The Police - filler

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Mother, Jan 2, 2018.

  1. Mother

    Mother Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Just listening to that rockin' little track Canary in a Coalmine. Q: What qualifies a Police song as "filler" and what are their best fillers?

    A track like the thoroughly enjoyable Too Much Information may pass as filler? There's a few scattered around the albums but it's part of the charm. They are mostly either super-fun (On Any Other Day, Murder By Numbers), Police classics (Canary..., Mosoko Tanga) or somewhat unpleasant (Mother, Be My Girl Sally). It's also a huge part of the band's appeal. Copeland's off centre punkish counterbalance was essential to the band's sound and personality.

    ftr Sting's solo output is mostly exceptional up to and including 1993s Ten Summoners Tales for mine. And as you know Summers' extensive solo career is brilliantly consistent and underrated.
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  2. Say It Right

    Say It Right Forum Resident

    Niagara Falls
    "Murder By Numbers" wasn't included on the original vinyl, just CD & cassette. So, it's more of a bonus track.
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  3. PretzelLogic

    PretzelLogic Machine wrapped in butter.

    London, England
    ‘Flexible Strategies’ is their self-admitted filler. But it’s just a B-side so not sure if it counts.

    Some of the songs sung by Andy and Stewart (mostly Andy) sound like filler without Sting’s voice. But for the record, I love ‘Mother’- without it, Synchronicity would be far more boring.

    I also don’t get the band’s hatred for ‘Behind My Camel’. It’s excellent.
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  4. gohill

    gohill Forum Resident

    Glasgow, UK
    Do the band hate 'Behind My Camel'? I have always liked that a lot, ever since the album came out when i was 10. I got it and Regatta De Blanc for my 11th birthday (my first albums along with McCartney 11 in 1980) A great showcase for the (still) criminally underrated guitarist that Andy Summers is.
  5. babaluma

    babaluma Forum Resident

    I always loved their filler tracks! I remember listening to them before really reading any "critical" journalism on their music and being surprised at how underrated or hated they were! As you said I think the weirder stuff is what made them interesting. I would say it is often hard to define what is filler on their albums as I am sure to many people anything that isn't a hit single would be filler.

    I like Hungry for You, One World, Darkness, When the World is running down (is this filler?), Shadows in the rain, Does Everyone Stare, No Time this Time, Deathwish,
  6. Michael Rose

    Michael Rose Forum Resident

    I love 'Be My Girl Sally'
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  7. PretzelLogic

    PretzelLogic Machine wrapped in butter.

    London, England
    From Wikipedia:
    Behind My Camel was not very popular with the two other band members, especially Sting.

    "I hated that song so much that, one day when I was in the studio, I found the tape lying on the table. So I took it around the back of the studio and actually buried it in the garden."

    — Sting, Revolver 4/2000

    Stewart Copeland was not in favour of the song either:

    "As hard done by as I ever felt in this band, I could always take comfort in the fact that Andy got shafted even worse than I did on that little instrumental. Sting didn't even bother to play on it. Andy played all the bass and guitars, and I only played on the song because there wasn't anyone else to play drums."

    — Stewart Copeland, Revolver 4/2000

    In Chris Campion's Police biography "Walking On The Moon", Police producer Nigel Gray believes that the title was an in-joke by Andy Summers:

    "He didn't tell me this himself but I'm 98% sure the reason is this: what would you find behind a camel? A monumental pile of ****."

    — Nigel Gray, Walking On The Moon
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  8. SteveS1

    SteveS1 Forum Resident

    Weald, England, UK
    I wouldn't want to take out any of the tracks, even if I'm not that keen on some. The quirky tracks and rather clunky changes are all part of the Police album experience for me.
  9. Holerbot6000

    Holerbot6000 Forum Resident

    I'm not sure how thrilled Andy and Stewart would feel about their songs being classified as filler. When their contributions were strong, the albums were also strong. I think that's why Regatta remains my favorite. It's a band album. Ghost is actually pretty strong too, but Synchronicity is a snooze fest. By then, as Stewart said, they were relegated to one song apiece, making more room for Sting to disappear up his own ass.
  10. Veovis

