Message In A Bottle (song)
|"Message In A Bottle"|
|Recorded by The Police|
|Recorded:||summer of 1979|
|Album(s):||Reggatta de Blanc|
|Producer(s):||Stewart Copeland, Sting, Andy Summers, Nigel Gray|
|Released as single?||YES|
- 1 About the song
- 2 Personnel
- 3 Ads
- 4 Release History
- 5 Lyrics
- 6 Quotations and trivia
- 7 Alternative and cover versions
- 8 See also
- 9 External links
- 10 References
About the song
The liner notes for My Songs mention this: Sting: “I wrote the guitar riff for ‘Message In A Bottle’ on my black Fender Strat in the back of a noisy van heading south on an Autobahn between Düsseldorf and Nuremberg sometime in early ’79. I immediately knew that I was onto something with this circular riff, starting with an arpeggiated C#9, repeated in A9, then to B9, and finally F#9 resolving back to the beginning. It took me a while to find the right lyrical subject, but after a few false starts back home in my basement in Bayswater, a story emerged from the rising and falling tide of the music of some kind of Robinson Crusoe character stranded on a desert island and throwing a hopeful bottle out to sea. The countless bottles that are washed up in response continue to be a resonant and grateful metaphor in my life, but like all great rock’n’roll stories, it began with a riff.”
So when exactly was that song created ? On 1978-05-27 The Police performed with Eberhard Schoener in Düsseldorf and then drove back to Munich, passing Nuremberg that way. They drove in a small VW van. With maybe just enough space for Sting to do some composing in the back. But did he have his black Stratocaster back then? Money was an issue as it wasn't there yet :) And did they really have "Message In A Bottle" that early, but didn't consider recording it for Outlandos d'Amour?
On 1979-01-12 The Police played with Eberhard Schoener in Düsseldorf again, but drove to Hamburg afterwards - in a large bus. This contradicts the "Düsseldorf - Nuremberg" and the noisy van memories. But I'm pretty sure that this is the right date for the birth of "Message In A Bottle". Sting's memory was right regarding "early '79" and "Düsseldorf", but mixed up the destinations and vehicles they were in.
Stewart Copeland remembers that Sting got his black Stratocaster at a shopping spree where he bought his own cream coloured Stratocaster - at Manny's in New York. His memory also mixes things up as he connects this shopping spree to the "My Father's Place" gig - the one on 1979-10-02. But this particular guitar can already be seen in photos from the summer of 1979. Pretty sure there were several shopping sprees at Manny's :) Sting definitely bought the fretless Fender there in October 1978. By then the band had sold some singles, received money from Eberhard Schoener and he himself had landed a part in the Quadrophenia movie.
This 1979-01-12 date however would leave a tiny problem - was there enough time to develop the song until its live premiere on 1979-02-21 at Hatfield Polytechnic? The German tour with Eberhard lasted until February 1. The band then did some TV appearances and had about 4 days off in London until they started recording " Reggatta de Blanc" on 1979-02-13.
This ad was printed in Record Mirror / NME / Melody Maker (September 15, 1979):
"Message In A Bottle" appears on the following album releases:
|Cover art||Album title||Release date||Release country|
|Reggatta de Blanc||1979-10-02||United Kingdom|
|Every Breath You Take: The Singles||1986||United Kingdom|
|Greatest Hits||1992-10-02||United Kingdom|
|Message In A Box: The Complete Recordings||1993-09-30||United Kingdom|
|The Police Live!||1995-06-13||United Kingdom|
|Every Breath You Take: The Classics||1995-09-12||United States|
|The Police||2007-06-11||United States|
|Cover art||Catalog no.||Songs||Release date||Release country|
|Cover art||Catalog no.||A-side song/B-side song||Release date||Release country|
|A&M 2190||"Message In A Bottle"/"Landlord (live)"||1979||United States|
|AMS 7474||"Message In A Bottle"/"Landlord"/"Message In A Bottle" (new classic rock mix)/"Message In A Bottle" (instrumental)||2019-04-13||worldwide|
|Cover art||Catalog no.||A-side song(s)/B-side song(s)||Release date||Release country|
|SAMP 5||"The Bed's Too Big Without You"/"So Lonely"/"Can't Stand Losing You"/"Roxanne"/"Message In A Bottle"/"Walking On The Moon"||1980-MM-DD||UK|
"Message In A Bottle" appears on the following video and dvd releases:
|Cover art||Video title||Release date||Release country|
|Around the World||1983-02-01||United Kingdom|
|Outlandos to Synchronicities: A History of The Police Live!||1995-05-01||United Kingdom|
|Live Ghost In The Machine||2001-10-01||Japan|
This section needs more information.
|COUNTRY||CERTIFIER (RIAA, IFPI...)||CLASSIFICATION (Album, singles, foreign artist...)||CERTIFICATION (Gold, Platinum, Diamond...)|
Lyrics are property and copyright of their owners, and provided here for educational purposes only.
Just a castaway An island lost at sea Another lonely day With no one here but me More loneliness Than any man could bear Rescue me before I fall into despair I'll send an SOS to the world I'll send an SOS to the world I hope that someone gets my I hope that someone gets my I hope that someone gets my Message in a bottle A year has passed since I wrote my note But I should have known this right from the start Only hope can keep me together Love can mend your life But love can break your heart I'll send an SOS to the world I'll send an SOS to the world I hope that someone gets my I hope that someone gets my I hope that someone gets my Message in a bottle Walked out this morning Don't believe what I saw A hundred billion bottles Washed up on the shore Seems I'm not alone at being alone A hundred billion castaways Looking for a home I'll send an SOS to the world I'll send an SOS to the world I hope that someone gets my I hope that someone gets my I hope that someone gets my Message in a bottle
Quotations and trivia
The original band photo on the UK's 7" single cover was shot by James Wedge. Rod Shone took the other two photos - the front cover one with broken glass on top of a print of James Wedge's photo - and the back cover photo. Both were done in a great hurry at the offices of A&M Records. The water on the reverse was in a white photographic tray and the waves were made by using an air brush to make a quick flow of air which disturbed the water . Rod Shone used a Vivitar flash held off camera and a Hasselblad camera.The writing on the paper is the handwriting of A&M art director Mike Ross. The green colour was achieved by putting a green gel (a clear coloured plastic material) over the light source.
Alternative and cover versions
- the single version is only 3:50 minutes long
- Message In A Bottle (new classic rock mix) - this new mix was used on 1995 best of CDs in the USA (an in-house CD-R acetate from A&M in the UK uses the original name 'Phil Nicolo '95 Remix' for the same mix) and appeared again on the 2019-04-13 Record Store Day 2 x 7" single release
- Message In A Bottle (live - as released on the star shaped picture disc, Wrapped Around Your Finger 12" records and on Message In A Box: The Complete Recordings) - this track from the 1979-10-26 concert was heavily overdubbed with a second guitar part and completely new vocals
Cover versions of Message In A Bottle appear on the following album releases:
|Cover art||Artist||Album title||Release date||Release country|
|Maxi Priest||Reggatta Mondatta||1997-MM-DD||The Netherlands|
|Machine Head||The Burning Red||1999||USA|
|Watashi Wa||Policia! A Tribute To The Police||2005-MM-DD||USA|
This section needs more information.