The Police Unearth Never-Before-Seen 1980 Christmas Video of “Don’t Stand So Close to Me”

A previously unseen music video for The Police’s 1980 hit “Don’t Stand So Close To Me” has been unearthed and released just in time for Christmas 2021, premiering for the first time in 41 years on the band’s YouTube channel as the “Official Christmas Version.”

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Shot in December of 1980 while The Police were on tour in the U.S. and Canada, the Christmas-y footage was filmed in Grey Rock, Quebec, Canada—the same location as the band’s “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da” music video— after the band’s concert at Montreal’s Centre Sportif was postponed.

In the video, Sting, bassist Andy Summers, and drummer Stewart Copeland meet Santa, race on snowmobiles, and even dress as Father Christmas. Other scenes show Sting removing his clothes in the snow and Santa hitting the slopes (and walking up them), a departure from the original video for the single in 1980 with Sting playing a school teacher.

“Don’t Stand So Close to Me,” the opening track off the Police’s third album Zenyatta Mondatta, went to No. 1 on the U.K. charts, peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, and earned the band a Grammy Award in 1982 for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.

Another version of the track was released by The Police in 1986, after a brief reunion, and is the most recent recording by the band since they broke up in 1984.

The Christmas video for “Don’t Stand So Close To Me” follows the release of Sting’s 15th album The Bridge. The Police released their fifth and final album together, Synchronicity, in 1983 and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003.

Photo: The Police / YouTube

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