The Bed's Too Big Without You

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"The Bed's Too Big Without You"
Single by The Police
from the album Reggatta de Blanc
B-side "Truth Hits Everybody" (live)
Released June 1980
Format Vinyl record (7")
Recorded 1979
Genre New wave, reggae rock
Length 3:30 (7" mono single version)
4:26 (album version)
Label A&M - AAMPP 6001/E
Writer(s) Sting
Producer(s) Nigel Gray, The Police
The Police singles chronology
"Bring on the Night"
(1979)
"The Bed's Too Big Without You"
(1980)
"Don't Stand So Close to Me"
(1980)
Vinyl 45
UK picture disc

"The Bed's Too Big Without You" is a song written by Sting and first released by The Police on their 1979 album Reggatta de Blanc. An alternate version was released as a single in the UK in 1980 in the set Six Pack in conjunction with the re-release of the Police's earlier singles "Roxanne", "Can't Stand Losing You", "So Lonely", "Message in a Bottle" and "Walking on the Moon".[1]

It has been covered by a number of other artists, including Sting as a solo artist, Ranking Roger and Sheila Hylton.[2]

Background[edit]

The themes of the song are loneliness and the pain of the end of a relationship.[3] The lyrics were inspired by an incident in which Sting's first girlfriend, after being heartbroken upon their breakup, committed suicide.[4] NME critic Tony Stewart considered it to be "a lame expression of remorse".[5]

"The Bed's Too Big Without You" was first released on Reggatta de Blanc in 1979. However, that following year, the song saw single release as a bonus single in the Six Pack box set, which featured the band's five previous British singles (excluding "Fall Out".) Said box set peaked at no. 17 in Britain. The song was also released as the B-side to "So Lonely" in Germany.

A promo video for "The Bed's Too Big Without You" was performed by the band on The Kenny Everett Video Show. It featured the band members miming to the song in a suburban house.

"The Bed's Too Big Without You" was included on a number of Police compilation and live albums. The original album version was included on Greatest Hits and the UK deluxe version of The Police, while the alternate mono version was included on Message in a Box: The Complete Recordings.[6] A live version is included on Live!.[6]

Reception[edit]

AllMusic critic Chris True regards "The Bed's Too Big Without You" as a classic example of the Police's ability to merge reggae with new wave music.[6] He also praises the musicianship of all three members of the band, Stewart Copeland's "brilliant" drumming, Andy Summers' "trebly" guitar playing and Sting's "rolling" bass line.[6] He notes that the song never gets boring, even when only the drums and bass are playing.[6] Authors Chris Welch and Ken Micallef and Donnie Marshall also praise Copeland's drumming, particularly on the snare drum.[3][7] Micallef and Marshall specifically describe Copeland's snare drum rhythms as "ricocheting" and "dub-heavy".[7]

Welch regards "The Bed's Too Big Without You" as the third great hit from Reggatta de Blanc, along with "Message in a Bottle" and "Walking on the Moon", particularly praising the fact that it is "a simple phrase, a neat concept".[3] Welch also praises the alternate version, which appears on the box set Message in a Box, for having an even "more direct impact".[3] Allmusic critic Greg Prato considers it an "early fave" of the Police.[8] Mojo Magazine critic John Harris regards the song as "stereotypically Police-esque" to the point of appearing to be a self-parody.[5] Rolling Stone Magazine critic Debra Rae Cohen described it as "an evocative reggae track", particularly praising Sting's vocals and Summers' guitar.[5] Author Martin Charles Strong describes it as a "melodic lament" and an example of the Police "charting new musical territory".[9] Police guitarist Andy Summers regards it as a great song, along with "Message in a Bottle", "Bring on the Night" and "Walking on the Moon" from the Reggatta de Blanc album.[10]

Personnel[edit]

Track listing[edit]

7" – A&M / AMPP 6001/E (UK)
  1. "The Bed's Too Big Without You" – 3:30
  2. "Truth Hits Everybody" (live)
7" – A&M / AMRS 1318 (Zimbabwe)
  1. "The Bed's Too Big Without You" – 4:24
  2. "Bring on the Night" – 4:16

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gimarc, George (2005). Punk Diary: The Ultimate Trainspotter's Guide To Underground Rock, 1970-1982. Hal Leonard. p. 336. ISBN 978-0-8793-0848-3. 
  2. ^ "Top search results for "the bed's too big without you"". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d Welch, Chris (1996). The Complete Guide to the Music of The Police and Sting. Omnibus Press. pp. 10, 41 and 52. ISBN 0711953023. 
  4. ^ Campion, Chris (2009). Walking on the Moon: The Untold Story of the Police and the Rise of New Wave Rock. John Wiley & Sons. p. 12. ISBN 978-0-4702-8240-3. 
  5. ^ a b c Harris, John. "The Police > Discography > Reggatta de Blanc". Mojo. Thepolice.com. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c d e True, Chris. "The Police – The Bed's Too Big Without You". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  7. ^ a b Micallef, Ken; Marshall, Donnie (2007). Classic Rock Drummers. Hal Leonard. pp. 29–32. ISBN 978-0-8793-0907-7. 
  8. ^ Pato, Greg. "The Police – Live!". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  9. ^ Strong, Martin Charles (2004). The Great Rock Discography (7th ed.). Canongate. p. 1189. ISBN 978-1-8419-5615-2. 
  10. ^ Summers, Andy (2007). One Train Later: A Memoir. Macmillan. p. 208. ISBN 978-0-3123-7481-5.