Police – Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic

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 at the bottom of the post above the version that we all know.

I liked these earlier Police songs. Ghost in the Machine also included Spirits in the Material World and Invisible Sun.

The song was on the album Ghost In The Machine and was released in 1981. The album peaked at #2 in the Billboard Album Charts, #1 in the UK, #1 in Canada, and #5 in New Zealand.

The song peaked at #3 in the Billboard 100, #1 in the UK, #1 in Canada, and #7 in New Zealand in 1981.

Sting: “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.'”

Stewart Copeland: “We tried it fast, we tried it slow, we tried it reggae, we tried it punk, we tried it as a bossa nova,” “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.”

 

From Songfacts

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

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. 

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.

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. >>

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.”

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. >>

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.

Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic

Though I’ve tried before to tell her
Of the feelings I have for her in my heart
Every time that I come near her I just lose my nerve
As I’ve done from the start

Every little thing she does is magic
Everything she do just turns me on
Even though my life before was tragic
Now I know my love for her goes on

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.

Every little thing she does is magic
Everything she do just turns me on
Even though my life before was tragic
Now I know my love for her goes on

I resolved to call her up a thousand times a day.
And ask her if she’ll marry me in some old fashioned way.
But my silent fears have gripped me long before I reach the phone
Long before my time has tripped me must I always be alone

Every little thing she does is magic
Everything she do just turns me on
Even though my life before was tragic
Now I know my love for her goes on

Every little thing she does is magic
Everything she do just turns me on
Even though my life before was tragic
Now I know my love for her goes on

Oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah
Every little thing, every little thing, every little thing, every little thing
Every little, every little, ever little, every little thing she does
Every little thing she does
Every little thing she does
Every little thing she does

Beo, beo, beo, beo, beo, beo, beo, beo
Beo, beo, beo, beo, beo, beo, beo, beo

Every little thing
Every little thing
Every little thing
She do is
Magic, magic, magic
Magic, magic, magic

Hey oh yo oh
Beo

Ah
Thousand rainy days since we first met
It’s a big enough umbrella, but it’s always me that ends getting wet

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

32 thoughts on “Police – Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic”

      1. Synchronicity was far from their best album, to me, but it sure sold gigantic quantities. Although I do love ‘Synchronicity II” from that album,.
        In response to ajeanneinthekitchen’s point, to me… if I was to take a “best of” of The Police and one of sting, I’d like Sting’s better. More songs I really love. But he’s also recorded more duds himself too – you’re talking maybe 150-200 Sting songs to choose from and about 45 Police ones.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I like hearing the genesis of a song…I don’t like everything they do…I must admit I like their earlier stuff better…it’s a little more fun.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Their early music sounded more raw, which definitely has its charm. There are some really great tunes on their first album.

        Have you ever heard that live album ingeniously titled “Live”? It includes two concerts, one from 1979 and one from 1983. It’s fascinating to hear the difference between these two gigs.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. No I’ve never heard that before. That would be interesting. A lot of live concerts in between those two dates…I have no doubt there is a lot of difference.
        I’ll look out for that…that sounds interesting.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. No doubt that Sting’s solo stuff is a little more intricate than some of the Police. I hear some pop-jazz in his music.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Good song. First time hearing its demo with strontium 90. It works either way but I’m used to the Police version. Yes, they did some some stalker-controlly lyrics but standard for the times.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s