Every Breath You Take (1983) – Sting (The Police)

We are backtracking in the music project as I realised when I was researching Sting’s Fields of Gold that I hadn’t included one of my favourite live performances which appears below. Like almost everyone in the Western-world I have heard Every Breath You Take more times than I care to admit, but the Human Rights Now concert version below of a young Bruce Springsteen and Sting is something to behold.

Today, I was just telling a friend that when I saw this concert on TV as an adolescent with my Mother, she remarked at the end (words to the effect), ‘OK, I am convinced Bruce Springsteen is on another level as a performer and I’m hooked‘. I believe the concert is available in its entirety on You Tube to view.

Every Breath You Take is so popular here in Colombia. It was the biggest hit in 1983 and won song of the year at the Grammys. It was recognised by BMI in 2019 as being the most played song on radio in history. Sting wrote the song in 1982 in the aftermath of his separation from Frances Tomelty and the beginning of his relationship with Trudie Styler. Their split was controversial. As The Independent reported in 2006, “The problem was, he was already married – to actress Frances Tomelty, who just happened to be Trudie’s best friend“.

Sting later said he was disconcerted by how many people think the song is more positive than it is. He insists it is about the obsession with a lost lover, and the jealousy and surveillance that follow. “One couple told me ‘Oh we love that song; it was the main song played at our wedding!’ I thought, ‘Well, good luck.

Every Breath You Take – wikipedia

“The more I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I realize, the less I know.”- Michel Legrand

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9 comments on “Every Breath You Take (1983) – Sting (The Police)
  1. “Every Breath You Take” is my favorite song of the 1980s, and my #5 favorite song of all time.

  2. I knew the song of course but have never seen the video. Great video. I feel quite exhausted! Love the “played at our wedding” story!

    • Yeh, I got a kick out of reading that as well Bruce. The song’s longevity in the concert performance is probably not its strong suit. It over-stayed its welcome by about a minute in my meagre estimation, but I still adore that version.

  3. badfinger20 (Max) says:

    I’m in the minority in this one…It was I think….the most played song in the 80s…and I can believe it. I like their earlier fun songs more.

    • I know where you are coming from Max. As a stand-alone original single this song would be lucky to make my top 150 80’s tracks, but I adore this live version mainly for nostalgic reasons and seeing Bruce at the pinnacle of his live prowess. I think this concert was instrumental in showcasing the talents of Bruce to a more cosmopolitan audience.

      • badfinger20 (Max) says:

        Oh yes…nostalgic reasons make all the difference. There are a lot of seventies songs that I normally would not like as much…BUT….they take me back to a ceratin time.

  4. A great performance of a great song!!!

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