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The Police | biography

Right at the beginning of their career, The Police were praised for their lateral thinking live qualities: As a band that was able to transform their already unique studio sound into something almost supernatural on stage. Sting, Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers negotiated controlled energy (bursts) and haunting melodies with the improvised security of a jazz trio, but at the same time they clearly evoked the unbridled dynamics of a punk rock band - with this mixture they became one of the in no time at all most important rock groups of the 70s and 80s. And far beyond ...

Her real breakthrough came during the punk movement, in the late 1970s. All three members of The Police originally came from very different (sound) corners: Summers played with The Animals, Soft Machine and Kevin Ayers, Copeland had been a member of Curved Air and had started a short solo career under the name Klark Kent while Sting gained his first musical experience with various fusion jazz combos. What they had in common was their subtle virtuosity and unorthodox approach when they crossed reggae grooves with complex rhythmic arrangements. With the energetic and groundbreaking guitar interludes by Summers, the complex polyrhythms of Copeland and the gently sliding bass lines and the lifting voice of Sting, it was immediately clear that The Police were the most daring and most important representatives of the New Wave ...

Their first album "Outlandos D’Amour" was released on A&M Records in 1978: And immediately it climbed into the charts with hits like "Roxanne" and "So Lonely". In the following year, the trio presented the successor with “Reggatta de Blanc”, which also took top position and, along with other hits such as “Message in a Bottle” and “Walking on the Moon”, also won their first major award: The Police received her first Grammy for the title track. "Zenyatta Mondatta" followed again just one year later (1980) and brought them two more Grammys and the top 10 hits "Don’t Stand So Close To Me" and "De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da". In 1981 The Police finally released “Ghost in the Machine”, which was to get two platinum awards with the two hit singles “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic” and “Spirits in the Material World”.

After a one-year hiatus, The Police got together again to record their absolute milestone with “Synchronicity”: an album that turned out to be their swan song for work in the studio and also won their third Grammy Award. The most successful Police album to date, “Every Breath You Take” was featured on “Synchronicity”, one of the most important rock ballads of the eighties and - later - the reason for a very special award: the BMI Award for eight million appearances on the radio (2005). In the US radio landscape they were by far the most frequently played band in the eighties, while they were also able to celebrate similar successes in Great Britain: each with five first-place albums and singles. In 1982 The Police received a Brit Award in the “Best Group” category, followed in 1985 by the Brit Award in the “Outstanding Contribution to British Music” category.

After the band split up in 1984, the three hyperactive sound revolutionaries concentrated on their solo careers. Sting released the album "Dream of the Blue Turtles" as early as 1985, for which he brought a number of top-class jazz musicians on board (including Kenny Kirkland, Darryl Jones, Omar Hakim and Branford Marsalis). His successful solo series would Sting in the following years with "Bring On The Night", "Nothing Like The Sun", "The Soul Cages", "Ten Summoner's Tales", "Mercury Falling", "Brand New Day", "All This." Time ”,“ Sacred Love ”and his recently released“ Songs from the Labyrinth ”album. "Songs from the Labyrinth" is a tribute to John Dowland, a composer from the 16th century who landed on the first place on the Billboard classical charts in the first week of sales and was to stay there for a proud 15 weeks. Sting made his acting debut in the film "Quadrophenia" back in 1979 - since then he has appeared in 14 films, including the Lynch classic "Dune" (German: "Der Wüstenplanet"). He was recently involved as a producer on the film A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints. He was also able to gain experience for the first time on Broadway in 1989 as part of the “Threepenny Opera”. In 2003 Sting published his autobiography "Broken Music" (German translation by Fischer-Verlag), which was on the New York Times bestseller list for 13 weeks. In short: Sting has developed into one of the most versatile and distinguished artists over the past few decades. Incidentally, a development that, in addition to 11 (!) Other Grammys as a solo artist, also gave him two other Brit Awards, a Golden Globe, an Emmy, three Oscar nominations, the Century Award from Billboard Magazine and the MusiCares Prize (2004) in in the “Person of the Year” category.

