Stewart Copeland, Seven-time Grammy-Winning Composer and Police Drummer, Delivers New Orchestral Rendition of Classic “Message In A Bottle”

Article Contributed by Shore Fire Media | Published on Friday, May 26, 2023

Stewart Copeland, the influential drummer/founder of the seminal English rock band The Police and acclaimed composer in his own right, releases a dazzling reimagining today of The Police classic “Message In A Bottle.” Featuring vocals from Amy Keys; Carmel Helene; Ashley Támar; and taking daring new liberties in its instrumentation, “Message In A Bottle” arrives just ahead of the June 23rd (Shelter/BMG) release of Police Deranged for Orchestra. The album explores The Police’s best-known tracks through a new lens, inspired by Copeland’s recent forays into expansive musical forms and instrumentation. Upon its original release in 1979 “Message In A Bottle” landed The Police the first of their UK number one singles and landed on Rolling Stone’s list of the "100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time" and has been hailed as the Police's best song, by Ultimate Classic Rock who praises the "foolishly simple guitar riff devised by Sting but played to perfection by Summers" the "cacophony of percussive brilliance by Copeland" and "Sting’s most plainspoken and razor-sharp lyric."

Listen to “Message In A Bottle” Here

Stewart Copeland: The Police Deranged for Orchestra began in 2021 as an evening concert bursting with The Police’s biggest hits including ”Roxanne,” “Don’t Stand Too Close To Me” and “Message in a Bottle” arranged for full symphony orchestra as well as hand-picked highlights from Copeland’s compositions. The project which went on to become the genesis for the album has toured with sold-out dates across the US and Europe, and will continue through the summer.

“‘Message in a Bottle’ was like a diamond and I could not mess with it; the form of it is what it has to be, “ Copeland told earlier this year. “I did mess with the orchestration, with the sound textures and so on, but the song itself resisted all of my attempts at de-arrangement. But I did orchestrate the heck out of it.”

The resulting album revisits Police hits newly arranged for full orchestra alongside bassist Armand Sabal Lecco (Paul Simon), guitarist Rusty Anderson (Paul McCartney), and vocalists Amy Keys, Carmel Helene, and Ashley Támar. Percussion and drums were arranged, orchestrated, and co-produced by Copeland. The music was conducted and co-produced by Edwin Outwater and produced and mixed by Craig Stuart Garfinkle.

Unlike his earlier compositional work, Copeland explains that the “derangement” of The Police’s music began as a score for a movie he made out of Super8 footage of the band that he had shot during their rise to glory.

This year also brings the fall release of Stewart Copeland’s Police Diaries, published by Rocket 88 Books. The book is based on and includes Copeland’s personal pocket diary entries from 1976-79. With scans of original pages and Copeland’s new background commentary, its pages are illustrated with classic and previously unseen photos from the early “starving years” of a band poised for global success. More information on Stewart Copeland’s Police Diaries can be found here.

Concurrent with his early work with The Police, Copeland developed a solo recording alter-ego, Klark Kent, releasing singles and a self-titled 1980 album on which he played all the instruments, - even vocals. The cult album is also scheduled for re-release on April 14th (Record Store Day) on BMG. Klark Kent was credited with inspiring Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters) among many others.

The Police Deranged for Orchestra Live tour, with U.S. and international dates, features performances by locally based symphony orchestras along with the core six-member band/ vocal ensemble. The tour, now underway, will soon announce additional dates. See updated information at and a full list of tour dates below. Stay tuned for more to come from Stewart Copeland soon.



June 30: Luxembourg - Kinnekswiss Loves Festival, Parc Municipal

July 12: Udine, Italy – Piazzale del Castello

July 14: Umbria, Italy – Umbria Jazz Festival, Arena S. Guilana

July 16: Trento, Italy – Parco dei Tre Castagni

July 24: Gardone Riviera, Italy – Vittoriale

July 25: Florence, Italy – Piazza S. Annunziata

July 27: Taormina (Sicily), Italy – Teatro Antico

September 30: Omaha, Nebraska, US - Holland Center

October 5: Denver, Colorado, US - Boettcher Concert Hall

More dates to be announced soon