Outlandos d'Amour

From PoliceWiki

Outlandos d'Amour
LP cover - photo taken on 1978-10-10
Outlandos d'Amour master tape (front)
Outlandos d'Amour master tape (back)
Studio album by The Police
Released: 1978-11-17 (UK)

1979-04-25 (Japan)

Recorded: 1978-01-15 - 1978-09-20
Length: 38:14
Label(s): A&M
Producer(s): Stewart Copeland, Sting, Andy Summers
Studio(s): Surrey Sound Studios, Leatherhead, Surrey, UK


The Police started to record their first album on 1978-01-15 and finished mixing it on 1978-09-20. The album was intended to be released on Illegal Records and would probably have sounded very different to the product we know if Miles Copeland hadn't made the deal with A&M Records because he was convinced of Roxanne's quality. So a few punk-like numbers were left off the album. Later additions would be songs like Can't Stand Losing You or Hole In My Life.

For more details check the "Quotations and Trivia" section below.


Full personnel credits on cd reissue

  • The Police - Arranger
  • Nigel Gray -Engineer
  • David Foster - Tape Research
  • Margaret Goldfarb - Reissue Production Coordination
  • Bill Levenson - Reissue Supervisor
  • Bob Ludwig - Mastering
  • Stewart Whitmore - Compilation Producer
  • Vartan - Reissue Art Director
  • Chris Gray - Engineer
  • Dave Collins - Mastering
  • Meire Murakami - Reissue Design
  • Jane Hitchin - Tape Research
  • David Lascelles - Tape Research
  • Zoe Roberts - Tape Research
  • Brendan Morris - Tape Research
  • Randy Aronson - Tape Research

Track listing

All songs written by Sting except as indicated.

  1. "Next To You" – 2:50
  2. "So Lonely" – 4:49
  3. "Roxanne" – 3:12
  4. "Hole In My Life" – 4:52
  5. "Peanuts" (Sting, Stewart Copeland) – 3:58
  6. "Can't Stand Losing You" – 2:58
  7. "Truth Hits Everybody" – 2:53
  8. "Born In The 50's" – 3:40
  9. "Be My Girl, Sally" (Andy Summers, Sting) – 3:22
  10. "Masoko Tanga" – 5:40

Singles released

Variants, special editions and re-releases

A master tape includes the unreleased songs Wanna Know and Poem.

The tape also features alternate mixes of Born In The 50's and Be My Girl, Sally plus alternate versions of Can't Stand Losing You, So Lonely and Roxanne (which is listed as "LP version", but contains an alternate vocal line and an extended middle section).

Wanna Know was definitely a song that was also played live - as it appears on a setlist on 1978-02-23.



Year Chart Country Position
1979 Billboard Pop Albums U.S.A. 23
1983 The Billboard 200 U.S.A. 138
2003 Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums of All Time U.S.A. 434


Year Song Chart Country Position
1979 "Roxanne" Billboard Pop Singles U.S.A. 32
1982 "Roxanne" Billboard Mainstream Rock U.S.A. 28

Awards, nominations, and certifications


This section needs more information.

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


This section needs more information.

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


This section needs more information.

Country Certifier Classification Certification
U.S.A. RIAA Album Gold
U.S.A. RIAA Album Platinum

Quotations and trivia

See also

This section needs more information.

External links and reviews

SOUNDS magazine from November 18, 1978 featured a review by Phil Sutcliffe

--> copyright Phil Sutcliffe, not to be used elsewhere without the author's permission <--

Proto hippies on the other side of punk


'Outlandos d'Amour'

(AMLH 68502) ***1/2

It will probably come as a surprise to most people who saw them during their early months last year, but The Police have finally come up with a distinctive and mostly enjoyable first album.

They began rather like the Vibrators, older musicians inspired by the energy of punk. Their initial efforts to peel away the sophistication from their hard-earned skills were fairly uncomfortable and founders Stewart Copeland (drums, from Curved Air) and Sting (bass/vocals, from Newcastle jazz-soul band Last Exit) were hampered by the deficiencies of their first guitarist, Henry Padovani.

They began to come to terms with the practice of the theory when another seasoned performer, Andy Summers, replaced Henry. Briefly, they thought about becoming Strontium 90, a startling two-bass quartet with Mike Howlett from Gong as the extra man. I saw them deliver one of 77's most exhilarating sets one-off at the Gong reunion in Paris, but I gather the creative directions became too diverse (I'm not sure if that means they had a row). The Police trio then consolidated and began working towards 'Outlandos d'Amour', with only a slight detour for Klark Kent's double six roll of the dice, passing Go and no doubt collecting rather more than £200.

All of which I realise is not an album review, but is relevant to the end-product, one of the more fascinating fusions to be added to the new music stockpile recently. Sticking to that most basic line-up they have not been tempted to 'compensate' by extravagant use of their considerable techniques (Andy Summers once played the Mike Oldfield part in a concert version of 'Tubular Bells' so you can imagine what he's capable of). Instead they have chosen to emphasise starkness and tension, taking the bare framework of punk or reggae as their starting point. So Summers, who can freak out with the best of them, spends most of his time punching quietly vicious rhythm chords while Copeland, who is very good at being busy and loud, concentrates on subtle variations drawing in percussion, synthi-drums and dub 'zaps'.

After that whether you like The Police or not is down to singer Sting who, apart from his other chores, wrote all the songs, too. His voice is unusual, high and strained. I love it, though I'd acccept that it may be an acquired taste. In this set there's none of the tender romance of some of his pre-Police writing but there is a tougher kind of passion in the last single, 'Roxanne', and one of the songs they played on the 'Whistle Test', 'Can't Stand Losing You'.

That's the sort of material which will make their name if it's going to be made though the last two tracks on the album show how experimental they are now prepared to be. 'Be My Girl, Sally' features a custom-built Sting chorus with the banked vocals he swings in elsewhere on the hooklines book-ending a spoken monologue by Andy Summers relating to the tale of a love affair with one of those blow-up dolls. It reminds me of Stackridge, it's very odd and it works. Then 'Masoko Tanga' picks up on the 'Sally' outro of weird moans and squeals to launch some bubbling Afro rock with lead line on bass and more dub production.

Not all of the album is so striking. I have the feeling that they tightened up to an excessive optimum of discipline and then didn't quite let go enough to present themselves to the full. That maybe leads to excessive repetition and rather ponderous arrangements on 'Hole In My Life' and 'Born In The 50's'. But even if Sting doesn't become a star through his substantial role in Quadrophenia, these guys have got ideas and a future.