Stewart Copeland - The Equalizer & Other Cliff Hangers '88
Stewart Copeland. Biob. 16 July 1952, Alexandria, Egypt. Following the dissolution of the hugely successful Police in 1986, Copeland has kept his career going without ever overworking chart compilers. He began his career in the progressive group Curved Air (his long-time girlfriend and later wife Sonja Kristina was the singer), and then took up the mantle of "Welsh" artist Klark Kent, under whose guise he issued a 10-inch album, shaped as a "K", and pressed on green vinyl. He was also widely rumoured to have been involved as the drummer in the UK's notorious Moors Murderers.
After the Police disbanded, Copeland immersed himself in television and film recording projects. He wrote, produced, and played most of the music for Francis Ford Coppola's movie Rumble Fish. Without an obvious reliance on percussion, Copeland's score was hugely effective, though like so many soundtracks it failed to transfer to vinyl successfully. However, "Don't Box Me In", co-written and sung by ex-Wall Of Voodoo vocalist Stan Ridgway, is perfectly listenable. A second album, The Rhythmatist, offered a Paul Simon-like cultural survey of the sounds of Africa within a rock idiom. Fusing rhythms from Zaire, Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania and the Congo, Copeland found a rich seam of ethnic music to mine. The album also introduced solo artist Ray Lema to the west, and it is his vocals that are the record's high point. Copeland's next soundtrack work was to become his most famous as he penned the theme tune to morally asinine and gratuitously violent US television serial The Equalizer. Despite the subject matter, Copeland's compositions were never less than interesting and, in the case of the synthesizer-driven title track, they could be genuinely tuneful. After this and other oddments from the series were cobbled together for a patchy album released in 1988, Copeland moved on to work with Stanley Clarke and Deborah Holland in Animal Logic. During the following decade, he worked on the soundtracks for Rapa Nui, The Leopard Son, Four Days In September and Simpatico.
I've collected from various publications information about Stewart's playing, his equipment, and the Police's recording techniques; mostly for my own research purposes, but interesting nonetheless.