Every Breath You Take

Album: Synchronicity (1983)
Charted: 1 1
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  • This is one of the most misinterpreted songs ever. It is about an obsessive stalker, but it sounds like a love song. Some people even used it as their wedding song. The Police frontman Sting wrote it after separating from his first wife, Frances Tomelty.

    In a 1983 interview with the New Musical Express, Sting explained: "I think it's a nasty little song, really rather evil. It's about jealousy and surveillance and ownership." Regarding the common misinterpretation of the song, he added: "I think the ambiguity is intrinsic in the song however you treat it because the words are so sadistic. On one level, it's a nice long song with the classic relative minor chords, and underneath there's this distasteful character talking about watching every move. I enjoy that ambiguity. I watched Andy Gibb singing it with some girl on TV a couple of weeks ago, very loving, and totally misinterpreting it. (Laughter) I could still hear the words, which aren't about love at all. I pissed myself laughing."
  • In America, this was the biggest hit of 1983, according to Billboard's year-end chart. It stayed at #1 for eight weeks, longer than any other song that year (Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" was #2, with a seven-week stay).
  • Sting wrote this at the same desk in Jamaica where Ian Fleming wrote his James Bond novels. By this time, the band was at the peak of their popularity and often traveled to exotic locales so they could work more effectively. Sting was also exerting more control, taking less input from his bandmates when it came time to record his songs. Synchronicity ended up being the fifth and final Police studio album, as it was clear they could no longer work together. "Every Breath You Take" was the first single from the album.
  • Police guitarist Andy Summers made a significant contribution to the arrangement of this song. He explained in a Record Collector interview: "Without that guitar part there's no song. That's what sealed it. My guitar completely made it classic and put the modern edge on it. I actually came up with it in one take, but that's because Sting's demo left a lot of space for me to do what I did. There was no way I was just gonna strum barre chords through a song like that."

    Drummer Stewart Copeland concurs. "'Every Breath You Take,' Sting brought it in as a Hammond organ thing but we agreed that we are a guitar band, so Andy figured out that arpeggiated figure with which we are all so familiar," he told Songfacts.
  • The middle of the song was finished last. They didn't know what to do with it until Sting sat at a piano and started hitting the same key over and over. That became the basis for the missing section.
  • Sting knew this would be the band's biggest hit when he wrote it, even if he didn't think he was breaking new ground. In Rolling Stone magazine, he said: "'Every Breath You Take' is an archetypal song. If you have a major chord followed by a relative minor, you're not original." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • This won Grammys in 1984 for Song of the Year and Best Pop Performance By Duo Or Group With Vocal.
  • At the first MTV Video Music Awards in 1983, this won for Best Cinematography. Featuring black-and-white layered visuals, it was directed by Lol Creme and Kevin Godley of the duo Godley & Creme, who used a similar look in their 1985 video for "Cry."

    According to Andy Summers, an executive at their record company named Jeff Ayeroff showed the band, along with Godley and Creme, a 1944 short film called Jammin' The Blues, which contained elegant black-and-white footage of famous jazz musicians performing in a smoky club. Andy Summers of The Police stated that their video was just a "watered down version" of this film.

    Godley and Creme also borrowed the location and the cinematographer (Daniel Pearl) from the Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers video for "A Woman in Love (It's Not Me)," which has a very similar look.
  • Diddy (known as Puff Daddy at the time), sampled this on "I'll Be Missing You," his 1997 tribute to rapper Notorious B.I.G. Sting didn't know about the sample until after the song was released. He ended up making lots of money from it, claiming he put some of his kids through college with the proceeds. Sting performed "I'll Be Missing You" with P. Diddy at the MTV Video Music Awards, and the two remain friends.
  • Other than the musicians, there is only one other character in the video: a guy washing the windows behind the band. What's he doing there? In a Songfacts interview with co-director Kevin Godley, he explained: "The window washer felt right for that kind of noir feel. But, it also may be somebody who you don't expect to be watching the process, which refers to that sense of surveillance that the song is really about. We specifically did not want to know his story. That's something I've held fast to all the years I've been doing this: I hate telling the story of the song, because it's either show or tell, it's not both. If the song is saying something, you don't want to be showing what the song is saying. You want to be putting the performance of the song, something about the song, in a place, a frame if you like, that enhances the experience. Don't do the obvious. But, in this case, I think the window cleaner is perhaps a suggestion of somebody watching."
  • Stewart Copeland recorded his drum part in separate takes, overdubbing each drum. Sting wanted to use an Oberheim drum machine for the hi-hat, but Copeland fought him on that and ended up playing it himself.
  • Sting performed this on a 2001 episode of Ally McBeal. In the show, he was sued by a couple who broke up after one of his sexually suggestive concerts.
  • Robert Downey Jr., who was on Ally McBeal at the time, recorded a duet of this song with Sting for an album from the show called For Once In My Life. Downey was arrested and sent back to drug rehab soon after it was released.
  • This appears on the soundtrack of the 1999 Julia Roberts movie Runaway Bride. It was also used in the movies Risky Business (1983), Speed 2: Cruise Control (1987), The Replacements (2000), 50 First Dates (2004), Young at Heart (2007), What Just Happened (2008), and Heartbeats (2010).
  • The Police performed this when they were inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003. They were inducted by No Doubt lead singer Gwen Stefani, who showed a picture of her getting an autograph from Sting when she was a chubby 13 year old. It was the last performance of the night and the closest thing to the all-star jam that typically ends the ceremonies. The Police were joined by Stefani, Steven Tyler (who inducted AC/DC), and John Mayer, who had recently won a Grammy for his song "Your Body Is A Wonderland."
  • Taking account of Puff Daddy's "I'll Be Missing You," as well, which spent 11 weeks at #1, the combined total of 19 weeks makes this the longest running #1 tune in the Hot 100. The longest run at the top for a single song is Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men's "One Sweet Day," which spent 16 weeks at #1.
  • Sting started off with the refrain "Every breath you take," then worked back. He recalled in Isle of Noises by Daniel Rachel: "Once I'd written and performed it, I realized it was quite dark. My intention might have been to write a romantic song, seductive, enveloping and warm. Then I saw another side of my personality was involved, too, about control and jealousy, and that's its power. It was written at a difficult time."
  • Sting wrote in Lyrics By Sting: "The song has the standard structure of a pop ballad, but there is no harmonic development after the middle eight, no release of emotions or change in the point of view of the protagonist. He is trapped in his circular obsessions. Of course, I wasn't aware of any of this. I thought I was just writing a hit song, and indeed it became one of the songs that defined the '80s, and by accident the perfect sound track for Reagan's Star Wars fantasy of control and seduction.

