Demolition Man (song)
|Single by Grace Jones|
|from the album Nightclubbing|
|B-side||"Warm Leatherette", "Bullshit"|
|Released||February 16, 1981|
|Grace Jones singles chronology|
"Demolition Man" is a song written by Sting and performed by Grace Jones as the A-side of a 1981 single. Sting's band, the Police, later released their rendition of the song on their album Ghost in the Machine, as did Manfred Mann's Earth Band.
The song was written by Sting of the Police. The lyric "I'm a three-line whip", often assumed to be a reference to sadomasochism, is in fact an allusion to the voting instructions issued to British members of parliament to cast their votes according to the party line. Sting explained this in an interview: "Whatever party's in power in Parliament, if it's a really important vote, you get a one-line whip. If it's incredibly important, you have a two-line whip, and something monumentally important is a three-line whip."
Grace Jones version
"Demolition Man" was released as the lead single from Grace Jones's 1981 album Nightclubbing. The song was performed on A One Man Show tour, featuring marching "Joneses" (stand-ins wearing Grace Jones masks), and included in the documentary film. A still picture from the video was later used for the cover of 1982 singles "Nipple to the Bottle" and "The Apple Stretching".
- 7" single
- A. "Demolition Man" – 3:31
- B. "Warm Leatherette" – 4:25
- 12" single
- A. "Demolition Man" – 4:56
- B. "Bullshit" – 5:18
The Police version
|Song by The Police|
|from the album Ghost in the Machine|
|Released||2 October 1981|
Soon after Jones released her version as a single, the Police recorded their own version for their 1981 album, Ghost in the Machine. The Police recorded the song in a jazzy hard rock style, featuring a guitar solo by Andy Summers.
- Sting – bass, vocals, saxophone
- Andy Summers – guitars
- Stewart Copeland – drums
- A year later, 1982, Manfred Mann's Earth Band released a version which appeared on their Somewhere in Afrika album. It was significantly rearranged from the Police's version, being of a shorter length, featuring slightly altered lyrics and making much use of synthesizers throughout. It was performed as a duet, between then members Steve Waller and Shona Laing.
- The song would later be performed by Sting during his solo career and released in 1993 on an EP of the same name in support of the Demolition Man film. This version of the song plays during the film's end credits.
Use in popular culture and other media
- In the 53rd episode of Beavis and Butt-head, "True Crime", aired in 1993, the pair were watching Jones' "Demolition Man" video from A One Man Show.
- A live version of the song performed by Sting was featured in the game Guitar Hero World Tour along with an in-game representation of Sting himself, which becomes an unlockable character upon completing the song in the bass career.
- An excerpt of Jones' performance of the song from A One Man Show was displayed as a part of the Postmodernism: Style and Subversion 1970-1990 temporary exhibition at London's Victoria and Albert Museum in 2011 and 2012.
- "Repertoire Search". repertoire.bmi.com. Archived from the original on 2012-07-23. Retrieved 2011-08-19.
- Vic Garbarini. "Article "I think if we came back..."". www.scarlet.nl. Retrieved 2011-08-19.
- "3340. "Demolition Man" by Grace Jones". sadclownrep.com. Archived from the original on 2013-02-02. Retrieved 2012-08-19.
- "Beavis and Butt-Head: Butt-Head from "Beavis and Butt-head" show". beavis-and-butthead-episodes.blogspot.com. Archived from the original on 2011-05-22. Retrieved 2012-02-03.