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The Police — Spirits In The Material World
Album: Ghost In The Machine
Avg rating:
7.4

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1608









Released: 1981
Length: 2:48
Plays (last 30 days): 3
There is no political solution
To our troubled evolution
Have no faith in constitution
There is no bloody revolution

We are spirits in the material world
We are spirits in the material world
We are spirits in the material world
We are spirits in the material world

Our so-called leaders speak
With words they try to jail you
They subjugate the meek
But it's the rhetoric of failure

We are spirits in the material world
We are spirits in the material world
We are spirits in the material world
We are spirits in the material world

Where does the answer lie?
Living from day to day
If it's something we can't buy
There must be another way

We are spirits in the material world
Comments (196)add comment
 kangoid wrote:
Marley followed by The Police...reggae then reggae-rock...very good, Bill!
 
Big Bob Marley fan...
 dwlangham wrote:

one word Roxanne....
 

If the police were taken off the play list that would be great
It reminds me of a particularly good time in my life, so there's that. 

And that's some sweet drumming. I ignore Sting's overwrought "I'm a smart guy" lyrics.
I found out when you are using the Player and want to PSD it won't work. Just not at all a Police fan. PSD Please! LOL
 fedtho wrote:
Sometimes I just don't want to listen to a song I've loved and heard a thousand times. And sometimes it's just the right time to listen to it again.
This time, it was the right time.
I'm a little surprised by all the hate. I have a hunch the Sting hate pollutes the perception of the band, but that's just my take.

SOME people DO make pretty convincing points on why The Police's music might deserve criticism.

I can't argue about that band being relevant, having aged well or badly: I'm 50, they are a glorious part of my life. ANY song by them is wired inside my brain and has brought me joy, relief etc. in one way or another.
 
Nothing against the band. They had some great tracks. The problem is they were FM darlings and, like REM, Elton John and others, a handful of their tracks got robo-played beyond death and put me off hearing those cuts or anything else they did. Including this one. 
Sometimes I just don't want to listen to a song I've loved and heard a thousand times. And sometimes it's just the right time to listen to it again. This time, it was the right time. I'm a little surprised by all the hate. I have a hunch the Sting hate pollutes the perception of the band, but that's just my take. SOME people DO make pretty convincing points on why The Police's music might deserve criticism. I can't argue about that band being relevant, having aged well or badly: I'm 50, they are a glorious part of my life. ANY song by them is wired inside my brain and has brought me joy, relief etc. in one way or another.
horrible then
tiresome now
{#Stop}
So thankful I was able to see them at the Grove in Oakville,Canada at The Police Picnic's in the 1980"s I'm lucky! 
 bam23 wrote:

Oddly, I hear the bass in a new way (better speakers) and end up impressed by this song that has been one of those background pieces for me for decades. It seems to have aged well for me. So you inform us, almost parenthetically, that you could not stand it when it was released and it has not aged well. If you started off disliking it, what sort of rotting detritus does it represent now? One must wonder...

 
Ha! Rotting detritus indeed. They peaked with Truth Hits Everybody, way before it became the reggae tinged Sting show
Our so-called leaders speak
With words they try to jail you
They subjugate the meek
But it's the rhetoric of failure
 A thousand hosanna amens to that. 
I'm no wise king but I think this song has aged really well. 8
At 36 years old, this is sounding way perkier than I am. Upping from 6-7.
 
 thewiseking wrote:
This has not aged well.
Couldn't stand it then actually. 

 
Oddly, I hear the bass in a new way (better speakers) and end up impressed by this song that has been one of those background pieces for me for decades. It seems to have aged well for me. So you inform us, almost parenthetically, that you could not stand it when it was released and it has not aged well. If you started off disliking it, what sort of rotting detritus does it represent now? One must wonder...
This has not aged well.
Couldn't stand it then actually. 
Thank you Bill and Becky!
Excellent segue from Bob Marley's "Exodus" to this most excellent track... But Conjure One's "Endless Dream" doesn't continue the groove for me. 
That snare!  
 Everybody in my domestic space craft loves this song...we shuffle in the shuttle.

