Murder By Numbers

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"Murder By Numbers"
Every Breath You Take 7" cover (Murder By Numbers was the b-side...)
Recorded by The Police
Released: 1983
Recorded: December 1982
Length: 4:36 minutes
Album(s): Synchronicity (Cassette / CD)
Label(s): A&M
Writer(s): Andy Summers, Sting
Producer(s): The Police, Hugh Padgham
Studio(s): AIR Studios
Released as single? B-SIDE

"Murder By Numbers" is a song written by Andy Summers and Sting and recorded by The Police in 1982.

About the song

The song was developed rather quickly at AIR Studios on Montserrat. Andy had the guitar chords, Sting had some lyrics. According to Stewart Copeland the very first take of that song ended up as the B-Side of the Every Breath You Take 7" and on cassette versions of the Synchronicity album. Stewart played a long drum intro in the dining room, until Andy and Sting joined in.

Jeff Seitz remembers that he and other roadies did their handclaps "live" (and not as overdubs) right after The Police finished their take. They had been instructed not to be too enthusiastic with their handclaps at the end - to give the impression of an unimpressed club audience.

Hugh Padgham however is sure that "they were definitely not recorded live when the band played the song".

There were certainly some rehearsals prior to the one-take recording.

Personnel

  • Sting - bass, vocals
  • Stewart Copeland - drums
  • Andy Summers - guitar

Release History

Albums

Murder By Numbers appears on the following album releases:

Cover art Album title Release date Release country
Police-album-synchronicity.jpg Synchronicity 1983-MM-DD Country
40px At The Movies 1997-MM-DD Japan
40px My Funny Valentine: At The Movies 2005-03-23 Japan

Singles

7" Singles

Cover art Catalog no. A-side song/B-side song Release date Release country
Breath.jpg AM 117 "Every Breath You Take"/"Murder By Numbers" 1983-05-20 UK
Breath pic.jpg AMX 117 "Every Breath You Take"/"Murder By Numbers" 1983-05-27 UK
Breath double.jpg AM 117 + AM*01 "Every Breath You Take"/"Murder By Numbers"/"Man In A Suitcase (live)"/"Truth Hits Everybody (remix)" 1983-06-03 UK

12" Singles

Cover art Catalog no. A-side song(s)/B-side song(s) Release date Release country
Stub.gif Catalog no. "A-side song"/"B-side song" (add more songs as necessary) YYYY-MM-DD Country

Video

"SONG TITLE" appears on the following video and dvd releases:

Cover art Video title Release date Release country
Stub.gif Video or dvd title YYYY-MM-DD Country


Awards, nominations, and certifications

Awards

This section needs more information.

Year Winner Award Category
YYYY WINNER (album, song, producer, etc.) AWARD (Grammy, People's Choice, etc.) CATEGORY

Nominations

This section needs more information.

Year Nominee Award Category
YYYY NOMINEE (album, song, producer, etc.) AWARD (Grammy, People's Choice, etc.) CATEGORY

Certifications

This section needs more information.

Country Certifier Classification Certification
COUNTRY CERTIFIER (RIAA, IFPI...) CLASSIFICATION (Album, singles, foreign artist...) CERTIFICATION (Gold, Platinum, Diamond...)

Lyrics

Lyrics are property and copyright of their owners, and provided here for educational purposes only.

Once that you've decided on a killing
First you make a stone of your heart
And if you find that your hands are still willing
Then you can turn a murder into art

There really isn't any need for bloodshed
You just do it with a little more finesse
If you can slip a tablet into someone's coffee
Then it avoids an awful lot of mess

It's murder by numbers one two three
It's as easy to learn as your ABC
Murder by numbers one two three
It's as easy to learn as your ABC

Now if you have a taste for this experience
And you're flushed with your very first success
Then you must try a twosome or a threesome
And you'll find your conscience bothers you much less

Because murder is like anything you take to
It's a habit-forming need for more and more
You can bump off every member of your family
And anybody else you find a bore

Because it's murder by numbers one two three
It's as easy to learn as your ABC
Murder by numbers one two three
It's as easy to learn as your ABC

Now you can join the ranks of the illustrious
In history's great dark hall of fame
All our greatest killers were industrious
At least the ones that we all know by name

But you can reach the top of your profession
If you become the leader of the land
For murder is the sport of the elected
And you don't need to lift a finger of your hand

Because it's murder by numbers one two three
It's as easy to learn as your ABC
Murder by numbers one two three
It's as easy to learn as your A B C D E

Quotations and trivia

Jeff Seitz originally remembered that the song was done at Le Studio, but Stewart Copeland and Hugh Padgham are sure that it was already done on Montserrat - the long drum intro seems to confirm that.

Alternative and cover versions

Alternative versions of Murder By Numbers appear on the following album releases:

Cover art Artist Album title Release date Release country
Stub.gif Frank Zappa (with Sting) Broadway The Hard Way 1989-05-25 Country
Policia cover.jpg Maxeen Policia! A Tribute To The Police 2005-MM-DD USA

See also

This section needs more information.

External links

This section needs more information.

References