The Police

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  • The Police
  • Celebrating Sting
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  • Celebrating Sting

About The Police

The Police covered an impressive amount of sonic ground during their initial seven-year run as a band. In the process, the trio—former teacher Gordon “Sting” Sumner, onetime Curved Air drummer Stewart Copeland, and veteran guitarist Andy Summers—proved that commercial rock music could be both ambitious and accessible. After forming in London, The Police debuted in 1978 with Outlandos d’Amour, a punk- and reggae-influenced LP with a melodic pop core that yielded the New Wave classic “Roxanne.” The band used that album and its signifiers—Sting’s keening yelp and live-wire basslines, Copeland’s intricate backbeats, and Summers’ slashing riffs—as a jumping-off point for experimentation; on subsequent LPs, the group explored laidback dub (“Walking On the Moon”), lively jazz-rock (“Driven to Tears”), and moody, grayscale synth-rock (“Invisible Sun”). These panoramic creative visions coalesced on 1983’s multiplatinum smash Synchronicity, a sophisticated rock album with tasteful synth flourishes and the obsession-focused No. 1 hit “Every Breath You Take.” (That song would be sampled by Puff Daddy on his 1997 hit with Faith Evans and 112, “I’ll Be Missing You,” giving The Police hip-hop cred.) After going on a break in 1984, The Police resurfaced in 1986 for several Amnesty International benefit concerts and then reunited for a proper large-scale reunion tour in 2007 and 2008 before splitting up once again. The band’s genre-blending rock approach lives on today via bands such as Vampire Weekend—and Sting himself still switches up Police songs live during his solo gigs.

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