Great Rock Albums of 1981: The Police- Zenyatta Mondatta

220px-Police-album-zenyattamondatta

This classic album from The Police first came to my attention when my ship had pulled into Rota, Spain for the final stop before sailing across the ocean and home. I didn’t clock it at first when I went in the PX although it was there, I heard about it when the ship got a two month out of date tape of old Casey Kasem who presented the US chart show back then. On that episode, he showed the video to the album’s first single “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” and I must say that I liked it. Although I have to say that a friend of mine liked it more because he used to sing it a lot, even one night when after a bit too much to drink, tried to dance while singing and ended up on his bum. God, the things that trigger memories.

Casey Kasem, anyone remember him?

Casey Kasem, anyone remember him?

With “Zenyatta Mondatta,” The Police once again prove that the rock/reggae fusion works well. The fusion is very plentiful throughout the entire album, the only possible exception being the penultimate song “Shadows in the Rain” which sounds rather spacey to me. Still even that’s not a bad song. What I find more interesting and I didn’t really notice it when I first heard the album all those years ago is that Andy Summers does bend the six string a little bit on a couple of songs. The most noticeable is the third track “When the World is Running Down, You Make the Best of What’s Still Around” and it leaves me to wonder what Andy would have actually sounded like if he had been given more autonomy on the guitar. Still, he does play well as does Stewart Copeland on the drums. Back on the subject of the album, I found the track “Canary in a Coal Mine rather good too and of course there is the other big single, the one I used to call “The baby talk song:” “De Do Do Do De Da Da Da.” There are also a couple of good instrumentals on it which, shoots down the myth believed by younger Police fans who never heard them until their last album that they were all about Sting. What rubbish!

Track Listing:

1. Don’t Stand So Close to Me

2. Driven to Tears

3. When the World is Running Down, You Make the Best of What’s Still Around

4. Canary in a Coal Mine

5. Voices Inside My Head

6. Bombs Away

7. De Do Do Do De Da Da Da

8. Behind My Camel

9. Man in a Suitcase

10. Shadows in the Rain

11. The Other Way of Stopping

The Police

The Police Sting- lead vocals, bass, synthesiser Andy Summers- guitar, guitar synthesiser Stewart Copeland- drums, percussion, synthesiser “Zenyatta Mondatta” is a good steady rock album with songs that are consistent throughout. Like other musical trios whose albums I’ve visited here, it shows plainly that three can sometimes be enough. I won’t get on here again till after Christmas Day so I’ll wish everyone a Merry Metal Christmas now! If you’re stuck for something Christmasy to listen to, you could try the Christmas album I visited this time last year, tee hee.220px-Bob_Rivers_-_I_Am_Santa_Claus_cover

Next post: Fleetwood Mac- Live To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London 

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6 Responses to “Great Rock Albums of 1981: The Police- Zenyatta Mondatta”

  1. First album of the Police I got and I was also lucky to see the Police Picnic in Toronto August of 83.
    Fantastic band…….amazing they pulled the plug(or was it Sting) at the top of there game. No one ever does that!

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  2. The Police got better with each album until they peaked with Synchronicity and called it a day. Judging by Sting’s solo albums it sounds like he was looking for more complex arrangements and less ‘rock.’ The irony is he ended up playing alongside the likes of Vinny Colaiuta and Dominic Miller, who between them could make a hell of a racket.

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