Meanwhile, Stewart Copeland was responsible for a number of the most innovative soundtracks in the history of film: he has worked with a large number of directors on almost 40 films and has also provided several TV programs with the right sound since 1984. His work includes the soundtrack of Oliver Stone's “Wall Street”, Francis Ford Coppola's “Rumblefish” (nominated for a Golden Globe in the “Best Score” category), and the music for “Four Days in September” (nominated for a Oscar in the “Best Foreign Film” category) or for TV series such as “Dead Like Me” (nominated for an Emmy). His solo releases include the cult soundtrack "The Rhythmatist", a sonic journey through the African continent. Even today, Copeland tries to venture into new sonic territory with every single composition - regardless of whether it is operas, ballet performances or orchestral music. His most important works in the latter categories include "Holy Blood and the Crescent Moon" for the Cleveland Opera, "A Casque of Amontillado" and an adaptation of "King Lear" for the San Francisco Ballet. He recently brought together a brass section, a percussion quartet and a chamber orchestra to bring the album “Orchestralli” to life. At the same time, this undertaking resulted in a Grammy nomination in 2006. Copeland has also repeatedly toured the world with various world music and rock groups: including the uniquely esoteric and incredibly melodious music of “La Notte della Taranta” (ancient “Trance -Sound "from the Grecia-Salentina region in southern Italy). He finally celebrated a sensational comeback on stage last year when he performed at the Bonnaroo Festival with the band Oysterhead, together with his colleagues Trey Anastasio (from Phish) and Les Claypool (from Primus!). Praised by Billboard magazine as a "heavy" performance, the trio had previously released an album on Elektra (in 2000) and toured extensively in 2000-2001. In January 2006, the film "Everyone Stares: The Police Inside Out" made its debut at the Sundance Festival. The full-length documentary reports on the founding, international success and dissolution of The Police. Produced, narrated and shot on Super 8 material by Stewart, his view - a view from the drummer's peculiar perspective - on the evolution of the band also became a favorite with critics. Now available on DVD and a guarantee of success at several film festivals, the film will also open regularly in cinemas in Japan at the end of March. After all, Copeland recently started his career on television: He was one of the referees on the successful BBC series “Just The Two Of Us”. Copeland was honored with the “Outstanding Music in Film Visionary Award” (2003) at the Hollywood Film Festival, and on March 3, 2007 he will receive the “Cinequest Maverick Spirit Award”.

Since The Police broke up in 1984, Summers has recorded a total of 12 solo albums, collaborating with artists such as Robert Fripp, John Etheridge, Victor Biglone, Roberto Menescal and Benjamin Verdery, among others. He has been touring consistently and has headlined innumerable jazz festivals around the world. In March 2005, Summers made his first appearance at Carnegie Hall: The orchestral piece "Dark Florence" was commissioned exclusively from Andy by Yale University. He has also worked on a variety of film soundtracks including "Down and Out in Beverly Hills" and "Weekend at Bernie’s". Acclaimed by Guitar Player magazine, Summers was voted best guitarist five times in the 1980s and was eventually inducted into the magazine's Hall of Fame. Gibson and Martin have each dedicated their own guitar model to Andy; in addition he was awarded the "Lifetime Achievement Award" by Gibson Guitars in 2003. Finally, the Fender brand also released a Summers special edition of the classic Telecaster guitar. Last October (2006) he published his autobiography “One Train Later: A Memoir”, in which he illuminates the years before and during the successes with The Police and at the same time paints an absolutely personal picture of the band's history. Since the publication of his first photo book “Throb” (1983), Summers has repeatedly received critical acclaim for his photographic work, including in the exhibitions “City Like This” at the Beaux Arts Gallery in London and “Light Strings”, a collaboration with the outstanding New York photographer Ralph Gibson. In March 2007, the volume "I'll Be Watching You" will be published by Taschen Books, an extensive collection of images from his time with The Police.

In March 2003, four years ago, The Police returned for the first time - and far too short! - back on stage to celebrate her induction into the "Rock’n’roll Hall of Fame". Their live set consisting of only three songs: "Roxanne", "Every Breath You Take" and "Message in a Bottle". But these three songs should be enough to spark worldwide hopes for an early reunification of the group that has been one of the most innovative and influential bands in the history of rock’n’roll for some time ...

Although the band didn't exist for more than six years, the impact The Police have had and still have on rock history is immense. They were the first band to interweave the straightforward approach of punk rock with the relaxed, positive energy of reggae. With over 50 million albums sold worldwide, The Police were not only able to conquer the charts, but also win over audiences and critics alike. And yet they never lost sight of what it was all about from the start: the music. Your unmistakable sound. The entire story of The Police - from the wild beginnings to the rambling projects of the solo years - paints a clear picture of a band that took us all on a short but unforgettable trip through the soul of the music world. The best thing about it: We had a great time during this time ...