Lazarus wrote:
Everybody in my alien space craft loves this song...

 


Still true today...
 
Police is one of the best for me, I never get tired of them, and specially this song.{#Dance}
 Sasha2001 wrote:

Comments like this get my salivary glands juiced! So what you're saying is, of all the bands to make it to the big time, The Police and AC/DC were the worst. For you to accept this you would have had to have been exposed to the tiniest of musical samplings.
Here's a list of "Big Time" (your words) musical acts that I think are WORSE then your choices.  In no particular order:

Whitney Houston
Phil Collins solo
Later Genesis
Lionel Richie (but not the Commodores)
REO Speedwagon
Garth Brooks
Journey
New Kids On the Block
Bon Jovi
Huey Lewis & the News
Chicago (Chicago 17)
Def Leppard

And this list is based on the best selling albums of the 1980s only.

Here's my take on The Police:

Quite often bands hit it big because they land on a sound through their own evolution, a sound that finds them aligned with popular tastes at that particular moment in history. The Police are such a band. Experimental enough to satisfy purists but at the time less raw then punk. Appealing to both genders with the convergence of video and audio media. Sting became a bona fide sex symbol, and the Hugh Padgham produced, easy listening masterpiece, "Synchronicity," exploded onto television sets and AM/FM radios everywhere.

For those of us who saw them in a small club or cozy theater setting, the Police were as tight and high-energy an outfit as any power trio out there. Although lyrically clunky, owing to Sting's famed "gay wadness," they often transcended this high-minded posing with songs that felt original and fresh in 1980. With Sting's thinly veiled jazz leanings, Copeland's classical underpinnings, and Summers' weird tonal proclivity, the Police were unlike any other band of their era.

Besides the much publicized animosity between the mates, they're break-up always seemed like a forgone conclusion to me. The pop bloat that found it's way into songs like "Every breath you take" became like a platinum-selling cancer, threatening all future creativity. To me, the break-up was only further evidence that these guys were for real.


 
One music critic I read (in Rolling Stone? can't remember) wrote before Synchronicity that the band's reggae roots and three-man setup were going to limit their commercial success. Synchronicity tossed aside that three-man sound in favor of everything including the kitchen sink. I wouldn't call it easy listening and it got raves from almost every music critic...

The video to "Synchronicity II", though: that was the pop bloat cancer you describe. 

As Sting kept complaining, "Every Breath You Take" isn't a love song. It's gives voice to a stalker. It's meant to be menacing. 



Argh, I cannot find the PSD button on my stereo.....
Sting {#Arrow} {#Moon} ! 
Reggae brought to the next level of evolution, if you believe in that sort of thing.{#Bananajam}
Everybody in my alien space craft loves this song...
 unclehud wrote:
 AC/DC = Sex, drugs, and rock & roll.  Pretty simple, I think.  (pun)


 
Nah...that was Ian Dury & The Blockheads.  {#Wink}


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkdgJ_-Gg3Q
Our so-called leaders speak
With words they try to jail you
They subjugate the meek
But it's the rhetoric of failure

Still as relevant today as when written.
 Milk5Cents wrote:

best. snare. ever.



 
....... sure is
i don't remember this being so reverby!

best. snare. ever.



Everybody in my church loves this song...
 
Everyone (nearly) in my village likes this
with apologies to the 'EVERY'? one police
I am not sure why but I still crank this one...
 dwlangham wrote:

Good list. Add Styx and Foreigner.
 
