Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic
Writer(s): Sting (see lyrics here)
First Charted: September 25, 1981
Peak: 3 US, 6 CB, 8 HR, 3 RR, 12 AR, 1 CO, 11 UK, 11 CN, 2 AU, 2 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)
Sales (in millions): -- US, 0.4 UK
Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 9.0 radio, 45.6 video, 206.57 streaming
Click on award for more details.
About the Song:
“Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” was released in most parts of the world as the lead single from their fourth album, Ghost in the Machine. In the UK and Ireland, the lead single was the far less commercial-sounding “Invisible Sun.” The latter would reach #2 in the UK, but “Magic” would become the Police’s fourth #1 in the UK and third top 10 in the U.S.
Sting wrote and recorded a demo of the song as an acoustic ballad SF in 1976 after moving from Newcastle to London. As he said, “I had no money, no prospects, nowhere to live. All I had was [drummer] Stewart Copeland’s phone number and some vague idea of forming a band.” SF He sang it when he auditioned at the Zanzibar in Covent Garden but was told he needed “commercial hit songs. We don’t need this kind of stuff.” SF
He recorded another demo in January 1981. WK The record company was convinced it was a hit and the band, who thought it was too soft, tried recording it from scratch. According to Copeland, “We tried it fast, we tried it slow, we tried it reggae, we tried it punk, we tried it as a bossa nova…We tried every which way, but nothing.” SF Sting agreed that none of the new versions had the same level of energy as his 1981 demo. They ended up using the demo with Copeland and guitarist Andy Summers playing on top of it. WK It also includes a piano part by French Canadian keyboard player Jean Alain Roussel.
In reviewing the end results, Chris True of All Music Guide said, “The choppy reggae guitars are pushed aside by amazing piano and synth arrangements, that trademark reggae beat is there but it’s a bit more transcendent, a bit more pop mainstream (but not in a bad way). Summers’ guitar is still there, but it’s more of a background instrument adding yet another layer to the wall of sound. There are sounds all over the place on ‘Every Little Thing,’ but they never get muddy or obtrusive. Sting, as usual, is in amazing form lyrically (‘it’s a big enough umbrella / But it’s always me that ends up getting wet’), as the…doofus in love.” AMG
The song won an Ivor Novello Award for Best Pop Song.
First posted 7/12/2022; last updated 7/27/2022.