It took A&M some years to be able to get a Police live album out, and it's no surprise that a live compilation video came along with it. What makes this one nice is that the interviews, while lacking detail, are refreshing in their candor, whether it's manager Miles Copeland talking about the way the band was built up, or back and forth cuts between Stewart Copeland and Sting regarding the feuding within the band. The footage comes from a number of sources, ranging from BBC gigs to material shot for the live videos previously released. There's a lot of amusing material tossed in for good measure, including some less-than-perfect performances and one performance where "The Banana Boat Song" gets a working over, is turned into a live improvisation, and finally mutates into a twisted set-closing version of "Can't Stand Losing You." You also get the first-ever public performance (prior to recording) of "Message in a Bottle," and all the "Roxanne" you can stand (though this version proves Stewart Copeland to be one of the best white reggae drummers on the planet.) An entertaining compilation, all told, though you may find yourself preferring the live CDs rather than rerunning this tape.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Steven McDonald