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The Police Biography

Home > Music > P > Police, The > Biography

Birth Place: London, England
Years Active: 1977–1984, 1986, 2007–2008, One-off performance: 2003
Genres: Rock, New Wave, Post-punk, Reggae

The Police were an English rock band from London, formed in 1977. The band consisted of Sting (lead vocals, bass guitar), Andy Summers (guitar, vocals) and Stewart Copeland (drums, vocals, percussion). The Police became globally popular in the late 1970s and are generally regarded as one of the first New Wave groups to achieve mainstream success, playing a style of rock that was influenced by jazz, punk and reggae music. The band broke up in 1984, but reunited in early 2007 for a one-off world tour lasting until August 2008, in celebration of the 30th anniversary of their hit single "Roxanne" and also, to a lesser extent, their formation as a group. The Police have sold more than 50 million albums worldwide, and became the world's highest-earning musicians in 2008, thanks to their reunion tour.

“Outlandos d'Amour,” their debut album, was released in 1978. Originally released in 1978, the single "Roxanne" was re-released in 1979, and it went to #12 on the UK charts, and "Can't Stand Losing You" followed, eventually hitting #2. The album itself peaked at #6.

In October 1979, the group released their second album “Reggatta de Blanc,” which was a major seller throughout Europe. The album topped the British charts for four weeks and spawned the UK number-one singles "Message in a Bottle" and "Walking on the Moon". The instrumental title track won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance.

Police released their third album, “Zenyattà Mondatta,” in October 1980. The album gave the group their third U.K. #1 hit, "Don't Stand So Close to Me", and "De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da", which charted in the United States. The instrumental "Behind My Camel," written by Andy Summers, won the band a Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental Performance. The song "Don't Stand So Close to Me" won the Grammy for Best Rock Vocal Performance for Duo or Group.

The Police's fourth album, “Ghost in the Machine,” co-produced by Hugh Padgham, was released in 1981. It went multi-platinum in the United States, reaching #2 on the Billboard 200 chart and spawned the hit singles, "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic", "Invisible Sun", and "Spirits in the Material World".

The Police released their last album, “Synchronicity,” in 1983 which would be certified 8x platinum by the RIAA. Notable songs from that album include "Every Breath You Take”, "Wrapped Around Your Finger", "King of Pain" and the foreboding "Synchronicity II". “Synchronicity” topped both the Billboard Pop Albums and Billboard 200 charts. It won a Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.

After the Synchronicity tour ended in March 1984, the group disbanded, and each band member went on to pursue his own solo career. They reunited for worldwide concert tour that began in 2007 and ended in 2008, marking the 30th anniversary of their beginnings. At its conclusion, the tour became the third highest grossing tour of all time, with revenues reaching over $340 million.