Reggatta de Blanc

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Reggatta de Blanc
Studio album by
Released2 October 1979
Recorded1978 ("No Time This Time"), February – August 1979
StudioSurrey Sound Studios
The Police chronology
Outlandos d'Amour
Reggatta de Blanc
Six Pack
Singles from Reggatta de Blanc
  1. "Message in a Bottle"
    Released: 21 September 1979
  2. "Walking on the Moon"
    Released: 4 November 1979
  3. "Bring On the Night"
    Released: 22 November 1979 (US only)
  4. "The Bed's Too Big Without You"
    Released: 8 June 1980

Reggatta de Blanc is the second studio album by the English new wave band The Police, released on October 2, 1979 by A&M Records. It was the band's first album to reach No. 1 on the UK Album Charts and features their first two UK No. 1 hits: "Message in a Bottle" and "Walking on the Moon".[1] In early 1980, the album was re-issued in the US on two 10" discs, one album side per disc, as well as a collector's edition with a poster of the band.

It was their second album to bear a Franglais 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]

In 2012, the album was ranked No. 372 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.[3]


Reggatta de Blanc took four weeks to record, spaced over several months.[4] Unlike its successor, Zenyatta Mondatta, there was no pressure on the band. Of the sessions, Stewart Copeland said, "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."[5] In a piece for Modern Drummer magazine, Copeland chose Reggatta de Blanc as the best Police album.[citation needed]

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.[6] The small budget (between £6,000 and £9,000) was easily covered by the profits of their previous album, Outlandos d'Amour,[7] 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.[7] 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,[8] while "Does Everyone Stare" originates from a piano piece Copeland wrote in college.[9] 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".


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"[10] 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 the words fitted Gary Gilmore's death wish, and says that since then, "I sing it with him in mind."[8] "The Bed's Too Big Without You" was covered by reggae singer Sheila Hylton in 1981, and became a UK Top 40 hit.[11]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[12]
Chicago Tribune2.5/4 stars[13]
Christgau's Record GuideB−[14]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music4/5 stars[15]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide4/5 stars[16]
The Daily VaultA-[17]

Reggatta de Blanc continued to build on the success of the band's previous album, Outlandos d'Amour, hitting No. 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 No. 1 in the UK.[1]

In 2012, the album was ranked No. 372 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.[3] The album was also included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[18]

Track listing[edit]

Side one
1."Message in a Bottle"Sting4:51
2."Reggatta de Blanc"Andy Summers, Sting, Stewart Copeland3:06
3."It's Alright for You"Sting, Copeland3:13
4."Bring on the Night"Sting4:15
5."Deathwish"Summers, Sting, Copeland4:13
Side two
6."Walking on the Moon"Sting5:02
7."On Any Other Day"Copeland2:57
8."The Bed's Too Big Without You"Sting4:26
10."Does Everyone Stare"Copeland3:52
11."No Time This Time"Sting3:17


The Police
  • Sting – bass guitar, lead vocals (all but 2 and 7), backing vocals, double bass, bass synthesizer (9), arrangements
  • Andy Summers – guitar, synthesizer (1, 6, 9), piano (10), arrangements
  • Stewart Copeland – drums, backing vocals, guitar (3), lead vocals (7, 10), arrangements


  • Producers – The Police and Nigel Gray
  • Engineer – Nigel Gray
  • Art Direction and Design – Michael Ross
  • Photography – Janette Beckman (back cover) and James Wedge (front cover).



Year Chart Position
1979 UK Albums Chart 1[1]
Billboard 200 15[19]
Dutch Albums Chart 1[20]
New Zealand Albums Chart 4[21]
Norwegian Albums Chart 32[22]
Swedish Albums Chart 21[23]
1980 Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart 1
1983 Billboard 200 153[19]


Year Single Chart Position
1979 "Message in a Bottle" UK Singles Chart 1[1]
Billboard Pop Singles 74[24]
Dutch Singles Chart 4[20]
German Singles Chart 35[25]
New Zealand Singles Chart 11[21]
Swedish Singles Chart 20[23]
"Walking on the Moon" UK Singles Chart 1[1]
Dutch Singles Chart 8[20]
1980 New Zealand Singles Chart 12[21]


