Album #433 – Reggatta de Blanc

Album #433

Reggatta de Blanc is the only Police album I don’t own physically and it’s really a shame. The title sums up the sound of the album, loosely translated from French as White Reggae. It was what they became known for. On their first album, Outlandos D’Amour, the trio had their reggae sound but, partly because of finances and also because of the time, their sound was more raw and punky. On their second album, the raw edge has started to disappear and reggae has become an integral part of The Police’s sound and style. This album also marks a collective effort for the group. It took one month to make and they entered the studio with no rehearsals and wrote on the fly incorporating jams and songs written before the group’s formation into the songs for Reggatta de Blanc. Also surprising, no synthesizers are played on this album, something that dominated their final two albums. Nigel Gray is more of an engineer than producer (he owned the studio where it was recorded) but, instead of listening to their record label, the band decided to stick with the same producer and studio, yielding better results. Also unique about Reggatta de Blanc, it isn’t all about Sting. Stewart Copeland wrote three of the album’s tracks, sang lead vocals on two and even played guitar while Andy Summers co-wrote two tracks and played piano on one. Sadly, this attitude would reach it’s boiling point through the next four years due to egos and pressure getting in the way of creativity. The Police’s sound was shaped with this album and to me, only rivals Synchronicity for the finest album of their career. Highlights include: Message In A Bottle, Bring On The Night, Deathwish, Walking on the Moon, On Any Other Day (the best song I’ve ever heard written about a bad day), The Bed’s Too Big Without You (this song instantly takes me back to my trip to Alberta with my sis in ’02. The song was a constant soundtrack during our trip to Edmonton) and No Time This Time. Overall, I give Reggatta de Blanc, 5 out of 5.

Next: Live at the Witch Trials by The Fall

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