Stewart Copeland Says The Police Fought Like “Cat and Dog” In The Studio

A promotional portrait of the British rock band The police (L-R)" Sting, Stewart Copeland, and Andy Summers, circa 1983. (Photo by Showtime/Courtesy of Getty Images)

Every Breath You Take

The Police released one of their most famous tracks, “Every Breath You Take,” in 1983 off their Synchronicity album. The song was written by frontman Sting and became the band’s only #1 hit on the Billboard charts. During the 26th annual Grammy Awards the track was nominated for Song of The Year, Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals, and Record of The Year. Sting himself won an award from the British Academy for the song, the Ivor Novello Award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically.

So, how is it that there was so much hostility between the bandmates during the studio recording of the song?

NETHERLANDS – OCTOBER 04: AHOY Photo of POLICE and Stewart COPELAND and STING and Andy SUMMERS, L-R: Sting (playing Fender Jazz bass), Stewart Copeland, Andy Summers performing live onstage (Photo by Rob Verhorst/Redferns)


The Show Must Go On

The Polices’ drummer, Stewart Copeland, was interviewed by Rhythm Magazine about the band’s studio recordings- in relevance to the release of their new vinyl boxset.

Regarding the drumming in “Every Breath You Take,” Copeland says-  “The drum part was composed rather than played. That was done with a click and we had a big battle about it. By that time, Sting had bonded with the Oberheim hi-hat sound, which did have a hypnotic quality. I insisted on playing the hi-hat myself.”

ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS – APRIL 10: Stewart Copeland of The Police performs on stage at Ahoy on 10th April 1980 in Rotterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Rob Verhorst/Redferns)

The drummer concludes about the back and forth in the studio, “We went back and forth finishing that song and we fought like cat and dog over the fucking hi-hat. I doubt if anyone can tell from listening to the record. But the drum part was composed. It was all overdubs.”

Listen to the resulting masterpiece below…