Saturday, March 31, 2007

Police are New Wave, not Classic Rock.

They belong with the Jam, Elvis Costello, and The Clash (If you allow, as I do that a band can be both New Wave and Punk).

Basically, I think the Police, along with the Cars, and what the heck, I'll pick the Eurythmics for $200, spearheaded New Wave.

The clipped powerchords, synthy sounds, and let's face it, silly haircuts, got onto the Radio, and like after Nirvana in 1991, the Radio never sounded the same again. Previous to the Police's arrival, it was all classic rock, all the time: Blooze rock. Clapton, Stones, Who, ZZ Top, Aerosmith, AC/DC. When the Police and company showed up, something changed.

Andy's anti-guitar-solo guitar solo, and echoplex ingenuity had a lot to do with that. The Edge wasn't the only guy suddenly running out to buy every echo box he could find, but he was the coolest, and the one with the most musical goods.

Andy didn't noodle and wank. His friends played that stuff, and did it well, so he searched for another path.

He played one note, gradually louder for thirty seconds: "When The World Is Running Down, You Make The Best Of What's Still Around" or he played Lenny Breau harmonics: "Regatta de Blanc" also known as the bridge in "Can't Stand Losing You!"

Andy is the guy in Dire Straits' "Sultans of Swing". He is George, the one who knows "All the chords. He don't wanna make it cry or sing." He plays 11th chords, as in "Walking on The Moon."

And when he does "make it cry," he does so with such brutal economy you can scarcely believe what you just heard: "Driven to Tears".

Over and out.


G. Pearson said...

Great synopsis of the excellence of Mr. Summers. I always loved his tone, too. It just got better with age.

Nettie said...

Check out what Andy does with "Walking On The Moon" in the current Police tour: just the right note at the right time and very reminiscent of jazz, but not.

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