• Writers: Sting
  • Producer: The Police and Nigel Gray
  • Recorded: Early 1979 at Surrey Sound in Surrey, England
  • Released: September 1979
  • Players:
    Sting — vocals, bass
    Andy Summers — guitar
    Stewart Copeland — drums, percussion
  • Album: Reggatta De Blanc (A&M, 1979)
  • Also On:
    Every Breath You Take — The Singles (A&M, 1986)
    Message In A Box: The Complete Recordings (A&M, 1993)
    Live! (A&M, 1995)
    Every Breath You Take: The Classics (A&M, 1995)
  • “Message In A Bottle” was one of the first songs Sting had written for the Police‘s second album, Reggatta De Blanc, but the trio had a difficult time coming up with enough songs to fill out the album.
  • The album at least found the group working in somewhat better studios, with a bit more money to spend after the modest success of their debut, Outlandos D’Amour, and the singles “So Lonely,” “Roxanne,” and “I Can’t Stand Losing You.”
  • In the midst of recording Reggatta De Blanc, the Police had to interrupt the sessions to return to America for a tour to take advantage of the success of “Roxanne.”
  • “Message In A Bottle” topped the singles chart in the U.K. Reggatta De Blanc also topped the British album chart.
  • In the U.S., however, “Message In A Bottle” only hit Number 74 on the Billboard Hot 100, while the album reached Number 25.
  • The video for “Message In A Bottle” was embraced by MTV, however, which gave the song additional shelf life.


  • The Police split up in 1984 following the very successful Synchronicity album and tour.
  • The group did reunite briefly in 1986 for an Amnesty International tour.
  • All three members have maintained solo careers, with Sting’s the most successful.
  • The Police were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003.
  • Sting has been named a CBE, or Commander Of The British Empire, by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II. The honorary title ranks just below knight.
  • Copeland made a documentary about his time in the band called Everyone Stares: The Police Inside Out.
  • Summers published an autobiography in 2006 under the title One Train Later, and he’s also got a Police photo history book in the works.
  • The Police have reunited, and have been on a year-long tour, which is scheduled to end this summer with the band’s final concerts ever. They have been opening their shows with “Message In A Bottle.”