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[26] Platinum 70,000^
Belgium (BEA)[26] Gold 25,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[27] Platinum 100,000^
France (SNEP)[28] Platinum 400,000*
Germany (BVMI)[29] Gold 250,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[30] Platinum 100,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[31] Platinum 15,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[32] Platinum 300,000^
United States (RIAA)[33] 2× Platinum 2,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


Year Winner Award Category
1980 "Reggatta de Blanc" Grammy Awards Best Rock Instrumental Performance[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "The Police Chart history". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 28 January 2020
  2. ^ a b c Grammy Awards by the Police,
  3. ^ a b "500 Greatest Albums of All Time: The Police, 'Reggatta de Blanc'", Rolling Stone.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ Sounds magazine, January 1980.
  6. ^ Summers, Andy (2006). One Train Later. New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 978-0-312-35914-0.
  7. ^ a b Sutcliffe, Phil & Fielder, Hugh (1981). L'Historia Bandido. London and New York: Proteus Books. ISBN 0-906071-66-6. Page 61.
  8. ^ a b Sutcliffe, Phil & Fielder, Hugh (1981). L'Historia Bandido. London and New York: Proteus Books. ISBN 0-906071-66-6. Page 36.
  9. ^ Copeland, Stewart (2009). Strange Things Happen: A life with The Police, Polo and Pygmies. London: Harper Collins. ISBN 0-00-733940-2Pages 21–22
  10. ^ Garbarini, Vic (Spring 2000). "I think if we came back ...", Revolver.
  11. ^ Sheila Hylton UK chart history, The Official Charts. Retrieved 16 November 2011.
  12. ^ Prato, Greg. "Reggatta de Blanc – The Police". AllMusic. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  13. ^ Kot, Greg (7 March 1993). "Feeling A Sting". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  14. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). "The Police: Reggatta de Blanc". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the '70s. Ticknor and Fields. ISBN 0-89919-026-X. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  15. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th concise ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-85712-595-8.
  16. ^ Considine, J. D. (2004). "The Police". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 644–45. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  17. ^ Warburg, Jason (2019). "The Daily Vault Music Reviews : Reggatta de Blanc". Retrieved 28 January 2019.
  18. ^ Robert Dimery; Michael Lydon (7 February 2006). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die: Revised and Updated Edition. Universe. ISBN 0-7893-1371-5.
  19. ^ a b Regatta de Blanc in the Billboard charts, AllMusicGuide.
  20. ^ a b c Regatta de Blanc in the Dutch music charts, Retrieved 18 November 2011.
  21. ^ a b c Regatta de Blanc in the New Zealand charts, Retrieved 18 November 2011.
  22. ^ Regatta de Blance in the Norwegian charts, Retrieved 18 November 2011.
  23. ^ a b "Message in a Bottle" in the Swedish charts, Retrieved 18 November 2011.
  24. ^ "Message in a Bottle" Chart History,
  25. ^ "Chartverfolgung / The Police / Single". Music Line (in German). Germany: Media Control Charts. Retrieved 18 November 2011.
  26. ^ a b "International Certifications" (PDF). Cash Box. 22 July 1980. p. 32. Retrieved 20 February 2020 – via American Radio History.
  27. ^ "Canadian album certifications – The Police – Regatta de Blanc". Music Canada. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  28. ^ "Les Certifications depuis 1973: Albums". Retrieved 11 December 2019. (select "The Police" from drop-down list)
  29. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (The Police; 'Regatta de Blanc')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  30. ^ "Dutch album certifications – The Police – Reggatta de Blanc" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Retrieved 11 December 2019. Enter Reggatta de Blanc in the "Artiest of titel" box.
  31. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – The Police – Regatta de Blanc". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 7 December 2019.
  32. ^ "British album certifications – The Police – Regatta de Blanc". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 11 December 2019. Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Regatta de Blanc in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  33. ^ "American album certifications – The Police – Regatta de Blanc". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 11 December 2019. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 

External links[edit]