“Zenyatta Mondatta” by The Police - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1980Album Chart of the Decade: 1980s

TJR says

“Zenyatta Mondatta”, good name for an album that. Meaningless, but rhythmic and memorable with connotations for imaginative minds if so desired. Arriving in October, 1980, it was another decent record from the reliable trio, opening with the fine lead single of a month earlier, “Don’t Stand So Close To Me”, where there are strong words in the school staff room, as the accusations fly of improper teacher-pupil relations. Blimey Charlie. Despite the controversial subject matter, the group notched-up their third number one in the UK. Referencing his north-eastern roots, Sting makes the analogy of the sacrificial “Canary In A Coalmine” (they were often used to test mining conditions) to paint the picture of a neurotic hypochondriac. Cool Ska beat. Nice to see some worldly awareness on side one via the anti-poverty plea “Driven To Tears” (“Seems that when some innocents die, All we can offer them is a page in a some magazine, Too many cam'ras and not enough food, Cause this is what we've seen, Driven to tears”) and the anti-war song “Bombs Away”, written by Stewart. The album's great second (and final) single, “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da” was out in time for Christmas, and kept the momentum going with a #5 hit, and a chorus which was being sung daily by kids & grannies up and down the nation via the wireless. It was a good point, well made. This is followed strangely and intriguingly with what sounds like a bit of a sci-fi rock instrumental, “Behind My Camel”, written by Andy. For some reason, this so upset Sting that he refused to play on it. Sounds good to me; the frontman's needing to get over himself I reckon. All was well in the reception as “Zenyatta Mondatta” followed “Reggatta de Blanc” to the very summit of the UK album chart. Good job.

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [04:04] 7.9.png The Police - Don’t Stand So Close To Me (Gordon Sumner) New Wave
A2 [03:20] 5.7.png The Police - Driven To Tears (Gordon Sumner) New Wave
A3 [03:38] 5.1.png The Police - When The World Is Running Down, You Make The Best Of What’s Still Around (Gordon Sumner) New Wave
A4 [02:26] 7.8.png The Police - Canary In A Coalmine (Gordon Sumner) Ska / Rocksteady
A5 [03:53] 5.9.png The Police - Voices Inside My Head (Gordon Sumner) New Wave
A6 [03:09] 5.3.png The Police - Bombs Away (Stewart Copeland) New Wave
B1 [04:09] 7.6.png The Police - De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da (Gordon Sumner) New Wave
B2 [02:54] 6.7.png The Police - Behind My Camel (Andy Summers) Film Score / Incidental
B3 [02:19] 6.2.png The Police - Man In A Suitcase (Gordon Sumner) Ska / Rocksteady
B4 [05:02] 6.4.png The Police - Shadows In The Rain (Gordon Sumner) Dubbeat
B5 [03:22] 5.2.png The Police - The Other Way Of Stopping (Stewart Copeland) Cerebral Pop

© The Jukebox Rebel 2005-2020 All Rights Reserved