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The Police - Don’t Stand So Close To Me ‘86 (1986)

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  • 80's Score 80's score: 1.42
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"Don't Stand So Close to Me" is a hit song by the rock band The Police, released in September 1980 as the lead single from ...

"Don't Stand So Close to Me" is a hit song by the rock band The Police, released in September 1980 as the lead single from their third album Zenyatta Mondatta. It concerns a teacher who has a sexual relationship with a student, which in turn is discovered.

The song was re-recorded in 1986 with a new, brooding arrangement, a different chorus and a more opulent production. The new version appeared as "Don't Stand So Close to Me '86" on the album Every Breath You Take: The Singles, and was released as a single, reaching No. 24 in the British charts. It also reached No. 11 in Ireland, No. 14 in New Zealand, No. 19 on the Netherlands MegaCharts Singles Chart (number 20 on Dutch Top 40), No. 27 in Canada and No. 46 on Billboard Hot 100 (No. 10 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks).

Because of the decrease in tempo, a slight lyric change is found in the line "Just like the old man in that book by Nabokov" (the word 'famous' was added). A new music video was produced for the reworked song by Godley and Creme, notable for its early use of animated computer graphics.

Because drummer Stewart Copeland had broken his collarbone and was unable to drum, he opted to use his Fairlight CMI to program the drum track for the single, while singer/bassist Sting pushed to use the drums on his Synclavier instead. The group's engineer found the Synclavier's programming interface difficult; it ended up taking him two days to complete the task. Copeland ultimately finished the drum programming and claimed that the Fairlight's then-legendary "Page R" (the device's sequencing page) saved his life and put him on the map as a composer. In a Qantas inflight radio program named "Reeling in the Years", Copeland was quoted as saying that the argument over Synclavier versus Fairlight drums was "the straw that broke the camel's back," and that this led to the group's unravelling.[citation needed]

As the Police had already disbanded by the time the 1986 single was released, this, aside from the then-unreleased "De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da '86," was the last recording before the band's reunion and the most recent studio recording the band has released.

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