First Hit #1: July 9, 1983
Many cracks have been made about Every Breath You Take, a song about stalking, becoming a wedding staple. But honestly, after listening to the songs that have ascended to the top of the charts, it actually makes a great deal of sense. Love songs are often just a couple lines away from being songs that are about obsession instead, and if you only passively listen to Every Breath You Take it actually just sounds like a love song. Lots of lines about watching the other person, sure, but not too far off from many of the expressions of devotion found on the radio every day. It also actually sounds surprisingly soothing, making it difficult to associate it with the very negative situation actually happening in the lyrics.
If you’re passively listening to it, then it seems appropriate for a love song. It’s only when you pay close attention that you realize that it’s actually an obsessive and negative song. It starts out with dedication but then quickly descends, and lyrics start cropping up that indicate that it’s not about a nice guy singing about his lover. A song with “every vow you break” in the lyrics maybe shouldn’t be wedding material. As songs about abuse go, it’s a surprisingly nuanced depiction, starting out sounding not so bad, but then quickly descending as the song continues. Appropriate that the group calls itself the Police, it’s actually adept at understanding criminal behavior.