Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic

Album: Ghost in the Machine (1981)
Charted: 1 3
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  • This was originally an acoustic ballad Sting wrote while The Police were known as Strontium 90 (and included bassist Mike Howlett). You can hear the first recording of this song if you find their rare CD, Police Academy, released in 1997 and produced by Mike Howlett.
  • Sting used a lyric from this, "Do I have to tell the story of a thousand rainy days since we first met? It's a big enough umbrella but it's always me that ends up getting wet," on some other songs he wrote, including The Police's "O My God" from Synchronicity and "Seven Days" from his solo album Ten Summoner's Tales. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Jeff - Kendall Park, NJ, for above 2
  • True to their punk roots, The Police have some colorful and dysfunctional characters in their early songs. While this song seems very endearing, the guy clearly has some issues, as he pursues a girl who does not return his affections. He might be crossing over into stalker territory as he resolves to call her up "a thousand times a day."
  • The video, directed by Derek Burbidge, shows the band in Montserrat, an island in the Caribbean where they recorded the album. Many of the shots are in George Martin's AIR Studios, where they did their recording, but we also see people of the island with the members of the band. The Police were deeply influenced by the music of the Caribbean (reggae music).

    The Police had been making videos since 1978, but Ghost in the Machine was their first album released after MTV launched. It was good timing for the band - they quickly became video stars and one of the biggest acts in America. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Mylene - Guadeloupe French West Indies
  • This was the first demo Sting ever played for his bandmates. Good thing it's not a timely tune: They didn't record it until their fourth album, Ghost in the Machine.
  • In 1982 this won the Best Pop Song at the annual Ivor Novello Awards.
  • Sting worked up a new demo of this song in early 1981 with the French Canadian keyboard player Jean Roussel, which they recorded at Roussel's studio near Montreal. When The Police's record company heard it, they pegged it as a hit and had the band record it, even flying in Roussel to play on it. But getting the magic that was on the demo proved difficult, and for days they struggled with it. Finally, drummer Stewart Copeland had Sting put the demo on and count him through the changes as he played to it. Sting conducted him through it, and they finally got the drum take. The rest of it Sting, Summers and Roussel were able to complete. According to Copeland, he was seething with anger when he did his take, which gave him the energy he needed to make it work.

    "We tried it fast, we tried it slow, we tried it reggae, we tried it punk, we tried it as a bossa nova," Copeland said in a Songfacts interview. "We tried every which way, but nothing. To the extent that we did it different from the demo was the extent to which it didn't sound like a hit anymore. So, eventually, in a morning grump, I show up at the studios and I say, 'Guys, I tell you what, just play me your f--king demo, lead me through the changes and see if that works.' So, they put up the demo and Sting is standing over me pointing out where the verse, the chorus and all the different pieces are. I kind of knew that by now anyway because of all the different versions we had done, and then I just cranked out one take of OK, play the f--king demo and I'll play along and see if that works, and it kinda did."
  • The intro to this song was used by German R&B singer Sebastian Hamer for "Immer Noch." His song's meaning is just about the opposite of the original. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Thomas - Saarbrucken, Germany
  • In the book MTV Ruled the World - The Early Years of Music Video, Police drummer Stewart Copeland talks about the fallout from playing with all those buttons during this video: "'Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic' we shot in Montserrat, and it's strange how that was regarded as, 'The Who destroying equipment of our time,' because we were trashing that Trident desk. And that desk, by the way, ended up at Studio One in A&M, here in Los Angeles, and I've been to five or six different studios around the world that claim that the Neve sitting in their room is the one that we trashed. And I don't know which one is which. One Neve is the same as the other, if you ask me. And we weren't aware of trashing it at all. We were in the habit - because we were all very fit - of climbing over it, because it was very long. And if you were over there and you wanted to get over here to hit a fader or something, we'd just climb over it. Certainly, we were not cognizant of any abuse of the console. But we were just dancing around."