    When I finally became aware of this symmetry, I was forced to write an antidote: 'If You Love Somebody Set Them Free.'"
  • Sting re-wrote the lyrics when he performed this in 2005 at Live 8, a set of concerts organized by Bob Geldof to increase activism and demand more aid for Africa. Sting included the line, "We'll be watching you" to mean the world would be keeping an eye on the politicians making critical decisions on the fate of Africa.
  • This was featured on several TV series:

    Knight Rider ("Return to Cadiz" - 1983)
    The Office (US) ("Phyllis' Wedding" - 2007) - performed by Kevin and his Police tribute band, Scrantonicity.
    Eli Stone ("Happy Birthday, Nate" - 2008)
    Parks and Recreation ("The Stakeout" - 2009)
    South Park ("You're Getting Old" - 2011)
    Glee ("Frenemies" - 2014)
    Stranger Things ("Chapter Nine: The Gate" - 2017)

    It was also used in the third episode of the 2018 Netflix series Maniac, where an odious character misinterprets the song and sings it to his fiancée as if it were a love song.
  • Denmark & Winter's version was used on the TV series Pretty Little Liars in 2014 (episode: "Miss Me x 100") during a love scene between Aria and Ezra. It was a fitting choice, considering that Ezra was outed as a stalker at the end of the previous season.
  • If you didn't catch the true meaning of this song, don't worry, Stewart Copeland didn't either. It wasn't until after the song was released that he realized it wasn't a love song. "Sting was a master of bait and switch," he said in a 2019 Songfacts interview. "I was with him a couple of weeks ago doing a documentary about music and I asked him, 'Why didn't you make 'Every Breath You Take' a nice song that people could get married to? What's the matter with you?,' and we laughed."
  • This song is a plot point on the 2015 Veep episode "Data." After a data breach at the White House, the Vice President uses the song as walk-on music at a campaign rally, which becomes bad news for the President, Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), when the hashtag #everylittlethingshedoesistragic starts trending. Earlier in the episode, a functionary who chose the song explained why it was a good choice: "Law and order mixed with very mild reggae, I'd say a comforting balance."
  • In the 2021 "The Sting" episode of Only Murders In The Building, Sting plays a nefarious version of himself that Selena Gomez' character suspects is a murderer. "'Every Breath You Take' is no love song," she puts forth as evidence. "It's about a jealous stalker and surveillance, and it actually seems like it was written by a killer."

    We won't tell you if Sting was the killer, but if he did it, it was certainly by numbers.

