Watching the Detectives --> Walking On the Moon --> Sunshine of Your Love

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Posted: 2010 03-05
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Now the Police are Watching The Detectives — 3-genre "Sunshine" at the Apollo

Elvis Costello’s first hit, Cream’s first hit, and one of the first by The Police, all in one clip! New Wave, reggae, and hard-rock. Not many medleys cover those three.

Filmed at the landmark Apollo Theater in Harlem on the eve of The Police’s final show of the their farewell tour (at Madison Square Garden), Sting’s voice is cracking, but Stewart Copeland’s cracking his famously tight drum skins with more precision punch than the early years, and Andy Summers is soulfully filling this 3-genre arc. Maybe his body's put on a few pounds, but Summers' playing is still impressively lean.

Elvis, the most literate songwriter of the “Punk/New Wave” revolution (well on display here), is also one of its most distinctive vocal stylists – clipped, eccentric and animated. Note the pause between, “I don’t know how much more of this I can” . . .  . . . “take”. A classic, comical quirk.

This one-time-only band and medley hits its most playful and memorable moment during the vocal trade-off with Elvis singing “Walking . . .”, and Sting the “Detectives."

The Sunshine breaks through after about 6 minutes, when The Police, the most successful rock trio in history, cover the original power-trio, Cream (who played their own high-priced reunion-&-farewell show at MSG three years earlier).  The Police would surprise everyone (who wasn’t at the Apollo) by opening their final show the following night with this reggae-pop meets hard-rock cover. And who’d a thunk it, but the unlikely marriage is a heart-pounding love affair that works wonders for both!

It’s funny how this Punk/New-Wave “supergroup” are caught playing the music of the very dinosaurs and rock royalty they spit on in their younger days. (Not to mention what they said about each other!) But true to their ethos, they play one of the great solo-friendly rock anthems of all time -- in under 3 minutes!  Less than half the time of Cream’s live version!  [see additional info below]

Like the original, the bass player takes lead vocal, and Andy Summers conveys captain Clapton crisply. Watch for Elvis’s Townshend thrashing, listen for his joyous irregular “harmony,” and catch his short wicked solo at the climax.

And, yes! That‘s Steve Nieve on keyboards!  This fellow Rock n Roll Hall of Famer is yet another smile-inducing surprise in this clip. Elvis’s original Attraction, he adds his own tasteful, funny, electro-light colors to each of these extremely different musical genres. What a band.

“Cellophane shrink-wrapped, so correct.”


====================

Left to right: Sting (bass, lead vocals); Pete Thomas (drums); Elvis Costello (lead vocals, rhythm guitar); Stewart Copeland (drums); Andy Summers (lead guitar), Steve Nieve (keyboards); Davey Faragher (bass).  

YouTube Uploader: Gordon Matthew Sumner
Gordon Matthew Sumner

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