RELEASE DATE: 11.30.1985
The first of several Greatest Hits compilations, this collection was issued in 1986 after the band made their infamous attempt at a studio reunion. The original plan - to re-record updated versions of their hits - faltered after only two tracks had been given the treatment, as the band quickly slipped back into their warring ways. One of these tracks, a remixed Don't Stand So Close To Me '86 showed some promise (to our ears at least). It was totally different to the original pop-version, and much darker and bleaker. If there is a weak spot on the album it's that the original version isn't included for comparison purposes. That apart, this record can't get much better. All of their strongest singles are on the album, which is 45 minutes of pure excellence.
Review from Smash Hits by Simon Braithwaite
This is a long overdue greatest hits collection from what must be one of the most successful (and one of the richest) groups in the world. All the big hits are here: 'Roxanne', 'Message In A Bottle', 'Invisible Sun', 'Every Breath You Take' and the re-recording of 'Don't Stand So Close To Me' (which is actually better then the original). The Police singles were always better than their albums and, although they could be embarassingly pretentious at times, 'Every Breath You Take' proves what an imaginative and clever group they really are... er, were". (9 out of 10)
Review from Record Mirror by Eleanor Levy
It's strange to think now that I once fondled Sting's bottom on the stage of King's College in London. There must have been all of 150 people there (most of us under 18), and it cost 60 pence to get in. Then, the Police's audience was highly balanced on the punk side and getting up and dancing along with the likes of 'Roxanne' was a regular occurrence. How times change. Everyone knows what happened then, of course, and this record is as much a testimony to aggressive management, driving ambitions and clever packaging as musical innovation or class. There are moments of the latter all right ('Can't Stand Losing You' is still classic pop reggae at its brightest, 'Every Breath Yau Take' and 'Invisible Sun' are as chillingly beautiful as ever), but there are more dodgy tunes than you may care to remember. Just picture Sting's smug face as he sings 'De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da' and vomit profusely. All the singles are here, except the original 'Don't Stand So Close To Me' (replaced by the horrific 1986 remix which should never have been let out into society), showing the Police are neither as good nor bad as some would make them out to be. They may have sold millions, but they hardly changed the face of musical history. They had a few good tunes in them all the same. Buy this and sell all those boring Police albums you only bought for the singles anyway. (3.5 out of 5)
Review from New Musical Express by Neil Taylor
I've never been one of those naive people who saw The Police as selling-out as they rose through the fall-out of post-punk to the stages of Stad rock: their early dabblings were merely incidental to the band's true desire, which was quite simply to become enormous. This collection contains all of the songs that helped The Police notch up 40 million sales worldwide. In retrospect many of them sound similar - 'Every Little Thing' could well be 'De Do Do Do' with lyrics - but this record does highlight the distinction between the group's earlier 'Roxanne'-ish harshness and the later, smoother material like 'Spirits'. So who will buy this album. It will make a superb Christmas present, or excellent in-car playing if you happen to own an XR3i. Or maybe another 40 million will buy it for the not so different 'Don't Stand So Close To Me '86' mix?