Comments: 107

  • Browns Fan from Columbus. OhioIt always amazed me that the same guy who wrote "if you love someone set them free" also wrote "every step you take I'll be watching you."
  • Robbie Macduff from L18 1hnHad Sting been listening to I'm Following You from It's A Great Life (film) and sung in 1930 by Annette Hanshaw? Just asking?
  • Mojosinking from Lake Tahoe, CaliforniaMy comment is this., We used to play this tune in a three-piece (I'm not talking about a suit) I remember it was like typing on the guitar for 3 minutes straight which made it kind of difficult, coincidently my bass player at the time sang it, I had to tune my guitar to the record to learn it as it seemed to be pitched between an A flat and an A, but my real comment was that I seemed to have noticed that there wasn't a guitar player at the awards that could play it, I was curious if anyone else noticed.
  • Matt from TorontoIn 2019, Every Breath You Take was recognized as being the most played song in the history of radio. With nearly 15 million plays, it passed long time record holder You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' by The Righteous Brothers. Every Breath You Take was also the number one song of 1983. Every Breath You Take powered The Police's Synchronicity album to an incredible 17 weeks at number 1 beating out Michael Jackson for a long period of time. The Police wound up beating out Michael Jackson for Artist of the Year in their 1984 reader's poll. A pretty incredible accomplishment considering how huge Michael Jackson was at the time.
  • Gbt from CanadaThis song is basically “Love You More Than I Can Say” by the Crickets 1960. https://www.lyrics.com/lyric/14269650/Leo+Sayer/More+Than+I+Can+Say You may be more familiar with this song in its remake https://www.songfacts.com/lyrics/leo-sayer/more-than-i-can-say Both of these versions would have been known in the UK and to Sting.
  • Seventhmist from 7th HeavenRay Parker Jr, who ripped off the synthesizer riff from Huey Lewis's song "I Want a New Drug" when he wrote "Ghostbusters," released a song the same year as this (1983) called "I Still Can't Get Over Lovin' You," which contains the line "Every breath you take, I'll be watchin' you, girl." Coincidence?
  • Siahara Shyne Carter from United StatesHAHA I remember The show on TV called “STALKER” xD
    The meaning are almost the same but The its the police who is watching you everywhere Haha.

    Someone made a paradoy to this song called Slashstreet boys they are so funny! "Every Breath I Take" is the Tittle lol

    The meaning is too obvious..... lol Oh can't you see You belong to Jail xD
  • Veritanuda from UkIn 1985 Sting rewrote the lyrics with a very different theme for the political satire show Spitting Image, titled "Every Bomb You Drop". The sequence was set at the end of the show and after a newscaster puppet announces

    "And now the main points again. Death, injury, agreement, strikes, wars, Soviets, Americans, 2 nil and stupid bastards".

    The music then starts up and fades to a sunset with puppets from the show panning across the screen in negative relief matching the newly written lines in the song.

    The Lyrics were. "Every bomb you make" (Regan), "Every Job You Take" (Thatcher), "Every heart you break" (Margaret Thatcher and Arthur Scargill), "Every Irish Wake" (Ian Paisley), "I'll be watching you".

    "Every wall you build" (Brezhnev), "Every one you've killed" (Mugabe), "Every grave you've filled" (Fidel Castro), "All the blood you've spilled" (Gaddafi), "I'll be watching you".

    "Oh can't you see" (Yuri Andropov), "You belong to me" (Mobutu Sese Seko?) "There'll be a bill to pay" (Russian General), "On that Judgement Day" (Elderly Adolf Hitler).

    "For every empty plate" (Indira Gandhi) "For every word of hate" (Ayatollah Khomeini), "Those who subjugate" (P. W. Botha), "Those who violate" (Konstantin Chernenko), "I'll be watching you" (Death).

