While most of the biggest bands in rock history have seen their back catalogues given extensive reissue treatment with expanded editions, The Police are conspicuous in their absence. Until now – because guitarist Andy Summers says there are big plans afoot.
"The Police are supposed to have something coming every year, but we might not this year now for various reasons, mostly Covid-related," Summers told Superdeluxeedition in a new interview. "But yes, Regatta De Blanc is coming and there will be a lot more Police stuff on the way after that too. There’s now a gigantic 10-year plan to release Police material. There’s a gap this year, but it’s all coming, don’t worry."
Summers added the edition of their classic 1979 second album would include "a lot of extra tracks", which is a surprise in itself as the band weren't known for their vault of outtakes. "Basically, if we recorded something, it went out," explained Summers. "I know that the collectors are thinking, 'Oh, you must have all this unreleased material!', but that wasn’t the case in The Police.
"There aren’t loads of demos where we’re trying to work up to something, because we weren’t a band who took 19 attempts to get a song right in lots of different styles. We just weren’t like that. If we wrote a song, we’d play it, record it and release it. You can have a lot of stuff left in the can because it’s not very good. We had a lot of mega-hits instead. That’s a better way to go. [laughs]"
So what the expanded edition will include remains to be revealed, but another reissue that will please Police fans is new ‘super deluxe’ version of 1982's The Police Around The World film. It was originally released on video and laserdisc and never made it to DVD or Blu-Ray before. Now it looks like it's getting very special treatment for a 2022 release.
"No-one ever did anything with it," said Summers. "It’s actually me who’s revived it because, five years ago, I came across it again and thought “Something should happen with this.”
"The new ‘super deluxe’ version of The Police Around The World should have been coming out in October, but I think it’s now next March," added Summers. "It’s taken forever to get it sorted, because of issues like restoring 16mm film and getting the extras up to 4K level. There are a lot of bonus tracks and footage, including film from Japan that’s never been seen. The performances in that film are really nice and I’m very pleased it’s coming out."
In the interview Summers talks about his new book, a collection of short stories called Fretted And Moaning. He also reflects on The Police's wildly successful 2007 / 2008 reunion tour and his relationship with former bandmates Sting and Stewart Copeland now.
"It’s fine, we’re friends," Summers reveals. "He’s a fairly solitary person. He’s at ease with himself, and he’s not really a big hanger-out guy who goes around catching up with people. That’s not who Sting is. “Loner” is a corny word to use, but he’s solitary.
"But we’re all friends with each other, all three of us. I know people like to cast us as always trying to rip each other’s throats out, and that’s not true. We’re not always hanging out, but the band is a thriving business which continues on. We’re all over it and we’re always having to agree on signing things off. We couldn’t do that if we didn’t get on."