The Police - Zenyatta Mondatta

The Police – Zenyatta Mondatta

80 / 100

We pick up where we left off, covering the first three albums from British pop trio The Police, here’s 1980’s ‘Zenyatta Mondatta’.

Written by: gdmonline

ARTIST: The Police
ALBUM: Zenyatta Mondatta
YEAR: 1980
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List


LINEUP: Gordon Sumner (Sting) – lead vocals, bass * Andy Summers – guitars * Stewart Copeland – drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Don’t Stand So Close To Me * 02 Driven To Tears * 03 When The World Is Running Down, You Make The Best Of What’s Still Around * 04 Canary In A Coalmine * 05 Voices Inside My Head * 06 Bombs Away * 07 De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da * 08 Behind My Camel * 09 Man In A Suitcase * 10 Shadows In The Rain * 11 The Other Way Of Stopping

WEBLINK: Site Link


We pick up where we left off, covering the first three albums from British pop trio The Police. As written elsewhere, the band were a highly visible entity in the 70’s/80’s music industry, both in the press and on radio/TV. They mostly carved up the territory in the new wave genre, but spilled over into mainstream pop.

It’s an intriguing overview from the Glory Daze perspective because they are not a perfect fit for this site, but beyond the first three albums (‘Outlandos D’Amour’, ‘Reggatta De Blanc’ and this one ‘Zenyatta Mondatta’) musically they became more interesting.

The Songs

The album title is a mashup of foreign language words which in itself doesn’t point to a theme or anything, but the two words became memorable in pop culture in later years. The eleven track set featured two bonafide hit singles ‘Don’t Stand So Close To Me’ which 41 years later could’ve been the theme song for the global 6 metre social distancing rule, plus the daft and unimaginatively titled ‘De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da’. This out does Journey and their similarly corny titled track ‘La Do Da’ from 1978’s ‘Infinity’.

Like the previous two albums, ‘Zenyatta Mondatta’ is populated by tracks that fuse new wave, art rock and reggae. The musical delivery is quite sparse, the production kept lean and dry. It’s an acquired taste for some, but in 1980 this sound was prevalent. You hear it on tracks such as ‘Driven To Tears’, the zany ‘Canary In A Coalmine’ and the quirky ‘Man In A Suitcase’.

It’s hard to make sense of the elongated title of ‘When The World Is Running Down, You Make The Best Of What’s Still Around’, though musically it has its moments. I liked the instrumental funky vibe of ‘Voices Inside My Head’ while the second instrumental ‘Behind My Camel’ will either grab you or it won’t. In my case it didn’t.

In Summary

Two songs received awards at the 1982 Grammys (this album was released on 3rd October 1980). ‘Don’t Stand So Close To Me’ won best rock performance by a duo or group with vocal, while ‘Behind My Camel’ won best rock instrumental performance. Goes to show I don’t know much about anything huh? Lol. The album sold big numbers throughout 1981, but of more significance, no album by this trio ever made its way into my record collection. Why was that?


Don’t Stand So Close To Me

The Police - Don't Stand So Close To Me

De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da
The Police - De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da

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