    Then Credits roll and there is a refrain of

    "Oh can't you see, you belong to me. There'll be a bill to pay, on that Judgement Day. Every empty plate, every word of hate. Those you subjugate, those you violate, I'll be watching you. Those you subjugate, those you violate, I'll be watching you."
  • Fernando from BrazilI think this is THE song of all songs. I have 22 versions of this song, I found through the internet including one with a performance of myself (lol). There are sensational versions like a 1991 brazilian singer Rita Lee´s that someone recorded from the TV and posted in Youtube. Adam Sandler (who's an 80's songs addicted) used in the movie Just go with it (2011, directed by Dennis Dugan) a mashup of Snow Patrol's Chasing Cars and Every Breath you take.
  • Terry M from Tacoma Wa.I knew of three couples who used this song as their wedding song, never realizing its true meaning.
  • Ari J from HelsinkiStewart Copeland's father, Miles Copeland Jr., who was CIA agent, was in Beirut same time as Kim Philby. One of the Miles Copeland's tasks was to keep an eye on Philby. But he was Phiby's friend also. This song tells about relationship between Miles Copeland and Kim Philby and Copeland's disappointment to Philby after Philby had escaped to Soviet Union.
  • Shandroise De Laeken from Davao City, PhilippinesAdrian of Malaysia- Yeh, agree much with that! I hate Facebook stalking on every move I make : /
    This is a stalker song, definitely - fangirls must adopt this as their anthem, too. For example for 1D fans and Korean boygroups' fans , they follow EVERY EVERYTHING they do.
  • Susan from Atlanta, Georgia"Every Breath You Take" is also the title of a book by Ann Rule about Allan Blackthorne and Sheila Bellush, Allan's ex-wife whom he stalked and had murdered. The title of the book was taken from the song. This book's title and Sting's interview validated my theory about its being a song about stalking.
  • Smurf from Moncton, NbThis song is about when you love someone but they don't love you back. biggest sign is when he says "can't you see, you belong with me."
  • Adrian from Johor Bahru, MalaysiaIf Facebook were to adopt an anthem this would be the appropriate song !
    Every status update, every friend you add, I'll be watching you !
  • Coy from Palestine, TxActually, this song is an homage to Gene Pitney and Phil Spector for "Every Breath I Take". It is obvious that Sting had listened to this 1961 song while writing "Every Breath You Take"
  • Mike from Barcelona, SpainI recall reading an interview with Sting circa 1984 regarding "Every Breath You Take". Sting said he woke up in the middle of the night with the song in his head, then wrote both the melody and lyrics in 20 minutes on the piano. Interestingly, former Beatle Paul McCartney stated that he wrote the melody for "Yesterday" in exactly the same manner back in 1965.
  • Esskayess from Dallas, TxNever liked this song. The simplistic lyrics sound like Sting found a rhyming dictionary and wrote them in 5 minutes.
  • Megan from Stevenson, AlThis is an awesome song! I listen to it a lot.
  • Jay from Wheaton, MdHoly sh!t I never this was a song about a stalker I heard someone reference it, but I didn't believe it. Now that I think of it there are some obvious red flags, but what the hell you want from me I was like 4 when this song came out. Still a classic tho'
  • Bec from Ft. Laud, FlE Rock, to much info, do you work? sting is an artist. Are you in love or what dude? Hell his best is always about who he is. shut up!
  • Heimdallr from Lakeland, Swedeni thought it was about a dead spouse... oops
  • Tessa from Washingtonville, PaYes we all know its about a stalker! That does and does not matter. It is just the overall music you should be listening too. Enjoy the taste, and savor the moment. ( Great Song! )
  • Thegripester from Wellington, New ZealandOf course this song is about a stalker. Every song on the Synchronicity album could be interpreted to represent a different personality disorder (except for the opening track "Synchronicity I"). "Walking In Your Footsteps" - catastrophism. "O My God" - alienation. "Mother" - oedipal complex. "Miss Gradenko" - dysfunctional corporate culture. "Synchronicity II" - repressed emotions. "Every Breath You Take" - stalking. "King of Pain" - narcissism. "Wrapped Around Your Finger" - dominant/submissive. "Tea in the Sahara" - nymphomania. "Murder by Numbers" - sociopathy. Anyway, that's one way of looking at it.
  • Zoe from That One, Australiaforget the stalker, Sounds like another message from god to me :)
  • Marianne from Seattle, WaSting stated on television not long after -Every Breath You Take- was released that,"It's NOT a love song, it's a song about surveilance!"
