The Police, consisting of Sting (Gordon Sumner), Andy Summers, and Stewart Copeland, were one of the leaders of the second British invasion of the U. S.. Regarded as one of the first “new wave” groups to achieve mainstream success, they played with the improvisational instincts of a jazz trio and the raw energy of a punk-rock band – a blend that made them one of the definitive rock groups of the’70s and ’80s.
While on tour in the prog rock band Curved Air, Copeland met singer-bassist Sting who was at the time playing in a jazz fusion band. The duo realized the potential in the growing London punk scene and formed a power punk trio with Corsican guitarist Henry Padovani. After being invited to play with a band that featured music veteran Andy Summers, Sting and Copeland invited the guitarist to join the group. After becoming frustrated with Padovani’s limitations, the band only remained a four piece for two shows.
The band then became the unusual power trio that would endure for the band’s history. Few punk bands were three pieces, and prog rock bands had a lot of supporting players. This forced the band to focus on space and texture, while drawing influences from reggae to jazz to progressive and psychedelic rock to form the “Police” sound.
Their first album, Outlandos D’Amour debuted on A&M Records in 1978 and quickly climbed the charts with such hits as “Roxanne” and “So Lonely”. The following year saw the release of their sophomore record Reggatta de Blanc which also topped the charts and brought us such hits as “Message in a Bottle” and “Walking on the Moon” as well as honoring the band with their first Grammy for the record’s title track. Zenyatta Mondatta soon followed in 1980, resulting in two more Grammy awards for the group as well as Top Ten hits “Don’t Stand So Close To Me” and “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da”. In 1981, The Police put out Ghost in the Machine which went double platinum with hit singles “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic” and “Spirits in the Material World”.
After a year-long break, the members reunited to record Synchronicity, an album that would prove to be their studio swansong and earn them three Grammy Awards in the process. The most successful Police album yet, it produced “Every Breath You Take”, one of the most-remembered rock ballads of the ’80s and the recipient of the 2005 BMI Award for Eight Million Radio Plays. They were ranked the #1 most played band on U.S. radio in the ’80s while achieving comparable success in the UK with 5 number one albums and singles to their credit. In 1982, The Police received the Brit Award for Best Group and in 1985 were honored with the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music.
The band parted ways in 1984 with all three members going on to highly successful individual careers. Sting went on to become a solo artist and actor, excelling at both. Copeland would provide groundbreaking scores on more than 40 films. Summers would continue with solo work and film scores, becoming known as one of the world’s guitar greats, having both Gibson and Martin make signature guitars in his name.
After a brief reunion in 2003 for the Rock Hall induction, the band would go on to do a reunion tour in 2007-2008 becoming the world’s highest-earning musicians of 2008. They have sold more than 75 million records worldwide, making them one of the world’s best selling artists.
NE Ohio Concerts
- The Police-The Pirate’s Cove-November 6, 1978.
- The Police-The Pirate’s Cove-May 5, 1979.
- The Police-The Agora-January 21, 1980
- The Police, The Go-Gos-Richfield Coliseum-January 29, 1982
- The Police, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts-Richfield Coliseum-July 30, 1983
- The Police, Fiction Plane-The Q-July 16, 2007
- Sting-lead vocals, bass guitar and double bass; keyboards and saxophone (studio only) (1977–1986, 2003, 2007–2008)
- Andy Summers- guitars; backing vocals, keyboards (1977–1986, 2003, 2007–2008)
- Stewart Copeland-drums and percussion; backing vocals, keyboards (1977–1986, 2003, 2007–2008)
- OTHER MEMBER: Henry Padovani- guitar (1977; reunion with Sting and Copeland in 2004; 2008, reunion tour finale, Paris with Summers, Sting & Copeland)
- “So Lonely”
- “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da”
- “Message In A Bottle”
- Don’t Stand So Close To Me”
- “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic”
- “Invisible Sun”
- “Every Breath You Take”
- “King Of Pain”