The idea for The Police appeared in the minds of Sting (actually Gordon Summer) and Stewart Copeland in 1977. At that time, Sting played with jazz bands in Newcastle, and Copeland was the drummer of the Curved Air group. Soon guitarist Henri Padovani joined them and one of the most popular British rock bands was formed.
Already their first single “Fall Out” turned out to be a hit and achieved a fantastic result of 70 thousand copies sold. Soon Andy Summers became the new guitarist. The first album “Outlandos d’Amour” (1978) was on the charts in Great Britain and the USA.
The Police’s second album – “Reggatta De Blanc” was released just a year later, and was promoted by the single “Message in a Bottle”, occupying the top of the British charts for 4 weeks. Thanks to these releases, the band has established itself as a star, not only in Great Britain but throughout Europe.
Reggae and Classic Rock
The Police’s iconic song “Roxanne” is a perfect example of how reggae and classic rock can come together to create a unique and unforgettable sound. Originally released in 1978, “Roxanne” is widely considered to be one of the band’s signature songs and a defining moment in their career.
At its core, “Roxanne” is built on a foundation of reggae rhythms. The song’s signature guitar riff, played by Andy Summers, is a classic reggae-style upstroke that sets the tone for the entire track. Similarly, the song’s drumbeat, provided by Stewart Copeland, is a driving, syncopated rhythm that is heavily influenced by reggae music.
However, what sets “Roxanne” apart is how it blends these reggae elements with classic rock instrumentation and songwriting. Sting’s distinctive vocals and bass playing are both heavily influenced by rock music, and his lyrics tell a story that is both heartfelt and relatable.
What results from this combination is a song that is both musically complex and emotionally resonant. The reggae rhythms provide a hypnotic backdrop for Sting’s vocals, while the rock elements add a sense of urgency and energy that drives the song forward.
Perhaps most impressively, “Roxanne” manages to be both a pop hit and a work of art. The song’s catchy melody and sing-along chorus make it an instant classic, but its musical sophistication and lyrical depth ensure that it will continue to be appreciated for decades to come.
In the end, “Roxanne” is a testament to the power of musical fusion. By combining elements of reggae and classic rock, the Police were able to create a song that transcends genre and stands as a true masterpiece of modern music.