  • Debra from Lee's Summit, MoOk, E-Rock, I agree with most of what you say. However, as you also noted, EBYT IS about a controlling relationship, which to some is the same thing as love. What the hell is a good, healthy love relationship anyway? All of us have different ideas. For many, having control over someone is the main element. Even in psychoanalysis one attempts to love oneself as well as others. As for stalkers, they think obsession is the same thing as love. So, I maintain that the song is about one's idea of a kind of "love."
  • E-rock from Wheaton, IlI'm sorry, but did anybody here go to graduate school ... or even graduate from high school, for that matter? Because most of the comments here are relatively mundane or completely inaccurate (with some exceptions). EBYT is NOT a love song and it is NOT a song about stalking. (Please, people, gimme a F****ing break!)
    Prior to The Police releasing Synchronicity back in 1983, Sting was, at the time, in the process of divorcing his first wife, Frances Tomelty (who, mind you, was, at the time, a good friend of Sting's present wife, Trudie Styler). During this tumultuous time of divorce from Frances, and considering the impending break-up of The Police, Sting sought the comfort of psychotherapy in order to re-center himself.
    It turns out that Sting's psychotherapist was of the Jungian (Carl G. Jung - a neo-Freudian therapist) school of thought. Sting was intrigued by this method of therapy and hence picked up Jung's book, Synchronicity - An Acausal Connecting Principle (hence the band's 1983 album title). Jung's book is an "extended work in the field of parapsychology aims, on the one hand, to incorporate the findings of 'extrasensory perception' (ESP) research into a general scientific point of view and, on the other, to ascertain the nature of the psychic factor in such phenomena" - Unknown. The concept of ESP explains much of the content of the the Synchronicity album song themes, but the concept of psychotherapy reigns in EBYT.
    The lyrics are intentionally vague - whether he (Sting) is speaking of his thoughts toward his therapist, or vice versa, is left up to the listener of the song to interpret the dialogue. Regardless, "I'll be watching you" implies an element of control in the relationship - something seen in almost every psychodynamic relationship to date.
    Furthermore, one needs to view the video of EBYT in order to conceptualize the true meaning of the song. The video is intentionally filmed in black and white, which emphesizes Freud's concepts of the Id and the Ego, as well as Jung's concepts of the Anima and the Animus ... and quite possibly the psychological concepts of sanity and insanity. The representation of the Mandala (the round ashtray morphing into a round drum snare as well as the round window being cleaned by the window-washer) is indicative of Jung's concept of (the centering of) Self. Finally, towards the end of the video, there is a man on a ladder who appears to be cleaning a window with a squeegee. This man represents the therapist, who is cleaning the windows of the soul, so that he can look deep inside that of the patient.
    Listen, I don't care whether you're a Sting / Police fan or not (trash him all you want, I don't care about your lame opinions), EBYT happens to be one of my favourite songs to-date and Sting is one of my favourite muscicians / songwriters of all-time. He is one of the most prolific poets of our time since the passing of Jim Morrison. Sting, keep in mind, was actually an English literature professor in England back at the time of the formation of The Police, prior to 1978, so, smarts-wise, I think he's got us all beat, hands down. Anybody who is 58 years old and is as mature, as literate, as intellectual, and as svelte as Sting, is alright in my book! I'll continue to follow Sting and his provocative songwriting styles until he chooses not to perform any longer. I'd rather listen to mind-stimulating prose than all of the other uncomprehesible BS that's on the radio today, anyway!!
    Just remember ... "I'll be watchin' you."
  • Debra from Lee's Summit, MoI really like this song. The fact that there are so many interpretations for the lyrics, right or wrong, proves that real talent and creativity were behind it. I like the guy that said, " love can make you do a lot of weird stuff after all" because that is so true. Everybody is so different. We don't all have the same ideas as to what love is all about.
  • Deb from Melbourne, AustraliaI'm a huge Police fan but I must say this isn't one of my favourites. But it's more the misinterpretation of the song being a "ballad" or "lovesong" that annoys me than the song itself. But that idiot who wrote below that Sting is Bono without the talent knows very little about what "talent" actually is...
  • Robert from Denver, CoI have always loved this song. And now I always laugh when I hear it because of the re-write that Berkeley Breated did in his comic strip "Bloom county". I believe it was "Every clam you bake, every dog you wake, every leaf you rake i'll be watching you". LOL.
  • Ryan from Pittsburgh, PaSo my friend recently claimed that this song was about Russian spies...

