Thirty years after they first stormed the music scene, legendary rock band The Police, bassist/vocalist Sting, drummer Stewart Copeland and guitarist Andy Summers, embarked on a reunion tour on May 28, 2007. This highly successful world tour visited five continents, played to nearly 3.7 million fans and garnered numerous accolades from Billboard, Pollstar, as well as The People's Choice award for Favorite Reunion Tour. It also went down in history as the third highest grossing tour of all-time. Now, following their much heralded 14-month reunion tour, The Police commemorate the culmination of the tour with a special release.
On November 11, The Police will release a 4-disc set (2 CD's and 2 DVD's) entitled "The Police: Certifiable," which contains the band's entire concert from Buenos Aires, Argentina. In the US, this special piece - along with Blu-Ray version and three-LP, premium 180-gram vinyl set with MP3 file key - will be released exclusively through Best Buy where pre-orders are already available. In the rest of the world, the album and DVD will be released via all retail outlets internationally on November 10. The United Kingdom release date for the DVD and Blu-Ray formats is November 24.
A massive European media launch of the Blu-Ray format, in association with Sony, Dolby and the Blu-Ray Association, will take place prior to the European release and will be attended by Stewart Copeland of The Police.
"The Police: Certifiable" is produced and directed by the award-winning Graying & Balding, Inc. team of Ann Kim and Jim Gable, whose film credits include the Rolling Stones, Sting, Keith Urban and Chris Botti.
In the U.S. specifically, the STANDARD set will contain 2-DVD's and 2-CD's that include the following:
* DVD with a 109-minute wide-screen concert presented in Dolby Surround and Stereo
* DVD with 50-minute bonus feature, "Better Than Therapy, " directed by Jordan Copeland detailing The Police's historic reunion with exclusive behind-the-scenes interviews from the band and road crew, plus 2 photo galleries of The Police on tour; one shot by guitarist and photographer Andy Summers and one by photographer Danny Clinch.
* 2 CD's with The Police's new live album from Riverplate Stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina, including all of the band's classics such as "Message in a Bottle," "Walking on the Moon" and "Every Breath You Take."
The Blu-Ray format will contain:
* The 109-minute 1080 HD (High Definition) concert presented in Surround and Stereo, in Dolby True HD and Dolby Digital
* The special 50-minute bonus feature, "Better Than Therapy" in HD, and the Summers and Clinch photo galleries in HD.
* 2 CD's of Buenos Aires concert
As well as full album on VINYL, featuring:
*Wide spine gatefold jacket, contains 3 pieces of heavy weight (180 gram vinyl), plus insert for downloading MP3's of the album.
Review from DVD Monthly by Tom Leins
One of the fastest growing sectors of the home entertainment market is the world of Blu-ray music releases, and there are hundreds of titles scheduled for release this year. The Police may have achieved more airplay than any other band during the 1980s, but do they have what it takes to cut the mustard in the current climate? The Police drummer Stewart Copeland certainly thinks so and took an active role in the release of this Blu-ray. He even appeared at the BVA Blu-ray showcase last autumn, debating the merits of the format with a panel of industry professionals. Copeland's faith in the format is well-placed, and you will see why when you experience this scintillating concert Blu-ray. The crystal clear visuals possess a clarity rarely seen on Blu-rays of any genre, and this concert (Universal Music's first large issue Blu-ray release) is arguably one of the most impressive offerings yet. The Police are tight and focussed throughout, and this pitch-perfect Blu-ray provides a vivid encapsulation of their skills. The unfussy direction may not stretch the Blu-ray's capabilities particularly hard, but the action is so well-rendered it frankly seems churlish to complain. Many concert DVDs promise you that you will feel like you are onstage with the band, but in this case it is actually true. Excellent stuff.
Review from Time Out by Bella Todd
'The cover of every magazine is gonna be devoted to that drum fill, you c***.' 'Well, it is amazing that you can play it in nine beats.' Just a taste of the irritation verging on cold hatred that defines the relationship between Sting, drummer Stewart Copeland and guitarist Andy Summers as they prepare to head out on one of the most talked-about comeback tours in history. But over the course of six weeks of intensive practice sessions and steak dinners at Sting's Tuscan retreat, tensions start to thaw and, come the filming of their live DVD (over two nights in Buenos Aires), the enjoyment seems to be genuine. Of course the viewer may experience their own irritation as Sting, all muscle and hauteur, conducts his backstage interview in a skintight T-shirt and yogic pose. But there's a jukebox precision to the hits here, and plenty of aaay-o and de do do do for your money. Extras: Behind-the-scenes interviews, photo gallery and live CDs.