  • Sting already had this song in his pocket when he moved from his home city of Newcastle. He recalled in Daniel Rachel's book of interviews with British songwriters, Isle of Noises: "When I moved to London in 1975, I was struggling to make a living. I auditioned at the Zanzibar in Covent Garden. I sang 'Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic' and the guy said: 'We need commercial hit songs. We don't need this kind of stuff.'"
  • This song was included on Ghost in the Machine to try and "leaven the rather sober tone of the rest of the record," Sting wrote in Lyrics By Sting. "It was written in 1976, the year I moved to London. I had no money, no prospects, nowhere to live. All I had was Stewart Copeland's phone number and some vague idea of forming a band. It was the year of the Sex Pistols, punk rock, aggressive loud music, violent lyrics, and 'Anarchy In The UK.' And I wrote this song, which tells you how in touch with the times I was."
  • This was used in The Office (US) episode "Phyllis' Wedding" in 2007. It also appears on the soundtrack of the Adam Sandler movie The Wedding Singer and the 2005 film Bewitched. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Jazzz - Frankfurt, Germany
  • A rather obvious hit, this was the first single from the Ghost in the Machine everywhere except the UK, where "Invisible Sun," a song dealing with the political climate in Belfast, was issued first.
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Comments: 23

  • Patrick Verda from Bloomington, Il UsaHere's a cool analysis of the tune itself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZavJLr5Otq4&sns=em
  • David from OttawaHe doesn't want to call her 1000 times a day. He wants to call her once, and 1000 times a day he resolves to do it. But he never does.
  • Dan from IdahoI always thought the line "I resolve to call her up 1000 times a day" sounded creepy. Think about it, with 86,400 seconds in a day, this would mean he'd be calling her every 86.4 seconds (spread out over 24 hours). After the fourth or fifth call you'd probably have the police (heh!) at your door.
  • Marc from Shelton, CtTo follow up on Dennis from Anchorage's point regarding instances when Sting actually quotes himself from previous lyrics, the example Dennis is thinking of from Sting's 2nd solo album, Nothing Like The Sun, occurs at the tail end of the song "We'll Be Together." As the song fades out, Sting wails "If you need somebody...If you wanna keep something precious....Love somebody....Love somebody....If you love somebody...", lines directly lifted from "If You Love Somebody, Set Them Free" off his 1st solo album, Dream of the Blue Turtles. Curiously, Sting claims that "We'll Be Together" is an antidote to "If You Love Somebody...", which in turn he claims was an antidote to "Every Breath You Take." Yet the 1st and 3rd tracks convey very different messages in drastically different musical styles despite claiming to both be the antidote of the same song. Hmmmm?
  • Marc from Shelton, CtFollowing the aforementioned point that this song was recorded in Canada (Montreal to be exact), the prominent piano part was added by Canadian session keyboardist Jean Roussel, whom Sting had invited to play on the track against the wishes of his bandmates Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland. Summers did not approve of Roussel's inclusion in the track, claiming that he was "incredibly pushy" and that "there wasn't room for him. He must have played 12 piano parts on that song alone." Copeland, on the other hand, said that Roussel "wasn't pushy ... He was just like us actually." Roussel also worked with Cat Stevens, Celine Dion and Dusty Springfield, among others, but by virtue of his contribution on this classic song, Roussel made his way into the trivia books as being the only NON-member of The Police to ever appear on one of their studio tracks. All of the other Police songs from all 5 of their studio albums were performed by some combination of only Sting, Stewart and Andy. Interesting, eh?
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn January 15th 1982, the Police perform in concert* at the Boston Garden in Boston, MA
    At the time the trio's "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" is at position #34 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; six weeks earlier on November 29th, 1981 it peaked at #3 {for 2 weeks}...
    {See the next post below}...
    * The concert's opening act were the Go-Go's; and nine days later on January 24th the quintet's "We Got the Beat" enters the Top 100 at position #79.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn September 20th 1981, "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" by the Police entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #66; and on November 29th, 1981 it peaked at #3 {for 2 weeks} and spent 19 weeks on the Top 100...
