A never-before-seen, Christmas-themed video of The Police‘s 1980 mega-hit “Don’t Stand So Close To Me” has been given its premiere today (8). The clip went live on the band’s official YouTube channel at 8pm UK time.
The promo, which has been sitting in the archive since it was made, sees Sting, Stewart Copeland, and Andy Summers meeting Father Christmas and racing on snowmobiles in an appropriately snowy winter scene. Santas on skis also feature, as does Sting taking his shirt off, as he did in the more familiar video for the song. At the end, we see him “silencing” Andy, as the song fades.
The other promo film for the chart-topping song, featuring Sting in the schoolteacher role of its lyric (and of his pre-fame job), was remastered in 4K in 2010. “Don’t Stand So Close To Me,” from their third album Zenyatta Mondatta, was The Police’s third UK No.1, spending its first four weeks at the chart summit in September and October 1980, in a ten-week chart run. A second version of the track was released in 1986, after a brief reunion of the band, and remains the most recent recording by the trio.
The 1980 version was the UK’s bestselling single of the year, with estimated sales of 900,000 copies, also hitting No.1 in Spain. It reached No.10 on the Billboard Hot 100, and the Top 3 in Australia, the Netherlands, South Africa, and elsewhere. The song went on to win the 1981 Grammy Award for Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Group.
In 1993, Sting reminisced to Q magazine about the single and its success: “You have to remember we were blond bombshells at the time and most of our fans were young girls so I started role playing a bit,” he said. “Let’s exploit that. And it really worked. You know that single sold a million copies in Britain. A million. Imagine that now?”
Buy or stream Zenyatta Mondatta.