Despite the fact that before he became Sting plain old Gordon Sumner was an english teacher, this song is apparently a work of complete fantasy (a claim which is probably borne out by the fact that none of the pupils he taught has ever claimed to have had an affair with him). As quoted in Q Magazine in 1993:

"I was a teacher but I never had a relationship with any of my pupils, I wouldn't want to. You have to remember we were blond bombshells at the time [the track was released] and most of our fans were young girls so I started role playing a bit. Let's exploit that. And it really worked. You know that single sold a million copies in Britain. A million. Imagine that now?"

Originally released in 1980 on the album Zenyatta Mondatta, this song was re-recorded by The Police in 1986; significantly, that recording has proven to be the last new studio material ever released by the group (although they never officially broke up). Starting with Ghost in the Machine (the album following Zenyatta), The Police sound began to change from their original reggae influenced rock sound (higher Stewart Copeland to Sting ratio), to a softer, polished, and more commercial sound (lower Stewart Copeland to Sting ratio, as evidenced by the similarity to String's solo work). "Don't Stand So Close To Me 86" seems an effort to move the song from the former sound to the latter. Sting and Stewart spent the studio production time feuding. Stewart says "We exchanged long, mutually abusive letters and took turns in the studio recording over each other's parts." Though Sting believes the new recording "seemed much more poignant than the original", Andy Summers sensibly says "the track is all right, but the original is much better."*

Part of the melody of the original recording made it into Dire Straits' song "Money For Nothing". Instead of singing "don't stand so, don't stand so, don't stand so close to me", Sting on backup sings "I want my, I want my, I want my MTV" to the same tune. Despite this being an arguably unnecessary and limited contribution to an otherwise entirely original work, Sting receives half the songwriting royalties for "Money For Nothing" thanks to this contribution, as well as the royalties for his backup vocals.  


* Quotes are from the book accompanying Message in a Box, The Police box set

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