Home Music Music Lists

Stewart Copeland on 5 Songs About the Upside of Sin

The Police drummer on wild tracks by Captain Beefheart, Kendrick Lamar and more

Stewart Copeland: Five Songs About the Upside of Sin

Jeff Kravitz/Getty

Former Police drummer Stewart Copeland just released the debut LP by his funky new art-rock band Gizmodrome, which features King Crimson’s Adrian Belew on guitar. Here he chooses his favorite songs about indulgence and abandon, and tells us what he loves about each.

Captain Beefheart, “Tropical Hot Dog Night”

This sounds like a large band gone mad. He couldn’t get real Brecker Brothers–type players, so the result is creativity rather than chops.

Dr. John, “I Walk on Guilded Splinters”

This has a dark, echoey, Cajun atmosphere. But it has that atmosphere from the wrong side of midnight. 

Martha and the Vandellas, “Dancing in the Street”

It’s about wild abandon. When you hear this song, you know it’s going on down in the street. Let’s get down there.

Jimi Hendrix, “Spanish Castle Magic”

This is one of the more explosive Hendrix tracks, where the drums are thrashing nonstop and his riff just doesn’t quit.

Kendrick Lamar, “For Sale? (Interlude)”

At last, after a half-century of domination by guitar, bass and drums, everything has been turned upside down. It’s a revolution.