Stewart Copeland (photo: Paul Natkin)  Sting  Andy Summers 
Wed November 27th, 2002
The Very Best of Sting & The Police [Remaster] (2002)
Every Breath You Take: The Classics (2001)
The Police Live (1995)
Message In A Box: The Complete Recordings (1993)
Every Breath You Take: The Singles (1986)
Synchronicity (1983)
Stewart Copeland (1977-Present), drums
Andy Summers (1977-Present), guitar
Sting (1977-Present), bass/vocals/sax/keyboards
Before Sting, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland set foot in a recording studio or played a concert, they made their public debut as a bottle-blonde punk band in a TV ad for chewing gum - a move that drew the derision of punkers around the UK.
The Police proved to be one of the most innovative bands of the post-punk era. The trio artfully combined elements of punk, pop and world music (notably reggae) into music that began as quintessential "alternative rock" but eventually became hugely successful in the commercial mainstream.

Perhaps such distinctive sounds were inevitable, coming as they did from an unusual group of musicians. Sting had been an English teacher and a civil servant, and played with various jazz combos in his native Newcastle. Copeland, whose father was a CIA agent had been born in Egypt and spent his early years in the Middle East. He went to college in California and eventually moved to England where he became a member of Curved Air. Before joining forces with Sting and Copeland, Summers was already a seasoned guitarist having played with an impressive array of artists from Eric Burdon and the Animals to Neil Sedaka.

True to its punk spirit, the first recording the Police made was a do it yourself foray called "Fall Out" that was issued in 1978 on the indie label Copeland and his brother Miles formed, I.R.S. (Illegal Records Syndicate). The single was an indie U.K. hit and sold some 70,000 copies.

It only took another year for the Police to pick up a major label contract with A&M.; The deal was atypical in that the band traded a big advance for a higher royalty rate. The band then made another unconventional move and hit the road for a low budget, grassroots American tour before it had issued any music in the U.S. The modest buzz it set in motion helped make "Roxanne" a top 40 hit when it was released later that year.

The next few years saw a series of successful albums and top ten singles including "De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da," "Don't Stand So Close To Me" (its reference to Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita a nod to Sting's teaching days) and "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic." Between studio efforts and tours, each musician also found time to pursue various side projects - Sting dabbled in acting, Summers collaborated with Robert Fripp and Copeland explored film scoring and worked with Peter Gabriel. But after the massively successful Synchronicity album, the Police announced that the group would go on hiatus. And, though it never officially broke up, the band never regrouped aside from a few performances on the 1986 Amnesty International Conspiracy of Hope Tour.
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