Originally released as the lead single off the band’s 1983 album Synchronicity, the Sting-penned ballad eventually became The Police’s sole No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, and reigned atop the chart for eight weeks total. It won Grammys for song of the year and best pop performance by a duo or group with vocal.
Meanwhile, the moody visual became well-known for its striking black-and-white color palette as Sting intones, “Every breath you take/ And every move you make/ Every bond you break, every step you take/ I’ll be watching you/ Every single day/ And every word you say/ Every game you play, every night you stay/ I’ll be watching you” from behind his upright bass. According to YouTube, the video has averaged more than 300,000 views every day so far this year.
Earlier this year, Sting actually sold his entire song catalog — including all of his work with The Police — to Universal Music Publishing Group, just months after announcing he was actively in search of a buyer for his publishing and master recordings. (At the time, sources said the rocker wanted a valuation of 30 times the music’s annual royalties.)
Meanwhile, former Police drummer Stewart Copeland recently took part in the Foo Fighters’ Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert at London’s Wembley Stadium alongside Liam Gallagher; Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson of Rush; Brian May and Roger Taylor of Queen; and Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age.
Revisit the music video for “Every Breath You Take” above.