Review from Blender magazine
Sting once claimed he'd have to be "certified insane" to re-form the Police. Several years later, insanity took hold in the form of a sold-out reunion tour of stadiums across the globe. The two-DVD set contains an entire 2007 Buenos Aires concert, featuring almost two hours of hits and choice album cuts that convincingly re-create the taut dynamics and melodic release of the band's 1980's prime. The Police have also revamped a number of their tunes, most notably adding a trancelike middle section to 'Roxanne'. Not everything works - especially the sluggish version of 'Don't Stand So Close To Me' - but at least they aren't cranking out the hits on autopilot. A 50-minute documentary offers surprisingly candid behind-the-scenes footage from the reunion, including awkward initial rehearsals, in which the trio struggles to recapture its chemistry and overcome personality frictions. I's amusing to see Sting and skinsman Stewart Copeland argue over everything from drum beats to headbands, but as the songs gel and the tour begins, the tension gives way to unlikely camaraderie that still manages to generate musical sparks all these years later.
Review from DVD Monthly by Tom Leins
When The Police reformed in 2007 after more than 20 years out of the spotlight, pop-pickers everywhere were left open-mouthed. Although music industry types pinpointed the 30th anniversary of the band's debut single ('Fall Out'), the potential of a lucrative world tour to swell their pension funds can't possibly have escaped Sting and chums. Inevitable, the tour was a huge success - the band sold 3.7 million tickets grossing an astonishing USD358 million in the process. This appealing concert DVD captures the band midway through the year-long jaunt, delivering a hit-packed set to an enthusiastic Argentine audience. Whilst there is always a fear that wealthy pop legends like The Police might end up going through the motions, they actually seem tight and focused. weaving their way through their formidable back catalogue. However, whilst the blend of big hits and more experimental material is engaging enough the impact of some of the classics is curiously muted. In fact, the gig sometimes feels like a Tantric pop concert: Sting and co. are grinding away pleasantly without ever managing to make you gasp in excitement. 'Certifiable' is available as both a standard release and a deluxe edition. The standard version includes a bonus CD featuring the highlights from the concert, whilst the deluxe format includes a bonus DVD containing a behind-the-scenes documentary entitled 'Better Than Therapy' and a double CD featuring the concert set in its entirety.
Review from Guitarist magazine
"I used to say I'd have to be certified insane to want to go back to The Police," says Sting by way of introduction to this live DVD capturing the band's reunion tour of 2007. Filmed in a Buenos Aires enormodome, the band certainly haven't lost any of their musical chemistry in the 21 years since they split up. Regardless of how uneasy the truce, Summers still sounds sharp and tuneful, Sting's voice still defies gravity and Copeland is, if anything, even more relentlessly energetic than before (the percussion on 'Wrapped Around Your Finger' is particularly amazing). And the synergy of the three hitting their stride is evident early on as they play through their extended arrangemnts of 'Walking On The Moon' - it's a real education hearing hos Summers uses counterpoint delay as an instrument in itself with his red Strat. Incidentally, what is it with ageing arena-rock guitarists and red Strats - do they hand them out with bus passes or something? The big screens on the stage offer a good view of fingers and frets and the editing covers every single stomp of a pedal and fill with an expert eye. Essential for fans then, and a state-of-the-art concert film. Extras: Sound options, bonus disc with documentary footage. (4.5/5)
Review from the Montreal Gazette by Bernard Perusse
