at that particular point was really difficult – we were not in a really good place.”

So Sting brings in this tune. Summers says, “No one knew what to do with it. He [Sting] came in, and he had this song that actually sounded very prog rock; it sounded like Jon Anderson, with big rolling synthesizer chords. It didn’t sound anything like how we eventually did it, and there was a lot of argument about the drums and bass, and how to get the basic rhythm track down”.

Summers added that Sting asked him to go in the studio booth and. “kick it around.” as everyone sat there looking at him with their arms crossed.

The guitarist told Eon Music, “It was crap until I played on it, and then it emerged. I went in, and of course I had my Police guitar style down; it was very simple chord sequences, standard pop, and I laid that track down, virtually in one take. I just knew what to do with it; the licks. I had it right there, and they all stood up, and applauded”.

I met the Police in 1980 when they were touring their “Zenyatta Mondatta” album and they didn’t seem to get along even back then. They have all grown up but let’s just say back then they were a challenging bunch of brilliant musicians. – by John Beaudin

John Beaudin has been in major market radio (Edmonton, Vancouver & Calgary) for 33 years and a music journalist since 1989. He graduated from Broadcasting school as a news man so he would have the skills to write about the artists that inspired him since he bought his first album, “Madman Across The Water” by Elton John as a teen. In the 80’s Beaudin was the host of the syndicated radio show “The Cross Canada Report” which had two version (Rock and A/C) He has anchored every position in radio including morning and afternoon drive and was a Program and Music Director for The Breeze and California 103 in Calgary. He currently hosts the popular Lovesongs at QM-FM in Vancouver.

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