    It reached #1 {for 1 week} on November 1st, 1981 on the Canadian RPM 100 Singles chart {it also peaked at #1 in Ireland and the Netherlands}...
    Between 1979 and 1997 the British trio had thirteen Top 100 records; seven made the Top 10 with one reaching #1, "Every Breath You Take" for 8 weeks on July 3rd, 1983...
    They just missed having an eighth Top 10 record when "Spirits in the Material World" reached #11 {for 2 weeks} on March 7th, 1982.
  • Keith from London, United KingdomI agree with James (Westchester) and wario (London) this song sums me completely to a tee and has been following me everywhere I go.
  • Megan from Stevenson, AlLove the vocals to this! It's great! Very good song!
  • Matt from Galway, IrelandOne of my fave songs by the Police, who were now a little less punk and making more use of synths. In fact, the caribbean inspired keyboard is irresistible, one of the best things about these songs.
  • Hari from Bangalore, IndiaAn unconfirmed rumour has it that Sting wrote it for the wife of this Indian magician, PC Sorcar.
  • Tessa from Washingtonville, PaI have always enjoyed listening to this song. It makes you feel good. The Police are cool.
  • Wario from London City, United KingdomI agree with James this is about a guy who is too shy to approach a women he is smitten with. A big enough umbrella but he always getting wet is a reference to his uncertainty. It always seems to rain on him when he tries to find love, with this women.
  • Susan from Toronto, CanadaThis is one of my favorite songs ever...but the album it's on GHOST IN THE MACHINE is otherwise terrible, to my tastes. I read Sting say other people were copying the Police's original sound, so they decided to change their sound for GHOST. To me it's sterile and overly "synthy." So I've played "Every Little Thing She Does is Magic" a million times, and the rest of GHOST songs hardly at all!
  • Scott from West Palm Beach, FlHey Evileye_8: ??? That's like claiming Ferrari gets a bad image from the movie Red Line ... totally lame movie, but great car(s) ... c'mon.
  • Jeff from Branford, CtI just heard the Strontium 90 version from the CD, Police Academy. Its a great version, if you like this song you will love it.
  • Barry from New York, NyThe entire GHOST IN THE MACHINE album blew me away when it was released back in 1981. To me it has a dark sci fi feel to it, almost like it was recorded in outer space or on another planet! Strange but that's what it seemed like to me and I was only 10 or 11 years old back then. The tune "Secret Journey" is the best example, check that tune out.
  • James from Westchester, EnglandDo tell, Roger from Los Angeles... the meaning of the song seems simply clear to me. A man is too shy to approach the woman of his dreams. What am I missing?
  • Dennis from Anchorage, AkActually, Sting used that trick of quoting his own songs pretty frequently. I think he does it as a running joke from album to album, or used to. He quotes 'Every Breath You Take' in 'Love is the Seventh Wave' on The Dream of the Blue Turtles. I don't remember right now which song from 'Turtles' he quoted in 'Nothing Like the Sun,' but I remember he did it then too.
  • Evileye_8@msn.com from Perth, Australiayeah your right.
    it only brings down the image of the band.
  • Roger from Los Angeles, CaI was disappointed to see a preview for the movie Bewitched and see that this song is used in the movie. Shame on Sting (or whoever has the rights to Police songs) for giving this lame movie permission to use this song. This song, along with Every Breath You Take, have to be two of the most misunderstood songs of all time.
  • Ronnie from Ft. Meyers, FlSting was writing this song in the back of a tour bus and was attempting to write a song that rhymed sort of like a poem. He turned to Stewart Copeland, who was sitting behind him, and said "Can you think of a word that rhymes with magic?" Copeland said "Tragic?" and that was how the line "Even though my life before was tragic" came about.
  • Eddie from Lachine, Mi Mel Gibson uses the "I resolve to call (her)you up a thousand times a day, and ask you(her) if you'll(she'll) marry me in some old-fashioned way" line in the movie "Conspiracy Theory" to tell Julia Roberts' character that he loves her.
    She blows him off. "Those are song lyrics."
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