Sting & the Police

Very Best of Sting & the Police [Remastered]

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Review

In the summer of 1997, Puff Daddy took "I'll Be Missing You," a sappy reworking of "Every Breath You Take," to the top of the charts across the world; it became the biggest rap single in history. The success of "I'll Be Missing You" also helped to make the Police hip again among both rock and rap artists. So, what better way to celebrate the occasion -- as well as the 20th anniversary of the Police's first album -- than to release another compilation, this time combining highlights from the Police and Sting's solo career? The Very Best of Sting the Police does just that, compiling 14 songs in a seemingly random chronological order. The Police cuts are generally classics, but there are several big hits left off, which should probably be expected for an integrated collection like this. There's plenty of good music on Sting's solo records, but the selection here emphasizes his MOR side instead of some of his more ambitious material. Obviously, that selection is designed to snag a mature, 30-something audience, which makes the inclusion of Puff Daddy's remix of "Roxanne" (included in both its original and remixed incarnations) a little puzzling, since that strives to appeal to a younger audience. Then again, you don't really expect coherence from a collection that simply wants to cash in at the right moment. While it's hard to ignore the fact that this disc isn't necessary, the music itself is good, and certain casual fans may find this useful. But anyone following Sting or the Police for any length of time will find The Very Best Of... superfluous. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

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