Released in 1980, The Police’s “Don’t Stand So Close To Me” told the sordid tale of a schoolgirl developing a crush on her teacher, that attraction leading to an affair and the discovery of that relationship leading to “strong words in the classroom.” The first track on the band’s Zenyatta Mondatta LP, the song peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 in April of 1981.
Thirty years later, the song’s titular warning has taken on a very different meaning in the context of COVID-19. As people worldwide practice social distancing, Grammy winning, Los Angeles-based producer Dave Audé — in conjunction with Sting — has done an official remix of the classic to remind listeners that simply backing the hell up is crucial to flattening the curve.
Audé’s edit ramps up the urgency of this message, with the weight and drama of this moment in history conveyed through propulsive trance-leaning techno that ends in a place of uplifting brightness, just like we all hope this pandemic does.
Hear Audé’s “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” edit below.