Reggatta de Blanc

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Reggatta de Blanc
Studio album by The Police
Released 5 October 1979
Recorded 1978 (No Time This Time), February – August 1979 at Surrey Sound Studios
Genre Rock, new wave,
post-punk, reggae
Length 41:52
Label A&M
Producer The Police, Nigel Gray
The Police chronology
Outlandos d'Amour
(1978)
Reggatta de Blanc
(1979)
Six Pack
(1980)
Singles from Reggatta de Blanc
  1. "Message in a Bottle"
    Released: September 1979
  2. "Walking on the Moon"
    Released: November 1979
  3. "Bring On the Night"
    Released: December 1979 (US only)
  4. "The Bed's Too Big Without You"
    Released: 1980

Reggatta de Blanc is the second album by The Police, released in 1979. It features the band's first two UK #1 hits: "Message in a Bottle" and "Walking on the Moon".[1] It was their second album to bear a Foreign language title after the band's 1978 debut album Outlandos d'Amour. Reggatta de Blanc proved both more popular and successful than its predecessor. The title track earned the band their first Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance in 1980.[2]

Background[edit]

Reggatta de Blanc took four weeks to record, spaced over several months.[3] Unlike its successor, Zenyatta Mondatta, there was no pressure on the band. Stewart Copeland described it, "We just went into the studio and said, 'Right, who's got the first song?' We hadn't even rehearsed them before we went in."[4]

Against the wishes of A&M, who had wanted to equip the promising band with a bigger studio and more famous producer, the Police opted to again record at Surrey Sound with Nigel Gray.[5] The small budget (between £6,000 and £9,000) was easily covered by the profits of their previous album, Outlandos d'Amour,[6] further ensuring that the record label would have no control over the actual creation of the band's music.

Whereas Outlandos d'Amour had benefited from one of the most prolific songwriting periods of Sting's life, the recording sessions for Reggatta de Blanc were so short on new material that the band even considered re-recording "Fall Out" at one point.[6] To fill in the gaps, Sting and Copeland dug up old songs they'd written and used elements of them to create new songs. Much of the lyrics to "Bring on the Night" were recycled from Sting's Last Exit song "Carrion Prince (O Ye of Little Hope)", and "The Bed's Too Big Without You" similarly started as a Last Exit tune,[7] while "Does Everyone Stare" originates from a piano piece Copeland wrote in college.[8] The closing track "No Time This Time" was previously the B Side to So Lonely in November 1978, and was added to pad out the album's running time.

The album's title is a pseudo-French translation of "white reggae".

Songs[edit]

The instrumental "Reggatta de Blanc", one of the few songs written by the Police as a group, came from the long instrumental break in the live performance of "Can't Stand Losing You"[9] and earned the band the 1980 Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance.[2] "Bring On the Night" was written three years earlier as "Carrion Prince", the title taken from Ted Hughes's poem "King of Carrion", and is about Pontius Pilate; however, after reading The Executioner's Song, Sting felt that that the words fitted Gary Gilmore's death wish, and says that since then, "I sing it with him in mind."[7] "The Bed's Too Big Without You" was covered by reggae singer Sheila Hylton in 1981, and became a UK Top 40 hit.[10]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[11]
Robert Christgau (B−)[12]
Rolling Stone (favourable)[13]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 4/5 stars[14]
Smash Hits (favourable)[15]

Reggatta de Blanc continued to build on the success of the band's previous record[clarification needed], hitting #1 on the UK and Australian album charts upon its release in October 1979.[1] "Message in a Bottle" and "Walking on the Moon" were released as singles and both reached #1 in the UK.[1] In 2012, the album was ranked #372 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.[16]

Track listing[edit]

Side one[edit]

  1. "Message in a Bottle" (Sting) – 4:51
  2. "Reggatta de Blanc" (Andy Summers, Sting, Stewart Copeland) – 3:06
  3. "It's Alright for You" (Sting, Copeland) – 3:13
  4. "Bring on the Night" (Sting) – 4:15
  5. "Deathwish" (Summers, Sting, Copeland) – 4:13

Side two[edit]

  1. "Walking on the Moon" (Sting) – 5:02
  2. "On Any Other Day" (Copeland) – 2:57
  3. "The Bed's Too Big Without You" (Sting) – 4:26
  4. "Contact" (Copeland) – 2:38
  5. "Does Everyone Stare" (Copeland) – 3:52
  6. "No Time This Time" (Sting) – 3:17

Two other songs were recorded as the B-sides to "Message in a Bottle" and "Walking on the Moon", respectively.

