The Bottom Line
- Presents a dozen of mainstream rock's finest tracks on one disc.
- Because of strong sequencing, offers a fine overview of the band's intriguing evolution.
- Includes two throwaway tracks, a baffling remake of "Don't Stand So Close to Me" and a lame remix.
- Omits some of the band's finest tunes, including the exemplary, punkish "So Lonely"
- Is inexplicably similar to an earlier compilation, barely improving upon its deficiencies.
- Based on this recording's evidence alone, the Police may trump U2 or REM as the decade's best band.
- With modern technology, listeners are no longer forced to buy flawed collections like this.
- Lazy and puzzling selection choices render this album slightly less than recommendable.
Guide Review - The Police - 'Every Breath You Take: The Classics' Album Review
As a teenager I purchased the 1986 release Every Breath You Take: The Singles on cassette and considered it a must-own. Still, I always bristled at the new version of "Don't Stand So Close to Me" that was included in place of the original studio version. That's also the reason why I waited so long to purchase a Police compilation on CD: I guess I feared being burned again by a lackluster collection.
It's therefore even more appalling that A&M Records so completely botched its opportunity to correct the mistakes it made with the initial release. By issuing an entirely new compilation in 1995 that is only a very marginal improvement, the label commits a form of fraud against fans of the band. Ultimately, neither album delivers what it promises, as both fail to collect anything near a complete bundle of Police singles or classics.
So, while buying this compilation will not saddle you with merely a drink coaster, doing so will put your music collection at unnecessary risk. If you're a completist, you'll probably go for the band's small output of quality albums, but if you just want to make sure your collection fairly reflects one of the greatest bands of the '80s, I caution you to think twice.