Add Police.
 Sasha2001 wrote:

Comments like this get my salivary glands juiced! So what you're saying is, of all the bands to make it to the big time, The Police and AC/DC were the worst. For you to accept this you would have had to have been exposed to the tiniest of musical samplings.
Here's a list of "Big Time" (your words) musical acts that I think are WORSE then your choices.  In no particular order:

Whitney Houston
Phil Collins solo
Later Genesis
Lionel Richie (but not the Commodores)
REO Speedwagon
Garth Brooks
Journey
New Kids On the Block
Bon Jovi
Huey Lewis & the News
Chicago (Chicago 17)
Def Leppard

And this list is based on the best selling albums of the 1980s only.

 
Good list. Add Styx and Foreigner.
Back in 1981 this was pretty much the slickest thing out there.


Everybody in my hotel room loves this song...

 
Well.
Put. 


MiracleDrug wrote:
timeless.
brilliant.
 


timeless.
brilliant.
{#Puke}
I don't care how much these guys get overplayed anywhere. They are still amazing. I love all of their stuff, and GITM was a great, spiritual/political pop album. And they ROCKED at the New Orleans Arena in 2007 - ahhhhh, memories....sigh
 Xeric wrote:

No!  The Police?  Repetitive?  No!

(The Police are second to AC/DC as the worst band ever to make the big time.  If you ask me.  Which you didn't, of course.  Nobody ever does.  I can't understand why.)

 
Comments like this get my salivary glands juiced! So what you're saying is, of all the bands to make it to the big time, The Police and AC/DC were the worst. For you to accept this you would have had to have been exposed to the tiniest of musical samplings.
Here's a list of "Big Time" (your words) musical acts that I think are WORSE then your choices.  In no particular order:

Whitney Houston
Phil Collins solo
Later Genesis
Lionel Richie (but not the Commodores)
REO Speedwagon
Garth Brooks
Journey
New Kids On the Block
Bon Jovi
Huey Lewis & the News
Chicago (Chicago 17)
Def Leppard

And this list is based on the best selling albums of the 1980s only.

Here's my take on The Police:

Quite often bands hit it big because they land on a sound through their own evolution, a sound that finds them aligned with popular tastes at that particular moment in history. The Police are such a band. Experimental enough to satisfy purists but at the time less raw then punk. Appealing to both genders with the convergence of video and audio media. Sting became a bona fide sex symbol, and the Hugh Padgham produced, easy listening masterpiece, "Synchronicity," exploded onto television sets and AM/FM radios everywhere.

For those of us who saw them in a small club or cozy theater setting, the Police were as tight and high-energy an outfit as any power trio out there. Although lyrically clunky, owing to Sting's famed "gay wadness," they often transcended this high-minded posing with songs that felt original and fresh in 1980. With Sting's thinly veiled jazz leanings, Copeland's classical underpinnings, and Summers' weird tonal proclivity, the Police were unlike any other band of their era.

Besides the much publicized animosity between the mates, they're break-up always seemed like a forgone conclusion to me. The pop bloat that found it's way into songs like "Every breath you take" became like a platinum-selling cancer, threatening all future creativity. To me, the break-up was only further evidence that these guys were for real.



 freddyfender wrote:

Yeah, totally.  AC/DC, The Police and Guns and Roses cannot hold a candle to the musical genius that was/is the great imports from Sweden; the one, the only, often imitated, never duplicated.........ABBA.

 
You're right, none of them can, though your beloved AC/DC did release the second-largest-selling album in history.


Hate when they try to "jailya"... it's always such a "failya".


Music OK,,,,lyrics,,nah
Musically this is brilliant. Lyrically not bad. Love the bassline and trance of the keyboard with that off center pulsating bass drum and kick snare before the chorus. Wahhhhhh!

 tom-kenna wrote:
AC/DC I will never understand the appeal.  ..... 

AC/DC = Sex, drugs, and rock & roll.  Pretty simple, I think.  (pun)
 paraclete wrote:
I love Sting, and much of the Police, but this one song got WAY too much airplay back  in the day, and so I am a bit burned out on it.
 
I had not heard this for a couple of years. Great to hear again, it still sounds fresh to me.

