Police Academy - Strontium 90

[Updated: January 2, 2007]

Police Academy

Title:Police Academy
Label:Pangaea - Ark21
Catalogue number:ARK 21 -D2 - 10003 2 7 V
Release date:29-07-1997
  1. Visions Of The Night
  2. New World Blues
  3. 3 O'Clock Shot (live)
  4. Lady Of Delight
  5. Electron Romance
  6. Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic
  7. Towers Tumbled
  8. Electron Romance (live)
  9. Lady Of Delight (live)

The Japanese release (TOCP-50242) contains two extra tracks:
  • New World Blues (live)
  • Towers Tumble (live)
Remarks:The Police Academy album contains both studio recordings and live material (recorded in Paris on 28-05-1977) of Strontium 90. All the songs (except for Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic) have the following line-up:

  • Mike Howlett - bass, vocals
  • Sting - bass, vocals
  • Stewart - drums
  • Andy Summers - guitar
In October 1976 ex-Gong bassist Mike Howlett attended a concert of Last Exit in London and was impressed by Sting. Andy met Mike at a Christmas party in 1976 and went over to his house a couple of times. In early May 1977 Mike got Sting, Stewart and Andy together at the Virtual Earth Studios in Swiss Cottage to rehearse for a Gong reunion concert in a huge circus marquee in Paris on 28-05-1977. The quartet cut several songs in the studio. The unusual combination of the double bass of Sting and Mike gave the band an extra dimension.

In June 1997 (just before the release of this album) Mike Howlett was interviewed by e-mail (for Calyx - The Canterbury Website) and told the following about this release: "You will be pleased to hear that I have finally persuaded Miles Copeland - manager of The Police and now Sting - to let me release the recordings of Strontium 90 ! These consist of five songs recorded in an 8-track studio in London in 1977, of which four were written by me and one by Sting, as well as three songs recorded live at the Hippodrome gig in Paris in May 1977 - the first Gong reunion, plus one bonus track which, strictly speaking, is not a Strontium 90 track - this is a recording made in my 4-track attic studio of "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" - the first ever demo, which really is magic. The studio session was the first time that Sting, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland ever played together, and the live gig was the first time they ever played together on stage. Apart from the 'historic' value, I am pleased to have these songs aired because it shows to some extent where I was hoping to lead the Gong story. Most of the material was mine, with one other Sting song and one Stewart Copeland song. We did two more gigs in London clubs - not recorded - but no-one wanted to sign us up. I know why - Punk was exploding all over the place at the time and we must have looked like a bunch of ex-hippy musos with an ex-nobody on vocals. I saw Simon Draper a couple of years ago and he said he still can't believe he passed on that band. But I know it was not right for me - the energy was very hard and uncomfortable, and producing was beckoning. I do remember a defining moment about a year later - I was sitting in Sting's apartment in Westbourne Grove one day, when Stewart arrived carrying a pile of Bob Marley records - 'I'm going to turn you on to this guy', he said to Sting. You have to give him credit - he had a vision and that's how Regatta de Blanc was born... Anyway, the album is coming out on Sting's own label called Pangaea Records on July 21st [1997]".

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Rogier van der Gugten, Utrecht, 2002