    Now I can see that claim was unfounded aha
  • Musicmama from New York, NyStalker song or not, this song doesn't rock. It's bland and needlessly repetetive. That in itself is creepy enough, never mind the "stalker" aspect of it.

    Had the Zombies (great call from you, John of Woburn, MA!) done it in their time, it would have been, at best, the B-side of some single. But the Zombies didn't have something that was available to Sting: MTV, and the demand for music videos. I'll grant you that the video was good (but it's silly compared to Thriller), but what would have become of this song--or, for that matter, the Police--without it?

    Whether or not this song set a record for tenure at the top of the charts, the fact that it remained there as long as it did in 1983 doesn't say much for the popular musical culture of the 1980's. (Only reggae and early hip-hop were its only saving graces.)

    This song is the prime example of what I've long believed: Sting is Bono without the talent. And I say that as someone who doesn't even care much for U2!
  • John from Brisbane, United StatesThis is one of my most hated songs.I just goes round and round about negative repeated negativity.Why didn't they sing about every cake you bake everything you make every big mistake I will be watching you.NOTHING in this song is likable.
  • Annabelle from Eugene, OrTo John in Washington, DC, are you sure Sting wrote this song about his mother? With that "baby, baby" part, I have this aching feeling you might be wrong. Would Sting really call his mother "Baby, baby"? I have this feeling that Sting is really talking to his x-Wife. If you think about it, and I could be wrong, but I believe that the facts clearly state that he wrote it after a breakup with his first wife.
  • Jake from Watertown, MnI love this song, its brillant and i feel this song to me is about a man who wants a beutiful girl to notice him and go out with him. But in the end, it probalby will never happen. Because she doesnt like him or notice him. Then later on in the song its like his wish will never come true.
    Then the man loses hope and goes into depression. I also feel its about not getting or achieving certain goals in life, regardless of your will. And in the end all the man in the song can do is hope.
  • John from This City, AustraliaI truly HATE this song!Every breath you take and every cake you bake I"ll be watching you.Every time I hear this rubbish I want to throw up.Every breath you make every big mistake.Every breath you take everything you make.I.ll be watching you.Why is this song always only rhyming with ache.Like take cake bake.I,ll be watchiong you I.ll be watching you every thing you take every cake you bake.The same sonsensical words just keep on repeating a load of nothing.
  • Rosse from K.lumpur, Malaysiathis song is the best.. one of my favourites
  • Bertrand from Paris, FranceRegardless of how many times this song is played, it retains a magic that only exists for the most solidly constructed, universally themed and uniquely presented musical compositions. Sting's songwriting centerpiece from 1983's Synchronicity achieves a rare pop/rock perfection, featuring a top-notch vocal performance, a groundbreaking guitar riff and a highly personal lyrical theme exploring obsession, heartbreak and romantic doom that somehow seems familiar in spite of its fierce originality. Definitely one of the finest moments of the career of the Police as well as the '80s as a whole.
  • Kate from Burnaby, CanadaThis should be the official song of WSDM.
  • Madalyn from Greensburg, Pabeautiful and haunting all at the same time brilliant
  • John from Washington, DcSting wrote an autobiography several years ago in which he discussed the fact that he caught his mother cheating on his father when he was a child, which she continued to do for a number of years afterward--he knew about it, but his father did not. Although he has not to my knowledge ever said so, I believe there is a 90% chance this song is primarily about his mother, with a couple of "baby baby"s thrown in to send people off on the wrong track.
  • Dave from Cardiff, WalesDavid - Are you joking?? The Police's last two albums were among the best ever released by any artist. The first two albums were good (but not overwhelmingly so), Zenyatta Mondatta was pretentious commercial pop. Ghost In The Machine and Synchronicity on the other hand saw the band heading in a much darker and less "poppy" direction. Sorry mate, but I don't agree with your statement at all
  • David from Youngstown, OhOne of the Police's worst songs. Their first three albums were great and their last two were pop trash. As for a great stalker song, try Nights On Broadway by the Bee Gees.
  • Joe from Boston, MaDid Sting stalk his ex-wifey? :)
  • Rosie from Manchester, United StatesI can't belive people don't like this song it is amazing! it is sooo imaginative, original and has a great sound!
  • John from Woburn, MaThis songs chorus sounds exactly like The Zombies 1967 little known song I'll Call You Mine. It goes "never look away, and every hymn you say, I'll Call you mine".It sounds way too alike to have just been a coincidence.DO i have something people or am i just crazy?
  • Scott from Harrisburg, PaEric in Cincinnati...8 weeks doesn't even come close to the record. The facts may have changed in the last few years (my Billboard book ends in the year 2000), but Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men were at #1 for 16-weeks in 1995 with "One Sweet Day." Even "Macarena"...ugh...went 14-weeks atop the pop chart.
  • Dee from Northfield, IlSome songs shouldn't be misinterpreted, but in this case it's what makes the song great. Disguising a stalker song as a love song is just brilliant. Sting is a great writer.
  • Darren from Hull, Englandam I right in thinking that with this song, Sting became the first person to single handedly write 5 UK number 1 hit singles ?
  • Tim from Annapolis, MdJames is the most accurate - Im from Newcastle England, Stings home town I know the vibe - this great song is about romantic desolation, shes just gone he still feels it - you ever driven past your recently ex house to see the light on - wondering ? -its not stalking cos everyones done it and eventually you get over it if your sane but its that feeling just after - really weird but ok - the antidote is in one of Stings songs also - If you love someone - Set Them Free - the other side of the coin !,