2 -> 1
I love Sting, and much of the Police, but this one song got WAY too much airplay back  in the day, and so I am a bit burned out on it.
Yep.  I gave it an 8.  {#Roflol}
The "Police" are the only band I turn OFF on the "WONDERFUL" RP.

I just don't like them, never have.


 Zigi wrote:

If Stewart Copeland is a pretty good drummer then Beethoven was a pretty reasonable composer.
 
A matter of taste, for: ignorance is infinite, knowledge is not.

And: bad taste is taste as well . . .

It comes down to taste right? What I know - facts - is they both had / have incredible musical skill.

FYI: I enjoy both. An as for Beethoven: thus performed properly.

Ouch, I guess that's taste as well. 

Enjoy your music! 
 crockydile wrote:
Amazed at the negative comments on this song. Maybe it's the metaphysical content in a pop song that has always blown me away.
 
The lyrics still ring true (to me). If we could separate organized religion from the picture, I think our world would be a better place if we all believed that we are spirits in the material world.

There is no political solution
To our troubled evolution
Have no faith in constitution
There is no bloody revolution

We are spirits in the material world
Are spirits in the material world
Are spirits in the material world
Are spirits in the material world

Our so-called leaders speak
With words they try to jail you
The subjugate the meek
But it's the rhetoric of failure
We are spirits in the material world
Are spirits in the material world
Are spirits in the material world
Are spirits in the material world

Where does the answer lie?
Living from day to day
If it's something we can't buy
There must be another way

We are spirits in the material world
Are spirits in the material world
Are spirits in the material world
Are spirits in the material world



to hear this song is always a nice dose of energy, thanks r&b
 LastChance wrote:
Stuart Copland is a pretty good drummer. . .
 
If Stewart Copeland is a pretty good drummer then Beethoven was a pretty reasonable composer.

Amazed at the negative comments on this song. Maybe it's the metaphysical content in a pop song that has always blown me away.

Love this album.


Stuart Copland is a pretty good drummer. . .
 freddyfender wrote:
Xeric wrote:
(The Police are second to AC/DC as the worst band ever to make the big time.  If you ask me.  Which you didn't, of course.  Nobody ever does.  I can't understand why.)
 
SweTex wrote:
Agreed...I'd add Gun's and Roses to the list, but no one ever asks me either. Probably for the same reason they dont ask you. Are we doing something wrong?
  
  Yeah, totally.  AC/DC, The Police and Guns and Roses cannot hold a candle to the musical genius that was/is the great imports from Sweden; the one, the only, often imitated, never duplicated.........ABBA.
 
I gotta go with Rush and Kiss, hands down, no contest, but hey, that's just me.

 romeotuma wrote:


I have always loved the bass line in this song...
 

Me too.  That and the off-beat drumming from Stuart Copeland gives this track a great feel.  I remember seeing the Monseratt recording sessions on TV.
 EssexTex wrote:
Again an ok song ruined by the presence of Sting
 
Give it a rest TEX


Again an ok song ruined by the presence of Sting
i feel bad that i am annoyed by continuous positive comments.  
but i am.
sorry.

 
romeotuma wrote:


This song is soooo good for the ears...
 




This song is soooo good for the ears...


Xeric wrote:
(The Police are second to AC/DC as the worst band ever to make the big time.  If you ask me.  Which you didn't, of course.  Nobody ever does.  I can't understand why.)
 

SweTex wrote:

Agreed...I'd add Gun's and Roses to the list, but no one ever asks me either. Probably for the same reason they dont ask you. Are we doing something wrong?

  

 

Yeah, totally.  AC/DC, The Police and Guns and Roses cannot hold a candle to the musical genius that was/is the great imports from Sweden; the one, the only, often imitated, never duplicated.........ABBA.




 jagdriver wrote:


Another plug for Andy Summer's memoirs (click link ->) https://www.andysummers.com/onetrainlater.php, which I'm finding to be a very interesting read. It turns out he played in The Animals and Soft Machine, jammed with Jimi, and was on the London scene when Stewart and Gordon were still in short pants. There's even a bit about him turning on another uberfamous rock guitarist to the virtues of Gibson guitars. All of this, and Andy is pretty decent writer, too (i.e., not ghostwritten).

