The Police's best music videos: Stewart Copeland breaks down band's biggest songs

25 January 2024, 12:15 | Updated: 25 January 2024, 13:14

Stewart Copeland's Video Rewind
Stewart Copeland's Video Rewind. Picture: Smooth/The Police

By Tom Eames

As the music video became the dominant force in promoting new music at the start of the 1980s, The Police were one of the biggest bands in the world.

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Stewart Copeland is not only the legendary drummer of The Police, but also a composer, producer, and filmmaker who has contributed to various genres and media.

In this exclusive Video Rewind episode, he shares his insights and memories on some of the most iconic music videos that he and his bandmates Sting and Andy Summers created in their heyday.

From the space-themed of 'Walking on the Moon’ to the haunting surveillance of 'Every Breath You Take’, Copeland reveals the stories behind the scenes and the artistic vision that shaped these visual masterpieces.

Stewart Copeland talks about The Police's best music videos
Stewart Copeland talks about The Police's best music videos. Picture: The Police/YouTube/Smooth

He also talks about his latest project, Police Deranged, a symphonic tribute to The Police’s classic songs, featuring his own drumming and orchestration.

Talking about 'Every Breath You Take', Stewart said: "It was actually modelled on some kind of French noir film styley thing. I don't know. I don't watch French films, particularly not stylized ones. But the way it was lit in black and white and it was all very studied. Every shot was composed, both of the band and of each one of us.

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"And it was a very effective video. It's actually very beautiful. It's a work of art. The video itself, the song's not bad, but the video itself was kind of a work of art by Kevin Godley and Lol Creme. They were insane to work with. They were a wild party at all times.

"In fact, they were so crazy that they were officially the directors of the video. But they would have, like, a sane director to actually do it while they were having wild ideas and being generally inspiring, which they were. I mean, they did kind of. Their madness inspired us. And this is one of their finest hours."

He continued: "I don't know what it is about this song that made it so big. I think it could be that it had two major versions. And so each one had a full run of a number one song. It is a pretty cool song.

"And one of the composers, Sting, one of his favourite things about it is that everybody misunderstands it. Nothing cheers him up more than when people say, 'oh, yes, we played your song at our wedding'. And he goes 'mwah'.

"This song, with evil intent, was misinterpreted as a thing of beauty. Satan comes into our world with a smile on his face!"