The Police was a British rock band from London that was formed in 1977. They played a style of rock influenced by reggae, punk, and jazz. The band consisted of Sting as the lead vocals, bass guitar, and primary songwriter, Andy Summers on guitar, and Steward Copeland on drums and percussion. The band became popular around the world in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. They were regarded as one of the first new-wave group to achieve mainstream success.
Formation of the Band
The Police broke through the music scene at the same time punk music was the most popular genre in the late 70’s. Each member of The Police came from different bands with different musical background. Andy Summers played with several bands like The Animals, Soft Machine and artist Kevin Ayers. Steward Copeland used to be a member of the band Curved Air and had a short solo career with the alias Klark Kent. While Sting played with different jazz fusion bands.
The Police showcased their talents and creativity by playing jazz mixed with the raw energy of a pop-rock band. This kind of music made The Police stand out from the other bands during the 70’s and 80’s. They were also adventurous enough to explore the genre we’ve come to know as new wave.
Outlandos d’Amour- The Police’s first ever studio album was released in between 1977 and 1978. The Police worked their way out of producing this album because they have no budget, manager or a record deal. All they have was Steward Copeland’s brother who reluctantly gave them 1,500 pounds just for the band to produce their first album. They recorded at the Surrey Sound Studio during the off-peak hours so that the rate would be lower. The album had several hits like “Roxanne” and “Can’t Stand Losing You.”
Reggatta de Blanc
Released in October 1979, this is the Police’s second studio album. It instantly topped the UK albums chart and this is the first of five consecutive The Police’s albums that topped the UK albums chart. Regatta De Blanc held successful singles such as “Message in the Bottle” which became number one in the UK, Number five in Australia and number two in Canada. “Walking on the Moon” scored the number one spot in the UK. Although their singles failed to reach the US Top 40, Regatta De Blanc still grabbed the 25th spot on the US album charts.
The Police released their third album entitled “Zenyatta Mondatta” in October 1980 because they were pressured by their record label to start recording a new album and return to touring. Under pressure, the band finished recording this album in just a span of three weeks. Even if this was the case, it still gave The Police their third UK number 1 hit for the song “Don’t Stand So Close To Me”. It is considered to be UK’s best selling single in 1980. Their song “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da” reached international success taking the number ten spot in the U.S.
Ghost in the Machine
This is The Police’s fourth studio album released in 1981. This is a bit different than the first three albums because Ghost in the Machine featured layered saxophones, vocal textures and thicker sounds. This album carried their hit single “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic.” which is their fourth number one single to enter the UK charts and reached number three in the U.S charts. It also had other successful songs like “Invisible Sun” and “Spirits in the Material World”.
They also received an award for Best British Group at the 1982 Brit Awards for their album “Ghost in the Machine”.
The Police released their last studio album in 1983 and called it “Synchronicity”. This album held the successful singles such as “Every Breath You Take”, “Wrapped Around Your Finger”, “Synchronicity II” and “King of Pain”. During this time, media had dubbed The Police to be one of the biggest rock band in the world. But behind the success of this album, the band repeatedly argued while they were on the recording process and reportedly, the three band members recorded their parts individually in separate rooms and at different times.
- Every Breath You Take
- Message in a Bottle
- Don’t Stand So Close To Me
- De Do Do Do De Da Da Da
- Walking on the Moon
- Wrapped Around Your Finger
- So Lonely
- King of Pain
- Synchronicity I
- Can’t Stand Losing You
- Spirits in the Material World
- Every Little Thing She Does is Magic
- Invisible Sun
- Hungry For You
- Driven To Tears
- Secret Journey
Over the next twenty years, every member of The Police has moved on and continued on with their solo careers. Sting successfully continued recording his music and touring as a solo artist. Andy Summers had several albums as a solo artist and with collaborations with different artists and bands. Steward Copeland on the other hand, became a producer of movie and television soundtracks.
During the early 2007, rumors surfaced that The Police will have a reunion tour to mark their 30th anniversary. The rumors turned out to be true because The Police performed at the opening of the 49th Annual Grammy Awards in February 11, 2007. Announcing to the world that they are back before they performed their greatest hits. The reunion tour began in May 2007 with two shows in Vancouver and it ended in August 7, 2008 at Madison Square Garden in New York. In the span of their tour, The Police had managed to sell 3.7 million tickets and grossed as high as 538 million dollars. Making their tour the third-highest earning tour after a band’s disbandment.
The Police Legacy
The Police were inaugurated into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003. And in 2004, The Police ranked number 40 on Rolling Stone’s list of 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. Four of their studio album were hailed by Rolling Stone as one of the 500 greatest albums of all time in 2003.