    Veovis Forum Resident

    I think one of the band's strengths was the ability to mix brilliant hit songs with great deep cuts to create a brilliant whole. I only consider Murder by Numbers to be the exception, since I think it doesn't fit the feel of the rest of the Synchronicity album at all. But that opinion may be colored by the fact that I first owned it on vinyl. Not really a filler per se, but it should have been left out of the CD too imo. Perfect single B-side though.
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  11. daveidmarx

    daveidmarx Forem Residunt

    Astoria, NY USA
    There's a "McCartney Eleven" album!?? Good Lord!! :eek:

    I will say that it's truly unfortunate that the band seemed to have no qualms about including garbage tracks alongside the gems on their albums as it makes for an incredibly uneven listening experience. I guess that's what 'Best Of' compilations are for...
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  12. Say It Right

    Say It Right Forum Resident

    Niagara Falls
    It won Grammy for "Best Rock Instrumental" too.
  13. Kingsley Fats

    Kingsley Fats Forum Resident

    I mostly find the tracks that were not released as singles to be unlistenable.
  14. Not AJB

    Not AJB Forum Resident

    Atlanta, GA
    Andy Summers' contributions to the Police as a guitarist are immeasurable, amazing and essential. They are a (the?) defining element of the band's sound.

    But... and I take no pleasure in saying this... some of his song-writing contributions are painful distractions in an otherwise awesome canon, IMHO. Copeland's stuff holds its own, and wisely don't attempt to compete with Sting's greatest stuff.

    'Mother' and 'Be My Girl — Sally'. I've removed these tunes from my digital collection. To me, they're a drag. Kinda self-indulgent and kinda creepy. And, IMHO, they don't even sound much like Police songs. And, yes, I could do without 'Behind My Camel', but it is not aggressively unpleasant, like these other two.

    The Police albums most-praised for their consistency? Reggatta de Blanc. Ghost in the Machine. Not coincidentally, these albums don't include Summers' oddball songs.

    On the other hand, Summer's Ωmegaman on GITM is cool. His strongest song-writing contribution, I think. Where'd that come from, Andy?
  15. gregorya

    gregorya Forum Resident

    It was one of my favourites from the sessions... better than several of the albums tracks in my opinion.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
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  16. swampwader

    swampwader Forum Resident

    Reading, Michigan
    "Omega Man" is my favorite song by the Police and it was written by Andy Summers and (thankfully) sung by Sting.
    Did I read once that it was originally ear marked for a single but Sting was having none of that..

    I love "Canary In A Coalmine" but would call "Bombs Away" or "Walking In Your Footsteps" or "O My God" straight up filler. Something else like "Visions Of The Night" is probably filler too but I've always liked that one..
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  17. dmiller458

    dmiller458 Forum Resident

    Midland, Michigan
    Very funny track...
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  18. Zoot Marimba

    Zoot Marimba And I’m The Critic Of The Group

    I like Born In the 50s
  19. Mother

    Mother Forum Resident Thread Starter

    filler :D
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  20. Mother

    Mother Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Copeland's songs on ZM are total filler. Last song side 1, last song side 2. O My God for sure. Walking in Your Footsteps is a great song but Visions cannot be filler when it didn't appear on an album. MbN did, eventually.
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  21. Mother

    Mother Forum Resident Thread Starter

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  22. MGSeveral

    MGSeveral Forum Resident

    Song is not even true!
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  23. MGSeveral

    MGSeveral Forum Resident

    Not an album track, but I quite liked "Oi Loike to Eat my Friends" - Not filler, but... filling?
  24. PretzelLogic

    PretzelLogic Machine wrapped in butter.

    London, England
    Maybe it was written when Henry Padovani was still guitarist?
  25. squonkduke

    squonkduke Forum Resident

    Roma, Italy
    I really like Mother, without that song Synchronicity would never have been so brilliant. Miss Gradenko is very enjoyable as well, but it is more accordant to the spirit of the album. Murder By Numbers is another highly enjoyable song, and i consider it part of the album, because it's always been there on cd and cassette right from the start without any 'bonus' status. Ending the album with Tea In The Sahara leaves a sense of incompleteness.
    I have always wished Sting to have sung the b-side Someone To Talk To, it would have benefited immensely from his vocals, Andy Summers did a pedestrian vocal job there in my opinion.

    Do anyone know when Once Upon A Daydream was recorded? On the Message In A Box notes Sting says it belongs to the Ghost In The Machine period, but was the released version recorded during the Synchronicity sessions or was it a leftover from the Ghost In The Machine sessions?

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