Andy Summers Says He Saved ‘Every Breath You Take’ From Sting


The Police guitarist Andy Summers spoke to Guitarist for its latest issue and revealed that there was a classic track from the band that the frontman Sting didn’t want to use. The musician explained how he convinced Sting and Stewart Copeland to use the song while working on their material.

On June 17, 1983, The Police released their fifth and final studio album ‘Synchronicity.’ The record got critical acclaim with its unique sounds and lyrics. The album became popular and commercially successful by hitting the charts and receiving three Grammy awards. It also included the band’s greatest hits, such as ‘Every Breath You Take,’ ‘King of Pain,’ ‘Wrapped Around Your Finger,’ and ‘Synchronicity II.’

One of them, ‘Every Breath You Take,’ became a signature and milestone work for The Police and Sting, and the fans listened to it worldwide as a significant contribution to its success. It was awarded Song of the Year and Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals, along with the Ivor Novello Award. However, Sting almost threw away the iconic track after he couldn’t agree about the bass and drums with Copeland.

Then, the singer wanted Summers to perform it with his guitar, and this version was so impressive that Copeland and Sting stood up and applauded the guitarist. Thankfully, the guitarist’s one-of-a-kind playing and riffs saved ‘Every Breath You Take’ from being an unreleased song when he drew Sting’s attention. As a result, the song became a classic, and Summers’ riffs were considered a must-learn for every guitar player.

Summers said in his interview that:

“Sting and drummer Stewart Copeland could not agree on how the bass and drums were going to go and so nearly insisted the track be discarded. Sting asked me to plug in my guitar and make it my own. They all stood up and clapped. Of course, the thing went around the world, straight to Number 1 in America. The riff has become an immortal guitar part that all guitar players have to learn.”

You can listen to the song below.