THE POLICE – “Walking On The Moon” / “Visions Of The Night” (A&M AMS 7494) November 1979
The Police ‘Walking On The Moon’ – Well what would you do if you had to follow up one of the greatest singles of the Seventies? You’d play it fairly safe and the boys have done with this pleasant, almost casual reggae affair. It’s a bit of a one paced proposition but I like it, even though I would have preferred to see “The Bed’s Too Big” get a shot. B-side is a previously un-issued rather raw rocker called “Visions Of The Night”. (Smash Hits)
Message to you, in a bottleneck: love letters, straight for our chart. made for one another.
A while since I’ve been persuaded by pop music, but this one is straight to my heart; there’s no doubt any longer. Now that The Police have won the necessary space – not to mention hearts – and their eyes are open, there’s no sleeping, no sweet nothings.
I sensed it the other night – on the think-tank pub jukebox – with ‘Message In A Bottle’: it’s no ordinary affair between those three and popular music’s form. Just between you and me, I hope that someone gets the . . . . . Drift around normative lines and tunes: Signifier Over Signified!
An undeniable serenade
So dignified; what a leisurely affair! ‘Walking On The Moon’ is an undeniable serenade, hinged around popularity or sexuality or some post-euphoric sleight of hand-in-hand. ‘Walking On The Moon’ isn’t soft soil, understated thought it is. It’s risky dubble seduction: edible reggae and hungry pop interest.
Guitar and bass and drums meet in all the wrong places, at all the nicest times, so discreetly. There’s no point as such to the song – where it could all suddenly focus safely, assured of a meaning – so you’re left exhausted but . . . . not over the moon but . . . . kept hanging on.
All of which is the right pop path for a single which sounds like something Tim Buckley would have headed for, via recent dub twists: a little more bittersweet than most. Sting’s vocal recalls Buckley as lazy, speedy starsailor; less of a voice than a metaphor. What for? “Walking back from your house, walking on the moon . . . . ” I’ve thought this recently, but it’s nice to have accompaniment. Bought it yet? I’m grinning and fading away. (NME)