Oh, and don't forget RP's Amazon link!
! Very good book
 


I am transfixed by that little splash cymbal ring...
 musik_rose wrote:
omg its soooo repetitive!! {#Arrowd}
 
Yeah, how dare they play the same sequence of notes multiple times! And hit the same drums more than twice. It's a disgrace.

 Xeric wrote:

(The Police are second to AC/DC as the worst band ever to make the big time.  If you ask me.  Which you didn't, of course.  Nobody ever does.  I can't understand why.)

 
AC/DC I will never understand the appeal. (imoh) Police a bit overrated but, none the less, a very good band.

 Xeric wrote:

(The Police are second to AC/DC as the worst band ever to make the big time.  If you ask me.  Which you didn't, of course.  Nobody ever does.  I can't understand why.)

 
Agreed...I'd add Gun's and Roses to the list, but no one ever asks me either. Probably for the same reason they dont ask you. Are we doing something wrong?

Not 5 minutes ago, I just found out that an old friend has met Sting.  {#Eek}  We just got back in touch after many years....back in the day, we shared a love of The Police...  {#Mrgreen}


Another plug for Andy Summer's memoirs (click link ->) https://www.andysummers.com/onetrainlater.php, which I'm finding to be a very interesting read. It turns out he played in The Animals and Soft Machine, jammed with Jimi, and was on the London scene when Stewart and Gordon were still in short pants. There's even a bit about him turning on another uberfamous rock guitarist to the virtues of Gibson guitars. All of this, and Andy is pretty decent writer, too (i.e., not ghostwritten).

Oh, and don't forget RP's Amazon link!

Oh, I can't help it.  I still love this song, and the Police for that matter.  They were one of the first bands I liked as a twelve or thirteen year old, and they helped forge a path to bigger and better music. 

My sister and I saw them a couple of years ago in Louisville (Churchill Downs), and it was so much fun.  We still remembered every word to every song, and sang along ever so obnoxiously.

 musik_rose wrote:
omg its soooo repetitive!! {#Arrowd}
 
No!  The Police?  Repetitive?  No!

(The Police are second to AC/DC as the worst band ever to make the big time.  If you ask me.  Which you didn't, of course.  Nobody ever does.  I can't understand why.)

omg its soooo repetitive!! {#Arrowd}
"Our so-called leaders speak ... "

How appropriate. Brother, can you spare $700 billion?


I have always loved the bass line in this song...


