Jan 09

THE POLICE – “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic”

FT + Popular37 comments • 2,799 views

#488, 14th November 1981

Gratifyingly throwaway by the increasingly intense standards of The Police, “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” is the band at their most blithely enjoyable. A lot of that’s down to the arrangement – steelband percussion, Jean Roussel’s delightfully rolling piano, and the uplifting synthesiser chords coming out of the middle eight and colouring the fade out. The whole thing has an off-kilter charm to it slightly reminiscent of XTC, though more straightforward than anything that band did (which is why this is as close as we’ll come to discussing XTC on Popular!). The only downside is – yet again – Sting’s singing, a closed-in growl in the middle of all this splashy colour.



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  1. 26
    lonepilgrim on 3 Feb 2009 #

    re 24 I’d be surprised if the ‘making of’ feature was on The Tube as that didn’t start until 1982 – maybe it was another show or another (police) song.

    re 25 thanks for that – Tom’s image didn’t look too familiar
    btw is there some kind of primer on how to create different fonts and links on posts to this site?

  2. 27
    mike on 3 Feb 2009 #

    Oh, you’re quite right – no Tube for another year or so – I’m getting my memories tangled.

  3. 28
    wichita lineman on 3 Feb 2009 #

    Re 24: I wonder if the making of was much fun. My residual bad taste-in-mouth with the Police has a lot to do with the singularly dull and disinterested performances, even when they played this hoppity thing. Copeland’s miserable, huge head looms larger than ever on the chorus. Take it away, please!

  4. 29
    mike on 3 Feb 2009 #

    Still trying to nail why this appealed/appeals so much, considering how cold The Police usually left/leave me. I guess there’s something refreshingly uncalculated about that joyfulness – and there’s a nice contrast between the simple spontaneity of the emotion and the satisfying dexterity of the arrangement. It feels like they’ve all hit on the same feeling at the same moment, and that they’ve reached that top-of-game synchronicity (ooh!) which means that they instinctively know to to present it. For once, warmth has replaced smugness.

  5. 30
    Conrad on 3 Feb 2009 #

    This is a very enjoyable record.

    It seemed a bit lightweight and throwaway at the time (not necessarily a bad thing), a feeling enhanced by the swiftness of its release. It was debuting in the chart only 5 or 6 weeks after “Invisible Sun.” It was also quickly followed by “Spirits In The Material World”, as The Police crammed all three singles from the new album into the final quarter of 1981.

    The video was shot while they recorded the album, and formed part of The Police at Monserrat special which was aired on BBC1 one early Saturday evening over Christmas as I recall.

  6. 31

    Written back when Sting was still in “Last Exit” !

  7. 32
    Jay on 28 Feb 2009 #

    If I fell in love and did my best to describe to you how deeply I was moved, I would be lucky to find words such as these.

    I would try to describe how a thought of my love would enter my mind as gently as this tune opens.

    I would try to explain how indulging that thought would allow emotional and physical sensations well-up inside me, until I was overcome with joy.

    I would reach a point where my vocabulary was too limited to express my feelings – a point where only cries of joy seemed appropriate. I would want to yell it from the rooftops!

    If I exhausted myself in an effort to make you understand, and your response was to comment on my limited vocabulary, punctuation, or grammatical errors, I would be saddened. Saddened for you.

    From the whisp of a beginning, to the undeniable urge to yell for joy at the end, this song should be sung no other way. The Music for Monsterrat version is my personal favorite.

  8. 33
    Stuart P on 5 May 2009 #

    Nobody’s mentioned how it kept Altered Images Happy Birthday off number 1 – by 10 copies or summat … second closest chart race …ever after Dee Lite V Steve Miller in ’90 …

    so I will

  9. 34
    Billy Smart on 14 May 2009 #

    NMEWatch: 24th October 1981, Paul Du Noyer;

    “Knew it was too good to last. With ‘Invisible Sun’ I found myself stopping to listen to The Police for the first time – the first suggestion of depth and mystery. Here, though, everything’s back to boring old normal: all clatter clatter and eeyo-oh-woh. God, but it grates.”

    Du Noyer made ‘Love Moves In Strange Ways’ by Blue Zoo Single of the week. Also reviewed that week;

    The Fun Boy Three – The Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum
    Scritti Politti – The Sweetest Girl
    Heaven 17 – Penthouse & Pavement
    Kool & The Gang – Steppin’ Out
    Prince – Controversy
    Diana Ross – Why Do Fools Fall In Love?

  10. 35
    DanH on 23 Jan 2013 #

    XTC eh…
    *imagines the song sung in an Andy Partidge voice*

  11. 36
    hectorthebat on 13 Oct 2014 #

    Critic watch:

    Beats Per Minute (USA) – The Top 100 Tracks of the 1980s (2011) 46
    Bruce Pollock (USA) – The 7,500 Most Important Songs of 1944-2000 (2005)
    Woxy.com (USA) – Modern Rock 500 Songs of All Time (combined rank 1989-2009) 830
    Rolling Stone (USA) – Singles of the Year
    Village Voice (USA) – Singles of the Year 22

  12. 37
    Adam on 23 Mar 2015 #

    The Police are tough for me because I enjoy all the elements they draw from and really have no particular problem with Sting’s personality, so they seem the perfect fit for me… I think in the end it’s just the dense songwriting structure… even this “laid back” example feels forced at every turn. They bombard you and leave no room for the “spaces between the music”… works for explosive styles like hip hop but not for their rhythmical choice… hence the entire genre of “ska punk” being written off by types otherwise open to gems from any genre. It’s like the “Belgian IPAs” some craft breweries here are coming out with. I’ve tried many, none work, the components clash, simple as that.

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