A track from the band’s first album, this was the second single The Police released, following “Roxanne.” Along with “So Lonely,” it’s one of three tracks on that debut album that drummer Stewart Copeland credits with establishing their signature sound, which incorporated reggae rhythms
This was the first Police song to chart: it hit #42 in the UK when it was released in 1978. A year later, after The Police became widely known, it was re-released and went to #2.
For publicity purposes, The Police claimed that this song and “Roxanne” were banned by the BBC. They weren’t, but the story got out and helped boost their credibility with the punk crowd.
This song is about a teenager who commits suicide when he loses his girlfriend. It took Sting only a few minutes to write the lyrics – they are not supposed to be deep and meaningful, but more of a joke.
The single came with some interesting artwork: a picture of a hooded body hanging from a rope, indicating the boy in the song who killed himself. The hooded boy is the band’s drummer, Stewart Copeland.
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