Andy Summers revealed that the Police have started on a decade-long plan to revamp and expand the band’s catalogue. The legendary guitarist has just published his first book of short stories, titled, Fretted And Moaning.
Summers revealed a deluxe, expanded version of the band’s second album, Regatta de Blanc, is in the pipeline, as well as fully restored and remastered version of their legendary 1982 long-form video, The Police Around The World.
Summers told SuperDeluxeEdition.com, “The new ‘super deluxe’ version of The Police Around The World should have been coming out in October, but I think it’s now next March. It’s taken forever got get it sorted, because of issues like restoring 16mm film and getting the extras up to 4K level. There are a lot of bonus tracks and footage, including film from Japan that’s never been seen. The performances in that film are really nice and I’ve very pleased it’s coming out. So, that’s on the way and there’s a four-disc version of Regatta de Blanc coming too, with a lot of extra tracks.”
He went on to explain, “The Police are supposed to have something coming every year, but we might not this year now for various reasons, mostly Covid-related. But yes, Regatta de Blanc is coming and there will be a lot more Police stuff on the way after that too. There’s now a gigantic 10-year plan to release Police material. There’s a gap this year, but it’s all coming, don’t worry.”
Regarding previously unheard material, Summers admitted, “There’s not a lot, which was always the problem for us. Basically, if we recorded something, it went out. I know that the collectors are thinking: ‘Oh, you must have all this unreleased material!,’ but that wasn’t the case in the Police. There aren’t loads of demos where we’re trying to work up to something, because we weren’t a band who took 19 attempts to get a song right in lots of different styles. We just weren’t like that. If we wrote a song, we’d play it, record it and release it. You can have a lot of stuff left in the can because it’s not very good. We had a lot of mega-hits instead. That’s a better way to go (laughs).”
Andy Summers told us the Police always were always able to record their albums very quickly: “We just didn’t need that much time. We were a very hot playing band. We were barely ever off the road, so we were always totally into playing. We were just red-hot playing with one another. So all this thing about ‘working it all up’ — I’ve never understood why rock bands needed a year to make an album. . . I don’t get it — can you play or not? We’d work these things out fast, you know? And Sting was a very good songwriter so the songs would come in and we had a good structure to work with. And then we would just ‘Police-ify’ them until they started to really sound tight.”
Sting was able to write at least one instant game changing pop standard on every one of the Police albums between 1978 and 1983. He explained to us how that he, Andy Summers, and Stewart Copeland always tried to make the group’s albums enjoyable on several different levels: “There were layers there, y’know, and all that stuff was already inherent in the music, but you didn’t really have to respond to it, because it was loud and raucous and fun. But again, I was trying to unveil something underneath that. I wanted some substance to it that would intrigue me and maybe a few other people. I just kept doing that.”
Stewart Copeland told us that by the time the Police headed to Montserrat to record 1981’s Ghost In The Machine — which is featured in the doc — there just wasn’t enough room to fit everyone’s ideas onto the tracks: “It became harder and harder to put aside our creative vision and deal with each other. And even though we were very, very tight socially — and, y’know, when we were not making music, we were (laughs) getting along really well. The only thing we disagreed about was music. Strange, because that’s why the whole world was interested in us, was the music that we made while screaming at each other. But, I think the explanation is, rather than three guys, who grew up in the same town, and loved the same music — you’re gonna make, kind of one-dimensional music. But, we’re three different guys, who grew up in different places, and have different ideas about what music is for — let alone what we like. That means that the band is going to be multi-faceted.”