Reggatta de Blanc took four weeks to record, spaced over several months. Unlike its successor, Zenyatta Mondatta there was no pressure on the band.
Police Drummer Stewart Copeland described it, “We just went into the studio and said, ‘Right, who’s got the first song?’ We hadn’t even rehearsed them before we went in.”
Against the wishes of A&M, who had wanted to equip the promising band with a bigger studio and more famous producer, the Police opted to again record at Surrey Sound with Nigel Gray. The small budget (between £6,000 and £9,000) was easily covered by the profits of their previous album, further ensuring that the record label would have no control over the actual creation of the band’s music.
Where as that first album Outlandos d’Amour had benefited from one of the most prolific songwriting periods of lead singer Sting’s life, the recording sessions for Reggatta de Blanc were so short on new material that the band even considered rerecording the song ”Fall Out” at one point.
To fill in the gaps, Sting and Copeland dug up old songs they’d written and used elements of them to create new songs. Much of the lyrics to “Bring on the Night” were recycled from Sting’s ” Last Exit ” song “Carrion Prince (O Ye of Little Hope)”, and “The Bed’s Too Big Without You” similarly started as a Last Exit tune, while “Does Everyone Stare” originates from a piano piece Copeland wrote in college. The closing track “No Time This Time” was previously the B-Side to the song ” So Lonely ”” in November 1978, and was added to pad out the album’s running time.
The album’s title is a pseudo-French translation of ” White Reggae ”