    Hes an arrogant sum-B Geordie bugger but a genius
    songwriter nevertheless.

    Just musings ! T
  • Kay from Windsor, CanadaI like "I'll be missing you" so much better, it took the best part of this song, the chorus, added rap verses and made it about missing someone(B.I.G.)who died.
  • Jennifer from Los Angeles, CaTo me this song is like an empty, dim, cobwebbed basement- bland, boring, yet vaguely creepy. I vote for the stalker interpretation. He's watching her, his "heart aches" and there's the "baby, baby pleease" stuff.
  • Lalah from Wasilla, AkHard to believe that "de do do do de da da da" and "every breath" came from the same mind. If you've been stalked you know exactly what the song means. I change the station whenever it's played.
  • Bri from Washington , DcThis song has NOTHING to do with stalking/divorce/love or anything along those lines. Big Brother is the main aspect of the song. Listen closely and you'll see it.
  • Jason from Moncton, CanadaSean, who has the very first comment is a complete idiot. It was voted the 4th best 80's video of all time on VH1 and also the song is simple but was also one of the top 500 songs of all time in Rolling Stone magazine. The band was also of of the 100 legends of rock in Rolling Stone magazine as well.

    One of the best bands if not the best of the 80's.
  • Sean from Brockton, MaTo be honest, I have always hated this song.It is flat, the whole way through. The chord changes are boring, the lyrics are creepy. It sounds exactly like Sting took over and the rest of the Police mailed it in just to spite him. This was such a departure from anything else they had done it was a hit. The video sucks, too.
  • Jon from Oakridge, OrStings writing of this song was ingenious, wether he intended it to be or not. The many theories about what it's really about (the stalker, Big Brother, the lover, the deceased lover watching from the grave) are all great.
  • Dane from Honolulu, Hii think it's funny that it can in one hand be a love song but in the other hand a stalker song.
  • Cara from PerthIn 'Emancipate Myself' by Australian band Thirty Merc, the song opens with Rai Thistlethwayte singing the first line of this song; 'Every breath you-' and then he interupts himself with the spoken line: 'As if I'd sing that song to you, you probably think you deserve it at the current time'. Has anyone else heard this? Always makes me laugh :)
  • Grant from Sioux Falls, SdI always used to joke with my sister that this song was 'The stalker song'. What i didnt realize was that i was right
  • Annabelle from Eugene, OrMy dad made a parity of this song. His version went, "Every fart you rip. Every noise you blow. Every smell you send, every nose you offend. I'll be smellin' you!" He's even crazy enough to say that his parity version is in fact the original. I kid you not! He claims to have written the song, and then one day, Sting called him up and said, "Hey Scott, I love your song. But I might want to change the lyrics a bit. It sounds like you've got kind of a filthy song goin' on." What a laugher!
  • Steve from Rochester, NyThe song you are thinking of is "Tears in Heaven" by Eric Clapton. He did write that after his son Conor fell out of a hotel window and died in the early 90's. It is also on the movie "Rush" soundtrack. Which I guess is a movie about drugs.
  • Jeremy from Seymour, Ctum... i thought this song was about his son that fell out of a hotel window when he wasnt looking... but i could be wrong
  • James Lo Cascio from Mahwah, NjOk first of all, when you are in love with somebody and it ends, EVERYONE I dont care who it is, has feelings of wanting to know what their old companion is doing. Sting isn't relating that the protaganist in the song is a real stalker, but we all have those feelings deep inside when we lose the one we love. We want to know where they are, what they're doing, and who they're with. The middle of the song is SOOO powerful because everyone that loses the one the one they love finds them self dreaming of their love, feeling cold and needed embrace and the tears that fall from their heartbreak. Sting wrote a beautiful song that we can all relate to. This song is exact in the way one feels after losing the one they love in a relationship.
  • Jesse from Haddam, Ct Yeah, and then Bill Nye the Science Guy used this song to parody and turned it into 'Every Step You Take, Every Move you Make is a measurement'
  • Joseph from La, CaI heard the song is ment to have multiple meanings and can be interpreted(sp?) however you want. I have heard things saying it was by a stalker, about obsessive love, and now the whole US seperation from the British. I really think this is ment to be a fairly open ended song rather than having one meaning.
  • Destiny from Gresham, Ori love this song...and i am very proud of puff daddys remake for notorious B.I.G!! this song isn't about stalking, its about..his divorce with his wife...he said that personally on VH1.
  • Lefty_2ndbaseman from Chicago, IlSting has re-used lyrics from previous albums as fadeouts at end of tracks. "We'll Be Together tonight" fades with "If you need somebody...call my name...(If you love Somebody Set Them Free). Also the end of track "Seven Days" on Ten Summoner's Tales fades with "It's a big enough umbrella, but it's always me that ends up getting wet (Every Little Thing She Does is Magic). I guess if it ain't broke, don't fix it?!? One of my favorite artists.
  • Ivan from Ciudad Juarez, MexicoOn July 15, 1996, Sting appeared in an episode of VH1's "Storytellers", where he played and told the stories behind some of his most famous songs, some of which he recorded as a member of The Police and others as a solo artist. On of the songs was "Every breath you take", and he had this to say about it: "I wrote it initially as a seductive love song.... and yet my life began to invade the song unconsciously, because at the time I wrote this song my life seemed to be falling apart. I was very successful at the time and yet my band was falling apart, my first marriage was falling apart, I was falling apart. And I think that invaded the song, and for me the song is quite dark, and it's not about seduction, and it's not about love and tenderness, it's about surveillance and control". With this said, this is my favorite song of all-time and definitely one of the greatest in rock history, and to me its greatness resides in its simplicity. Finally, it may not be a love song, but it most certainly is a song about love gone wrong.
  • Johnny from Los Angeles, CaI always thought it was about someone who was dead watching someone they knew and or loved from beyond the grave.
  • Johnny from Los Angeles, CaI can't believe this is about a stalker! DAMNIT!!! Nice comment, Ratboy
  • Ratboy from Ratville, NjPeople have it all wrong, here. This song is not about obsessive stalking or about profound love. It's about the emancipation of the US from Britain. No, think about it. Remember, Gorden Summoner (AKA, Stink, I mean Sting) is British. His work's been quite popular in the USA, giving him close contact with this country and time to become pensieve and think about what the seperation of Britain meant. The founders of the US were British, they left Europe to come here. Talk about a divorce. Now then, what has Britain been doing as it pines our departure? Watching, that's what. Every move. Every claim we stake. Every smile we fake. Every vow we break. And Britain still can't let go! They still want control. "Can't you see, you belong to me". And since we've gone, Britain has been eating our dust. If you're still not convinced, this should be the clencher... consider the part of the song that goes, "Oh, can't you see". Remind you of anything? How about the American anthem? "Oh, say can't you see...". It's a clear referance that makes the connection obvious when you're paying attention.
