Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday Morning Videos: "Don't Stand So Close to Me '86"

I found myself listening to Certifiable: Live in Buenos Aires, the double-disc live recording which came out of The Police's big 2007-2008 reunion tour, this past week. I was stunned. I'd heard a lot of stuff, both good and bad, about their playing and shows during that tour, and Melissa and I did want to see them (they played in both Dallas and Kansas City; we might have been able to make it to either one). But between being short on disposable funds, and just not being super enthused by the prospect of seeing these guys 30 years after their prime as a band, we let both those opportunities pass us by. What a terrible move. If Certifiable is even just a remotely accurate reflection of what the reunited Police gave their fans, then I missed what probably would have been one of the greatest nights of live music of my life.

Well, life goes on; at least I have the cds. (Thanks, Scott!) Listening to their recreation of old hits puts me in mind of the last time they tried that, just before they gave up on the band all together. I've shown their earlier video of this, arguably their single greatest song as a group, before...and I still think I prefer the looser, rougher sound of the 1980 original. But this "new" (that is, only twenty-five years old!) version, with Copeland playing around with the drum machine, and much of the early jazz-reggae stylings all smoothed out, still packs a tremendous punch. I can remember sitting on the grass under a tree somewhere on the BYU campus back in 1987, listening to this on my Walkman, then rewinding, and listening to it again and again and again. Sting would have approved, I think.


Martin said...

Wow. That version is definitely more haunting than the original, and probably more appropriate to the lyrics. I like it a lot, but I like the 80's version better too. It's just a part of high school.

AbbotOfUnreason said...

How is it I never noticed the mention of Nabokov before? Probably I didn't know who that was when I listened to this back in the day.