In early 1977, Stewart Copeland, a young American expat in London, decided to form a band following the demise of his progressive rock group, Curved Air. Copeland found a young bass player and singer named Gordon Summers (aka Sting) and a limited guitar player from Corsica named Henry Padovani. In July of '77, the group added Andy Summers to their ranks, becoming a quartet. By the end of the year, Padovani was out, and the Police's classic three-piece lineup was complete.
The trio recorded their debut, Outlandos d'Amour (A&M, 1978), in early 1978, and though the album initially flopped, it would later become a classic in the rock canon. It features two songs, "Roxanne" and "Can't Stand Losing You," that have buried themselves into our cultural vernacular. Though the LP is perhaps more uneven than their other efforts, it is bustling with punk energy and new wave romanticism. They followed Outlandos d'Amour with four more successful LP's, highlighted by their last two releases, Ghost in the Machine (A&M, 1981) and Synchronicity (A&M, 1983).
Ghost in the Machine saw the group exploring lush soundscapes and Sting exploring his rich literary background. Though some missed the raw, punk-based edge of the band's early material, many delighted at the sleek production, lyrical depth, and sonic experimentation, evidenced by hits like "Spirits in the Material World," "Invisible Sun," and the immortal, "Every Little Thing She Does is Magic." While it seemed unlikely for the group to surpass Ghost In the Machine, Sting and company saved the best for last. Synchronicity was an explosive success, selling over eight million copies in the US, giving the group their only #1 album in the states. Inner turmoil, solo aspirations, and massive egos led to the band's demise, but they have recently put their differences aside and taken to the road for a massive world reunion tour.