Those who missed the Police reunion tour can stop moping now. With the release of 'Certifiable', filmed live at the River Plate Stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina, an all-cylinders show by the reformed trio has been captured for the ages. The DVD also raises the recurring question of whether there's any point in suffering through the bad sound, obnoxious crowd and ridiculous expense that always go with a hot-ticket arena or stadium show. If, a few months later, you'll be able to hear pretty much the same concert in 5.1 Surround sound and see it as if you were sitting on stage, with a reasonably-priced cold beer in hand, all in the comfort of your living room, why bother with the live experience? The most common argument is for the immediacy of being there - to which I say, immediacy is way overrated when it comes to choreographed arena shows. As for spontaneity and intimacy, those issues don't even come up. The communal feeling? Well, O ... but having heard some loaded-to-the-eyeballs yahoo repeatedly screaming at Neil Young to "play some rock n' roll" during Young's acoustic set Monday night at the Bell Centre, I'm not so sure I need community at rock shows anymore. Bottom line: I saw the Police, also at the Bell Centre, in November last year, about a month before this show was recorded, and I got a better sense of just how good they actually were from watching 'Certifiable'. 'Better Than Therapy', a fascinating 52-minute documentary on the Police reunion, is included with the concert and it dramatically illustrates the group dynamics and hard-won concessions that came into play before the regrouping was a go. The documentary also shows how much emotion was at stake from both the group's point of view and the audience's perspective. You don't think much of rock n' roll is about reliving key periods of your life? Just watch the guy fiercely wiping tears from his eyes after the group plays 'Message in a Bottle' at a Whiskey a Go Go press conference announcing the reunion tour. "These songs have 20 years of people's lives infused in them," drummer Stewart Copeland says in the film. "They have the emotional baggage that you just can't get with a new song." Guitarist Andy Summers agrees. "I see people start crying," he says. "I see couples turn to face one another and fall in love again and kiss. It's this sort of range of emotions, and some nights, it's hard not to get caught up in it." The constant haggling over tiny details like a single drumbeat or harmony note (usually instigated by demanding taskmaster Sting) is clearly shown in Better Than Therapy's rehearsal footage, and it obviously paid off. The 109-minute concert is a taut and muscular performance, making the viewer wonder how three guys could fill so much musical space. Unlike most vintage bands hitting the road, the Police didn't hedge their bets with any hired guns on stage (That said, I did notice an unexplained second guitar part in 'King of Pain' and a phantom harmony in 'Every Breath You Take'). A double CD of the concert comes with the double DVD, but without the 5.1 audio mix, the CD suffers from stadium-itis: an indefinable, ambient sludge that somehow muddies the sound, however technically precise. But on the whole, this one's a must-have. *****
Review from DVD Review by Paul Henderson
Reunion tours these days are often wilted affairs, relying on delivering a stupefying dose of rose-tinted nostalgia to shore up a lack of real musical clout. Thankfully, The Police's reunion tour of 2007-08 wasn't like that. A big-bucks production in keeping with the squillions the tour generated, the show (in Buenos Aires) is imaginatively shot, the playing as impressively tight and precise as you would expect (although one or two of Andy Summer's guitar workouts are perhaps surplus to requirements...) and there are few concessions (a lower jump here, a lowered vocal there) to the trio's advancing years. This DVD doesn't have quiet the pace and energy of 1983's spanking 'Synchronicity Concert', but then nor do most of the fans, over two decades down the line from the band's last tour. But it's still - sorry - arresting stuff.
Review from Record Collector by Terry Staunton
The last time The Police played Argentina, way back in 1980, guitarist Andy Summers was almost taken into custody after swinging a foot at front-stage security he felt were being too heavy-handed with fans. All three members may have had the incident in their minds when they returned to Buenos Aires last December, and perhaps that's why there's something a tad cautious and uncommunicative about them on this particular reunion date. Stewart Copeland's ongoing internet diary continually hinted that there was still friction among the main players, and there's certainly little evidence of bonhomie on show. Despite the impeccable quality of a well-drilled set of songs (big hits and the occasional surprise inclusion) it's hard to escape the sense that it's merely an in-it-for-the-money exercise. Summers intermittently flexes his muscles, adapting familiar guitar lines to bring new flourishes to the songs, but Sting may as well be reciting his grocery list rather than reacquainting himself with the songs that made him a multi-millionaire in the first place, and we're sure we caught Copeland looking at his watch at least a couple of times. Musically on top form, but visually uninvolving.
