Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

The Police (Rock Group)

One of the most successful New Wave genre rock bands to emerge out of the early 1980s music scene, with help from then-very-popular MTV, was the British band The Police. They were famous for pioneering an innovative mixture of Punk, Reggae, Jazz, and Rock & Roll. They have sold over 75 million records, won 6 Grammys and, in 2003, were inducted into The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Their music has always been highly regarded by fans, critics, and fellow musicians. They made Rolling Stone and VH1's lists of the “100 greatest artists of all time.” Jazz musician Pete Levin once told me after a concert I attended that he thought that Sting wrote “timeless” songs. They are my personal favorite rock band, and I have attended many of their concerts.

The Police consisted of three members: Sting (most vocals, bass guitar), Andy Summers (guitar), and Stewart Copeland (drums). All three had musical backgrounds before joining the band. Sting (whose birth name is Gordon Sumner) spent time fronting an obscure jazz-rock fusion band called Last Exit. Andy Summers was involved with various rock bands such as Zoot Money, Eric Burdon & The Animals, and Kevin Ayers. Rumor has it that he was he was considered to replace Mick Taylor in The Rolling Stones. Stewart Copeland played drums for a few years with a UK progressive rock band called Curved Air.

The Police released five studio albums during their existence: Outlandos d' Amour (1978), Regatta de Blanc (1979), Zenyatta Mondatta(1980), Ghost in the Machine (1981), and Synchronicity (1983). The first four albums were supported by quite a few big hit singles such as “Roxanne,” “Message in a Bottle,” “Walking on the Moon,” “Don't Stand So Close to Me,” and “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic.”

Although the first four studio albums were very successful, their fifth and final studio album - Synchronicity - would be their finest hour. The album's title and much of the material for the songs were inspired by Arthur Koestler's book The Roots of Coincidence, which Sting was reading at the time. From that album they would release 4 highly successful singles: “Every Breath You Take,” “King of Pain,” “Wrapped Around Your Finger,” and “Synchronicity II.” The album won the Grammy award for Album of The Year and “Every Breath You Take” won the Grammy award for Song of the year. In 2019, BMI named “Every Breath You Take” the most played song in radio history. During August 1983, I was fortunate enough to see The Police perform live on their Synchronicity tour at a sold out JFK Stadium in Philadelphia, along with Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, Madness, and a then-unknown band named REM. It was the second rock concert I had ever attended, and a fond memory. I bought my first rock shirt and tour program that day.

Once the Synchronicity tour was over, the band would release a greatest-hits type album called Every Breath You Take - The Singles, with a re-recording of one of their hits called “Don't Stand So Close to Me '86,” which did well on the music charts. Shortly after that, the group decided to break up and pursue solo careers. Sting has continued to include elements of rock, jazz, reggae, classical, new-age and worldbeat in his music. He has now, including his time with The Police, sold over 100 million records and won 17 Grammy awards. Both Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland have gone on to spend most of their recording time doing movie soundtracks and instrumental albums. In early 2007, the band regrouped for a 30th anniversary reunion world tour which lasted until 2008.

All three members of the group wrote books which are available in the Mercer County Library collection. Sting wrote Broken Music, mostly about his own youth, Andy Summers wrote One Train Later, and Stewart Copeland wrote Strange Things Happen: A Life with The Police, Polo, and Pygmies. The library also owns a DVD documentary called Can't Stand Losing You: Surviving The Police. That DVD and all Police recordings are also available on the library’s free hoopla service. Many of their CD albums are available for borrowing in various branches of the library system.-

- by Jon, Hickory Corner Branch

Post a Comment for "The Police (Rock Group)"