  • Billy from Otway, OhThis Is My Favorite Song.
  • Miles from Vancouver, CanadaForget that it's about a stalker. It's a groovy, well-written song that I never get tired of.
  • Markus from Stockholm, SwedenThe fact that the song is about a stalker is pretty obvious i guess... But does that count love out? I mean... Maybe the person in question loves somebody so much that he won't let her go, no matter what, so he'll be watching her "every move she makes"... that makes you a stalker doesn't it?... But I still find it beautiful in a bitter kind of way... Love can make you do a lot of weird stuff after all... I like to relate to this song in connection to love, when I feel a little more severe and harsh... It works for me...
  • Dane from Honolulu, HiI laughed after i read the part about the misinterpretation of the song as being a love song when it was a song about an obssesive stalker, and how some people use it as their wedding song.
  • Sarah Floyd from Bloomingdale, Ilto me this song reminds me of god. watching your every move seeing if you should go to hell or heaven. every breath you take means to me is you are wasting your time breathing. and thats all your doing. and you are watching someone breath and you know how they feel or somthing.
  • Jerry from Brooklyn, NyI work at a University. About 10 years ago, one of our Art professors put together a video montage that was a virtual walking tour of the campus. It was supposed to be included in the campus website. The video was marvelous, but as background music he used an instrumental version of "Every Step You Take" I sent him a memo saying it was a great video, but the music was not appropriate since it was about a stalker -- not a good selling point for any campus! I don't think that was the reason, but the video was never used, to my knowledge.
  • Rick from Humboldt, IaWhy do the stupid rappers always "sample" songs. So stupid. Rock is way better. I can't even call rap "music".
  • Mac from Milwaukee, WiBeautiful, hypnotic song.
  • Anthea from Boston, MaI'm always surprised when people think it's too "pretty" to be a stalker. I've always thought the quiet menace is the best thing about it. Most stalkers begin with gestures that they sincerely believe to be affectionate and romantic. A lot of the time, that's why people being stalked can't get help--people think it's about "playing hard to get" or they excuse inappropriate gestures because people are trained to think by stupid "romantic" movies that when someone says no, you should keep after them until they give in.
  • John from Glasgow, Scotlandthis is a fantastic song, ive always liked how everyone thinks its a love song when its about a psycho stalker, which is sheer genius. to be honest, sting isnt too right in the head anyway.
  • Dave from Bedford, EnglandI've always found this song kind of creepy, but still really like it. i've known for a while he meaning behind this song, about the storker. but this song has a different meaning to me, like someone you love watching over you from beyond the grave
  • Eric from Cincinnati, OhEight weeks in the #1 spot on the pop-charts is, as far as I know, still the record.
  • Steven from Harrison, OhThis song confuses me, how can you sing about being an obsessive stalker in such a soft tone, very missleading, but hey, I like the song anyway
  • Mike from Chicago, IlLove listening to the four tracks on "Synchronicity" right in a row - Synrhronicity II, Every Breath You Take, King of Pain and Wrapped Around Your Finger. I wish the Police would reunite. I was only nine when they broke up.
  • Kristina from Iowa City, IaI think I heard this song on a movie that starred Yvette Mimeaux, but I forget the title. She was a mentally ill woman who fantasized about a soap opera star, then spent her nest egg going to meet him. They had a one-night stand, then she stalked him and made his life miserable, so that he had to take desparate measures to get rid of her.
  • John from Beaufort, ScAnother note on the "Cat's Eye" reference: The director of the movie didn't have enough money to use The Police's version of the song from the record company. So they had a cover band play it for the movie. You can hear the difference.
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, ScIf I remember this correctly, sting said on an interview on VH1, that the song is a stalker song.
  • Dee from Indianapolis, InYou can't beat a good Police song, but I wouldn't say this is their best. Message in a Bottle and King of Pain are my favs. Too bad they won't get back together for a reunuion tour.
  • Dill from Alexandria, VaYears ago Keith Richards of the Stones said in an article, Rolling Stone I believe, that he liked this song, calling it a nice reworking of "Stand By Me." I KNEW it sounded familiar.
  • Kevin from Fort Worth, TxI was 9 years old when this song came out, and wasn't too aware of music back then, but I really like Sting, and have always thought this was one of the creepiest songs he has ever written. Great hook, but creepy nonetheless. It is CLEARLY about an unhealthy, stalker-like, relationship. It's HILARIOUS that people actually use this for WEDDINGS!!!
  • Dave from Cardiff, WalesCio - this WAS the biggest selling single of 1983 in terms of worldwide sales - outside the US, "Islands In The Stream" was a total flop except in the UK where it still only just scraped into the Top 10. Ironically, "Islands In The Stream" was also sampled on a rap hit.
  • Chris from Albuquerque, NmThe line "Every leg you break, every cake you bake" was, I believe, first uttered by Opus the penguin in the Bloom County comic strip when he was aspiring to be a rock star. He played a tuba - or maybe it was a sousaphone.
  • Jim from Airdrie, ScotlandThere's an alternative version recorded by Sting for the UK TV show 'Spitting Image'. It is an attack on political leaders and is called @every Bomb You Make'. A dance version was recently released on a limited basis.
  • Patrick from Orlando, FlSting parodied this song in his solo song "Love is the Seventh Wave" - as the song fades out, he sings "Every leg you break, every cake you bake".
  • Sarah from Ottawa, CanadaI knew this was a stalker song for a long time. I always thought this song was kind of creepy.
  • Anina from Huntington Beach, CaActually I saw Sting himself say that it was about "Big Brother" on VH1.
  • Kayla from Here, ArTo the person who said it was "Big Brother" : You as well misinterpreted it. The song is indeed about stalking and Sting did indeed write it after he divorced his wife.
  • Anina from Huntington Beach, CaIt's funny how you say that it is one of the most misinterprted songs every, because you misinterpreted it. That song is about a Big Brother goverment watching over "Every Breath You Take". The song has nothing to do with love or stalking.
  • Eddie from Lachine, Mi In the Stephen King move "Cat's Eye", a young Drew Barrymore uses the song to kill a goblin. The demon lands on the turntable and grabs the spindle and then the little girl speeds the playing up until it's thrown off. I laughed.
  • Deana from Indianapolis, InThe second original stalker song
  • Jon from Grand Forks, NdThis song was used in the episode "Quitters, Inc" in the Stephen King-inspired "Cat's Eye" starring James Woods
  • Monica from Shawnee, KsThis is my favorite song ever... I can't believe its about a stalker. Poo.
  • Cio from Lithonia, GaWorst song ever!...The top selling song of 1983 was the two million seller ISLANDS IN THE STREAM!
  • Krie from Ft. Drum, NySting talks about how people use this song for their wedding, and his response is, "OK, good luck..."
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