Review from Rhythm magazine
The DVD feature¬ís the band's full Buenos Aires concert from December 2007, together with a CD of live audio highlights on the normal version. If you plump for the deluxe option you get the concert on CD, plus a DVD bonus feature with a behind-the-scenes documentary. Unfortunately the promo copy Rhythm received didn't include this, so we had to make do with the concert... Police fans have been treated to a fair bit in the last couple of years; a reunion tour aside, there was drummer Stewart Copeland's cracking DVD release 'Everyone Stares: The Police Inside Out' in 2006, a fascinating 'rockumentary' detailing the band's disintegration from the inside in the early '80s. In stark contrast, 'Certifiable' is a rather bland picture of an ageing rock trio seemingly going through the motions. If you attended any of the reunion shows you'll probably know what we mean - owning this is like standing at the back, watching the monitors either side of the stage. The saving grace is that there's plenty of great quality, close-up footage of Copeland as he deftly thuds his way through the old classics. But when they turn a song with the potential of 'Invisible Sun' into a nauseating lounge version, you have to ask, what's the point?
Review from the St.Louis Post Dispatch
The Police's reunion concert may have come with all sorts of pricey souvenirs, but the best has to be 'Certifiable', the new live DVD/CD of the tour. Filmed nearly a year ago in Buenos Aires, the set is available as two DVDs/two CDs, a single disc Blu-ray/two-CD combo or a triple vinyl configuration with an MP3 download. The songs include 'Roxanne', 'Every Breath You Take', 'Wrapped Around Your Finger' and 'Don't Stand So Close to Me'.
Review from Inland Empire Weekly by George A. Paul
Considering the bickering that often went on in the studio between members of The Police, it's a wonder they managed to put out five albums. Even more surprising was Sting's announcement in 2007 that he'd agreed to reunite the band after 21 years for a world tour. Following the second gig, drummer Stewart Copeland was already ranting on his website that they sounded "unbelievably lame" and "totally at sea". By the time the trio did Dodger Stadium that June, they'd ironed out most of the kinks. Double-disc concert collection 'Certifiable' (the title refers to Sting's usual answer when asked whether The Police would reform: "you'd have to be certified insane") was recorded Dec. 1-2 at River Plate Stadium in Buenos Aires. The spirited, nearly two-hour gig finds the reggae/rock veterans in top form. Although some songs have tempered arrangements that aren't as taxing ('Don't Stand So Close to Me', 'De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da'), Sting has little trouble hitting the high end of his vocal range (listen for a sustained note on 'Walking on the Moon'). Others are extended past the six-minute mark to allow still masterful guitarist Andy Summers room to shine ('Wrapped Around Your Finger', 'Can't Stand Losing You'). Copeland's tribal polyrhythms on 'Walking in Your Footsteps' are marvelous. There's plenty of life left in these geezers; too bad the reunion had to end. The package contains two DVDs in wide screen/surround sound with a documentary.
Review from WORD magazine by Jim Irvin
Sting had always previously said he'd be insane to do it, hence 'Certifiable' (A&M) a whopping four-disc (two-DVD, two-CD) souvenir of their victory lap of the world last summer, with over one million tickets sold. Though The Police were Stewart Copeland's band originally, Sting obviously holds all the cards. The tour's happening because, he says, "I wanted to surprise myself." But unlike [Billy] Corgan, Sting's obliged to revive this drama with the original cast. Rehearsals start badly. Sting, seated in the lotus position, addresses the camera ruefully: "I'm now in a band where I can't fire anybody... I have to negotiate!". Copeland: "I have to submit to the bass-player saying to me, 'Can you do this on the hi-hat?' What? How long have 'you been... you have an opinion on...? (Deep breath) Sure I can, it'd be an honour." Sting gets angsty when Copeland dares don a headband because he's perspiring behind the drums. "Are you thinking about wearing that onstage?" he giggles nervously, several months before opening night. "For two hours of this shit, yeah," is Copeland's response. "We might have to have a band discussion about that," mumbles Sting. In-between bouts of passive aggression, he insists that they deconstruct and reconstruct all the songs. The new arrangements that emerge are excellent. "There's no reason why we shouldn't be twentyfive years better than we were, and we were good then," remarks Sting, with some justification, as the friction starts to bear electric fruit. While Corgan asked his audience to "Back the fuck off me", The Police, facing huge, wild, youthful crowds, become energised and humbled by the love coming over the footlights. "We've discovered something much more powerful than a new song," says Copeland. "It's an old song with 20 years of peoples lives infused in it." Sting also has an epiphany as the tour winds down. "I realised it doesn't have to be perfect, it has to be what we do... an interesting psychological test for me."
