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Vitamin Q: the book!

~ Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Ten TWAKs (Things We All Know) about hit songs for The Police:

1 Roxanne - is about a man trying to persuade a prostitute to give up the game, leading to it being blacklisted on many radio stations.

2 Can’t Stand Losing You - also blacklisted in the UK for being about suicide; not helped by the cover which featured a man in a noose standing on an ice block which is melting in front of an electric fire. Tasteless? But around the same time, Toyah released a single with a photo of a stuffed baby (a Mafia job) on the cover.

3 Every Breath You Take - not a song about a lover’s devotion, more about a stalker’s knife-sharpening angst.

4 Message in a Bottle - if you are feeling childish and smutty, you can sing along but change the chorus to ‘massage in a brothel‘.

5 Invisible Sun - is about the unrest in Northern Ireland.

6 Don’t Stand So Close To Me - contains what is often claimed to be the worst rhyme in rock: ‘he starts to shake and cough / just like the old man in that book by Nabokov’; don’t think it’s that bad personally.

7 So Lonely - Many UK radio listeners were (supposedly) baffled as to why a bunch of peroxided new-wavers were singing a song about TV presenter Sue Lawley.

8 The Bed’s Too Big Without You - this single was controversially only available in an expensive six pack of singles - most fans already had the others.

9 De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da - probably the only transatlantic Top 10 hit to contain the word ‘rapes’ in the lyrics.

10 Synchronicity 2 - and this is certainly the only hit song about a Jungian philosophy to mention Rice Krispies, belches, cheap tarts, Scotland, a crotch, picket lines and lemmings.

One more piece of Police trivia - did you know that Sting is the only member of the mass of pop stars who sang on Band Aid's 'Do They Know It's Christmas' who is name-checked in the song's lyrics?

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