  1. "Landlord" (Sting, Copeland) – 3:09
  2. "Visions of the Night" (Sting) – 3:05

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Album[edit]

Year Chart Position
1979 UK Albums Chart 1[1]
Billboard 200 25[17]
Dutch Albums Chart 1[18]
New Zealand Albums Chart 4[19]
Norwegian Albums Chart 32[20]
Swedish Albums Chart 21[21]
1980 Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart 1
1983 Billboard 200 153[17]

Singles[edit]

Year Single Chart Position
1979 "Message in a Bottle" UK Singles Chart 1[1]
Billboard Pop Singles 74[22]
Dutch Singles Chart 4[18]
German Singles Chart 35[23]
New Zealand Singles Chart 11[19]
Swedish Singles Chart 20[21]
"Walking on the Moon" UK Singles Chart 1[1]
Dutch Singles Chart 8[18]
1980 New Zealand Singles Chart 12[19]

Awards[edit]

Year Winner Award Category
1980 "Reggatta de Blanc" Grammy Awards Best Rock Instrumental Performance[2]
Preceded by
Eat to the Beat by Blondie
UK Albums Chart number one album
13 October – 3 November 1979
Succeeded by
Tusk by Fleetwood Mac
Preceded by
20 Golden Greats
by Creedence Clearwater Revival
Australian Kent Music Report number-one album
18 February – 2 March 1980
Succeeded by
The Wall by Pink Floyd

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f The Police in the UK Charts, The Official Charts.
  2. ^ a b c Grammy Awards by the Police, Grammy.com.
  3. ^ Sutcliffe, Phil (1993). "Outlandos at the Regatta". In Message in a Box: The Complete Recordings (pp.32–35) [Boxed set booklet]. A&M Records Ltd.
  4. ^ Sounds magazine, January 1980.
  5. ^ Summers, Andy (2006). One Train Later. New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 978-0-312-35914-0.
  6. ^ a b Sutcliffe, Phil & Fielder, Hugh (1981). L'Historia Bandido. London and New York: Proteus Books. ISBN 0-906071-66-6. Page 61.
  7. ^ a b Sutcliffe, Phil & Fielder, Hugh (1981). L'Historia Bandido. London and New York: Proteus Books. ISBN 0-906071-66-6. Page 36.
  8. ^ Copeland, Stewart (2009). Strange Things Happen: A life with The Police, Polo and Pygmies. London: Harper Collins. ISBN 0-00-733940-2Pages 21–22 
  9. ^ Garbarini, Vic (Spring 2000). "I think if we came back...", Revolver.
  10. ^ Sheila Hylton UK chart history, The Official Charts. Retrieved 16 November 2011.
  11. ^ Prato, Greg. Reggatta de Blanc at AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-06-18.
  12. ^ Album review, robertchristgau.com.
  13. ^ Album review, Rolling Sone.
  14. ^ "The Police: Album Guide". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2012-05-28. 
  15. ^ Hepworth, David. "Albums". Smash Hits (October 4–17 1979): 29. 
  16. ^ "500 Greatest Albums of All Time: The Police, 'Reggatta de Blanc'", Rolling Stone.
  17. ^ a b Regatta de Blanc in the Billboard charts, AllMusicGuide.
  18. ^ a b c Regatta de Blanc in the Dutch music charts, dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 18 November 2011.
  19. ^ a b c Regatta de Blanc in the New Zealand charts, charts.org.nz. Retrieved 18 November 2011.
  20. ^ Regatta de Blance in the Norwegian charts, norwegiancharts.com. Retrieved 18 November 2011.
  21. ^ a b "Message in a Bottle" in the Swedish charts, swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 18 November 2011.
  22. ^ "Message in a Bottle" Chart History, Billboard.com.
  23. ^ "Chartverfolgung / The Police / Single". Music Line (in German). Germany: Media Control Charts. Retrieved 18 November 2011. 

External links[edit]