Review from Mojo magazine by Andy Fyfe
Recorded at River Plate Stadium well into their 2007 reunion tour, 'Certifiable' is technically faultless, the tracklisting nearly impeccable (the DVD version throws up the question of why a tender 'Wrapped Around Your Finger' was omitted from the CD in favour of 'De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da), and the legendarily rancorous band members even share an occasional smile. The decision to strip everything back rather than indulge in fripperies such as backing singers (as on their final pre-split tour in 1983) was the correct one, too, but a feud-less Police is a slightly dulled Police, summed up by the wholly inappropriate chirpiness afforded 'Don't Stand So Close To Me'. You may wish to remember why you were there, but few will be annoyed that they missed out.
Review from The Free Press by Jon Dawson
In 2007, The Police reunited for their first tour in 23 years. When Sting pulled the plug and went solo, The Police were the biggest band in the world. After a string of hit albums, Grammy awards and sellout tours, the band walked away while they were on top. Always wanting to surprise the public, Sting decided 2007 was the perfect time to reunite the band and tour the world. The tour saw the band visit every country with indoor plumbing, and they played to more than a million people. 'Certifiable' is a box set (two CDs, two DVDs) that documents the tour. Along with a complete two-hour show, there is a 50-minute documentary on the DVD portion. For the most part, the band sounds better than ever on these recordings. The band jammed more on this tour than any in their past; simple songs like 'Roxanne' and 'Driven to Tears' are stretched to two or three times their original length, giving the band plenty of room to improvise. Whether he wants to admit it or not, Sting's music always will sound better when he plays it with Police-mates Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland. The only complaint to be found is that they really screwed up the song 'Synchronicity II' by slowing it down in the verse. The rehearsal footage on the DVD shows the band storming through the song with Who-like intensity; the concert version seems to be stuck in second gear. Minor quibbles aside, this is a remarkable set of music. In fact, most of the songs sound better in this concert than they did when originally released. The versions of 'Wrapped Around Your Finger' and 'When the World Is Running Down' included here easily eclipse the studio originals. This set obviously was put together to cash in on the gift giving season, and it's worth every penny.
Review from the Sydney Morning Herald by Bernard Zuel
Given how unlikely a Police reunion once seemed, it's astonishing their recent shows were so musically and aesthetically exciting. What this film of a Brazilian show captures well is the quality of the playing and the sense that as fractious as the off-stage relationships could be, the onstage chemistry remained strong. What the film doesn't capture is the energy and excitement of the shows. It's well shot, with plenty of close-ups and multiple images courtesy of the onstage screens but there is a certain sterility that makes watching it an intellectual rather than visceral experience. Extras Double CD and 50-minute documentary.
Review from the Republican
Whether you had casual knowledge of the inner workings of The Police or an insider's view, it was still pretty stunning when the famed trio reunited for a massive 14-month world tour that started in 2007. The band's combustible internal chemistry always had an edge to it, particularly it seems the relationship between bassist/vocalist Sting and drummer Stewart Copeland. How they survived this tour is somewhat of a miracle, but a lot of the tension between the pair appears to still be there, and it's actually part of the fun of watching this extensive tour film/documentary. What's more fun of course is watching the performances and whether they always got along or not doesn't really matter to the rest of us, who can take joy in the tremendous playing on stage and the devastating track list, which includes mega-hits such as 'Roxanne' and 'Every Breath You Take', along with Police staples like 'Synchronicity II', 'Walking on The Moon', 'King of Pain', 'Don't Stand So Close to Me' and many more. This double DVD-double CD package, which was filmed during the band's concert in December 2007 in Buenos Aires, also includes a behind-the-scenes documentary of the tour titled 'Better Than Therapy'. The set is being released in several different formats including the standard version, a Blu-Ray format as well as a full triple vinyl LP, pressed on 180 gram vinyl (with an MP3 file key). In the U.S., the set is available only as an exclusive, sold through Best Buy. (4/5)