Live At Boston in November 1979 is the first CD in the two CD, two concert album The Police Live!
Because the two concerts are so different, I have decided to review them separately to help create a clearer review. The other CD is here – The Police Live In Atlanta 1983
Review Of The Police Live in Boston 1979
Set List – Rating 9/10
Next To You – 2:57 (originally on the studio album Outlandos d’Amour)
So Lonely – 7:33 (Outlandos d’Amour)
Truth Hits Everybody – 2:34 (Outlandos d’Amour)
Walking On The Moon – 4:59 (Reggatta De Blanc)
Hole In My Life – 4:08 (Outlandos d’Amour)
Fall Out – 2:46
Bring On The Night – 5:16 (Reggatta De Blanc)
Message In A Bottle – 4:27 (Reggatta De Blanc)
The Bed’s Too Big Without You – 8:53 (Reggatta De Blanc)
Peanuts – 3:07 (Outlandos d’Amour)
Roxanne – 4:42 (Outlandos d’Amour)
Can’t Stand Losing You – 7:54 (Outlandos d’Amour)
Landlord – 2:27
Born In The 50’s – 4:18 (Outlandos d’Amour)
Be My Girl – Sally – 4:51 (Outlandos d’Amour)
Nine songs from their first album, Outlandos d’Amour and only four from the album they were promoting, Reggatta De Blanc. They also played their first (non-charting) single Fall Out and Landlord which is the B-side to Message In A Bottle.
Your view of the set-list depends on what you think about early Police songs. I think they started very strongly and give it a rating of 9/10.
Performance Rating – 9/10
This is terrific. You can feel the tension and energy come through as the band fights to escape the confines of the recorded versions.
It’s almost everything you want a live recording to be.
Unfortunately I had problems with The Police back in the day because of Sting’s voice. Since then I’ve bought plenty of his solo recordings so I’ve obvious got to appreciate it more but he’s not a great rock singer. I’ve deducted a point for it but it’s still a very creditable 9/10.
Unlike the Atlanta 1983 concert, I can’t share videos from the same gigs but these give you an idea of what The Police were like live in 1979.
Can’t Stand Losing You
Atmosphere and Authenticity – 9/10
I’m not sure that I emphasised the stomach churning tense excitement that this recording creates. If feels live with its bright, crisp mix and unlike Atlanta 1983, I think you’re pulled into this recording.
It feels like a special time for the band (and for rock music generally). I have to admit that I fought against liking the band at the time. I was at University and they were very popular and I hadn’t picked them up when they were new and striving. I also objected to Sting’s voice and didn’t think the first couple of albums offered enough.
I was wrong and I wish I’d been at one of these 1979 concerts to experience the full effect for myself.
Overall rating – 27/30
I’m surprising myself here but I think this is terrific. On those rare occasions when I feel I need to hear The Police, this is where I’m going to go.
Excellent and highly recommended. I’d see the second concert as a bonus that you may or may not appreciate.
What Other People Say
You can hear 30 second samples of each of the songs at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. I recommend that you do it before buying.
Buying The Police Live!
You can get this excellent live album from:
What Do You Think?
Is this the best of the Sting live albums?
Best Live Albums Of All Time
The Police Live! is included in the poll to find the best classic rock live albums.
If You Like This, I Think You Will Also Like…
Are The Police classic rock or punk reggae?
- The Slits Live At the Gibus Club 1978 (if you like punk reggae with a rougher edge)
- Sting Bring On The Night 1985
- Dire Straits Alchemy 1983