Here’s your ticket to some of the best (or, perhaps, most infamous) 7″ singles ever released! No adapter is required, although in my opinion the device pictured below is right up there with Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls as one of the best inventions of the 20th century.
My love for The Police really began during the summer of 1982. That was my first summer with access to MTV, and the videos for “Spirits In The Material World” and “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” were in constant rotation on the new 24-hour music channel. 1981’s Ghost In The Machine remains my favorite Police album to this day, although I think all five of the band’s albums are superb in their own way. Ghost In The Machine has an almost eerie computerized sheen to it that makes it unique in the band’s catalog, and the track that benefits the most from this sound is “Spirits In The Material World.”
Unlike most of the band’s work to that point, you can barely hear Andy Summer’s usually distinctive guitar in the final mix of “Spirits.” Sting’s keyboards and bass line dominate the song’s sonic landscape, but Stewart Copeland’s infectious playing on the chorus and fade make it very clear that you are still listening to The Police. Summers was supposedly very unhappy with the finished mix, but time has proven that the band did the right thing– live versions of “Spirits In The Material World” featured Summers in a more prominent role, but the song just didn’t have the same magic in the live setting.
The b-side of the U.K. 7″ single for “Spirits In The Material World” was “Low Life,” an older song from Sting that sounds like it might have been an outtake from 1980’s Zenyatta Mondatta. The Police often issued some of their more bizarre material on the flip sides of their 45s, but “Low Life” is a great pop song that would have made a fine addition to any Police album. Sting obviously liked it as well, as he featured “Low Life” during his 1985 solo tour in support of The Dream Of The Blue Turtles.
“Spirits In The Material World” peaked at #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 in early 1982.
The Police: Spirits In The Material World [U.K. 7″]
A&M Records, 1981
A-side: “Spirits In The Material World” (Sting)
B-side: “Low Life” (Sting)
The first rule of The Analog Kid blog is that if you write about a song on the Analog Kid blog, you share the song on the Analog Kid blog.
The Police: “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” (Sting)
From the album Ghost In The Machine
A&M Records, 1981
Sting: “Low Life” [Live] (Sting)
From the album Bring On The Night
A&M Records, 1986