Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic

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"Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic"
Single by The Police
from the album Ghost in the Machine
B-side "Flexible Strategies"
Released 2 November 1981
Format Vinyl record (7")
Recorded Le Studio, Morin Heights, Quebec, Canada, 1981
Genre
Length 4:22
Label A&M - AMS 8174
Writer(s) Sting
Producer(s) Hugh Padgham, Stewart Copeland, Sting, Andy Summers
The Police singles chronology
"Invisible Sun"
(1981)
"Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic"
(1981)
"Spirits in the Material World"
(1981)
Ghost in the Machine track listing
"Spirits in the Material World"
(1)
"Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic"
(2)
Invisible Sun
(3)
Alternative cover
U.S. 7-inch cover
Audio sample
file info · help

"Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" is a song by British rock group The Police from their album Ghost in the Machine. The song, notable for featuring a piano player (uncommon for Police songs), dates back to a demo recorded in 1977. It was also a hit single that reached the top of the charts in the United Kingdom (topping its predecessor, "Invisible Sun") in November 1981[1] and hit number three on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart that same year.[2]

Background[edit]

Although recorded in 1981, Sting wrote the song as early as 1976.[3] An early (1977) demo of the song can be heard on the Strontium 90 album Strontium 90: Police Academy.

This was first recorded as a demo, with the piano figure, in a studio in Montreal. I had written the song long before the Police were successful, but it seemed a bit soft for the band at first. But the demo was really great. It sounded like a No 1 song to me. I took it to the band, who were reticent, still thinking it was soft. I was saying, "But listen, it's a hit." We tried to do it from scratch as the Police, but it didn't have the same energy as the demo. After a degree of hair-pulling and torturing on my part, I got the band to play over the top of my demo.

—Sting, The Independent, 9/1993[4]

The piano part was added by session keyboardist Jean Roussel, whom Sting invited to play on the track against the wishes of his bandmates Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland.[5] Summers did not approve of Roussel's inclusion in the track, claiming that he was "incredibly pushy" and that "there wasn't room for him. He must have played 12 piano parts on that song alone."[6] Copeland, however, said that he "wasn't pushy," saying, "He was just like us actually."[6]

Feeling that the arrangement of the track was not enough like The Police style, Summers (who remembered, "as the guitar player I was saying, 'What the fuck is this? This is not the Police sound'") and Copeland attempted to change the track.[6] However, as Stewart Copeland remembers:

"I remember saying, 'Okay put up Sting's original demo and I'll show you how crummy it is.' So Sting stood over me and waved me through all the changes. I did just one take, and that became the record. Then Andy did the same thing on the guitar. We just faced the music, but the bullet, and used Sting's arrangements and demo. Damn."[6]

—Stewart Copeland, Revolver, 2000

In the chorus, Sting, not knowing any other words to rhyme with "magic," used the word "tragic." Stewart Copeland said of this moment, " I remember Sting for years trying to think of a rhyme for 'magic', as in 'Every Little Things She Does Is Magic.' I think the only word he could come up with, apart from 'tragic', was 'pelagic', which means 'ocean going'. There I was in my leather pants and punk hairdo, pondering the distinction between ocean-going and river-going fish."[6]

Release and reception[edit]

"Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" was released as the second single from Ghost in the Machine in UK and Ireland, while in most other parts of the world, it was the debut single from said album. The song outperformed its predecessor in Britain, where it topped the charts. The song also hit #1 in Canada, Ireland, and the Netherlands, reached #2 in Australia, #3 in America (making it and "King of Pain," after the #1 hit "Every Breath You Take", the second best performing single the band released there) and #5 in Norway.

The song's B-side, "Flexible Strategies," was reportedly an improvised jam that was created in response to the record company's demand for a B-side. Stewart Copeland claims, "Word came down from the marketing machine 'Create a b-side - today! We walked over to the gear, strapped on, and played for ten minutes. A disgrace."[4]

The lyrics of the second verse, "Do I have to tell the story / Of a thousand rainy days since we first met? / It's a big enough umbrella / But it's always me that ends up getting wet," were reprised by Sting at the end of the song "O My God" issued on the band's next album. These lyrics were repeated once more in "Seven Days" on Sting's solo album Ten Summoner's Tales.

The song has received a highly positive retrospective review from Allmusic journalist Chris True, who praised the lyrics and described the song as "pop brilliance".[7]

Personnel[edit]

Track listing[edit]

7": A&M / AMS 8174 (UK)[edit]

  1. "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" - 3:58
  2. "Flexible Strategies" - 3:44

7": A&M / AMS 9170 (NL)[edit]

  1. "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" - 4:05
  2. "Shambelle" - 5:10

Charts[edit]

Chart (1981) Peak
position
Australian ARIA Singles Chart 2
Dutch Singles Chart[8] 1
New Zealand RIANZ Singles Chart[8] 7
Norway (VG-lista)[8] 5
UK Singles Chart[1] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[2] 3

Cover versions[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b UK Singles Charts for the week of November 14, 1981, The Official Charts.
  2. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 8th Edition (Billboard Publications), page 497.
  3. ^ Lyrics by Sting, The Dial Press, 2007, page 56.
  4. ^ a b "'Every Little Thing She Does' / 'Flexible Strategies'". thepolice.com. 
  5. ^ Summers, Andy (2007). One Train Later, 1st Edition (St. Martin's Griffin), page 294.
  6. ^ a b c d e Garbarini, Vic (Spring 2000). "I think if we came back...", Revolver.
  7. ^ Chris True. "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic - The Police | Listen, Appearances, Song Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 29 March 2014. 
  8. ^ a b c Chart history, Dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
  9. ^ "Rit's House overview". Allmusic.com. 
  10. ^ "Lee Ritenour Rit's House". Smooth-jazz.de. Retrieved 29 March 2014. 
  11. ^ "Memoryhouse covers The Police". Avclub.com. Retrieved 26 March 2013. 
Preceded by
"It's My Party" by Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin
UK number one single
14 November 1981 - 20 November 1981
Succeeded by
"Under Pressure" by Queen and David Bowie

External links[edit]