Marley followed by The Police...reggae then reggae-rock...very good, Bill!
Only last Friday evening I was at one of The Police gigs. Great show, but d'ya know what was really great - bumping into a load of old pals from that era. With being away from old home town for a while, raising families, etc, the are some people you just don't manage to keep up with but the gig brought a place where we were all back there having a great time.
One of the few mute-worthy songs on Paradise, but definitely worth it.
EssexTex wrote:
:eek:
You looking at me? Huh?
kaz wrote:
Please wait more than two days before playing this again...
I'd be even happier with 200 years
Same time period as REM's Radio Free Europe. I'm back to those memories again! The Police has such a unique sound for the times. The beginning of the music video era.
:eek:
Wonderful transition from Rush's The Enemy Within to Spirits In The Material World. Great work as per usual, Bill!
Just as I was thinking that the fade out of that last Rush song sounded like the keyboards in "Spirits in the Material World"...voila...Bill, you are suegue-sychronistic.
Ghost!
They rock :bananapiano:
Please wait more than two days before playing this again...
redeyespy wrote:
Also, close your eyes and pretend you are in Montserrat....
Correct! With one tweak, make it pre-Hurricane Hugo Montserrat.
veegez wrote:
In order to enjoy this song, try swinging those arms out alternatively (left, right)like Sting in the video. It's fun! "are spirits...in the material world, are spirits..." and so on.
Also, close your eyes and pretend you are in Montserrat....
Let's see ... My favorite Police song. My favorite Police album. The first album I ever bought with my own money. Yeah, 10.
Hannio wrote:
I can only aspire to be so erudite as to disdain the Police, like some of you. I can't help it, I love 'em.
Me too, I can only aspire to be sooo, what he said, um, aphrodite. No? :) In order to enjoy this song, try swinging those arms out alternatively (left, right)like Sting in the video. It's fun! "are spirits...in the material world, are spirits..." and so on.
I can only aspire to be so erudite as to disdain the Police, like some of you. I can't help it, I love 'em.
Rush , now the Police? RP= :notworthy:
mefrombrazil wrote:
WHITE REGGAE HATE.
ok we got it. now stop it!
WHITE REGGAE HATE.
The Police guitarist, Andy Summers, is quite an accomplished photographer: (click here)
Following Bob with "Stinks" fake Jamaican drawl is a joke right?
revsully wrote:
I used to think this song was about "asparagus in my cereal bowl."
:lol: No, it's there are spearmints in my dental work.
more good music ruined by "Stinks" stupid voice
Not only a good song, but one of the better album covers from the 80s.
What a cool song.
thetimebeing2112 wrote:
Sting: "How do fit Kanye's rap into this?"
:lol: don't EVEN get me started on that whining wannabe (yes he hates dubya but who doesn't) LOSER! :beat: :ass: :fire:
Sting: "How do we fit Kanye's rap into this?"
Paul_in_Australia wrote:
What about... "And when their eloquence escapes me Their logic ties me up and rapes me" De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da That lyric grates more than Jane Martin, Sting's former cook, unlawfully dismissed by the 'right on' couple after she became pregnant. So it goes to show that Sting really DOES have a police record....
Fredriley says he's anal Come on, don't be pedantic rhymes can be so banal this should make you frantic
Reminds me of being stuck in traffic in some godawful suburban strip mall.
I used to think this song was about "asparagus in my cereal bowl."
fredriley wrote:
For some pedantic, perhaps anal, reason, the rhyme "jail ya/failure" has always grated on me.
What about... "And when their eloquence escapes me Their logic ties me up and rapes me" De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da That lyric grates more than Jane Martin, Sting's former cook, unlawfully dismissed by the 'right on' couple after she became pregnant. So it goes to show that Sting really DOES have a police record....
Alpine wrote:
Die hard Reggae fans aren't going to appreciate this being played right after Bob.
why not? they did not title one of their albums "regatta de blanc" for no reason ...
pomalley wrote:
My least fav Police song. Did you know the little red lights are shaped like the Police band member faces?
Hmm... interesting. But they awfully look alike, don't they? :smile:
My least fav Police song. Did you know the little red lights are shaped like the Police band member faces?
Sting said it all in this song, long time ago... @fredriley: hopefully not long. :question:
For some pedantic, perhaps anal, reason, the rhyme "jail ya/failure" has always grated on me. Otherwise not a bad number, but of its time and I'm not sure how long it'll last.
another wake up get going tune 5.0resonator wrote:
One of my favorite songs of all time. The lyrics, the music... Kinda ironic now when you see Sting doing Jaguar commercials and such nonsense. But hey, any song that mentions evolution gets high marks. Far out! Thanks.
One of my favorite songs of all time. The lyrics, the music... Kinda ironic now when you see Sting doing Jaguar commercials and such nonsense.
Hold up better than a lot of other Police stuff, thinks me.
Exodus "reggie for beginners" followed buy this as good as it is dare I say it white reggie
Crap like this makes me turn the dial every so slightly (anywhere else). Any other radio station can play this junk- please not here too!