In 1977, The Police started their musical journey in London, England. Although there were several lineup changes, the founding members were Andy Sumner played guitar, Stewart Copeland on drums and percussion, and Sting (born Gordon Sumner) on lead vocals, bass guitar. Additionally, it was Sting who wrote most of the group’s hit songs. According to their website, “from their early beginnings, The Police were hailed as a maverick live band-a group that galvanized an already impressive studio sound into something otherworldly.”Not only was The Police a trailblazer for the new-wave genre, but they also helped start the second British musical invasion in the United States. One of the standouts for this group was that each member came from a different musical background. Andy Summers started his career as the guitarist for The Animals. Stuart Copeland played drums for Curved Air and had a short solo career under the alias Klark Kent. Sting’s background was fusion jazz. As the group evolved, they began to add reggae grooves to their diverse style. In 1986, they dissolved but took the stage in 2003 for their induction at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Following their appearance at the Grammys in 2007, they embarked on a global tour. Although The Police were only together for six years, they left an indelible mark on music history since they were the first group to combine punk music with the positivity found in reggae music. These are the ten best Police Songs of all time.
10. Don’t Stand So Close To Me
This song was the opening track on their third album, Zenyatta Mondatta. It reached number 10 on Billboard Hot 100 and Number 1 on the United Kingdom singles chart and won a Grammy in 1982. Many fans wondered if this song is autobiographical because Sting worked as a teacher before his musical career. The music video for this song seems to tease this idea as well.
9. Invisible Sun
Track three on Ghost in the Machine is a political statement. According to genius, the lyrics are about the imprisonment of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) in Maze Prison. Many of these prisoners started hunger strikes because the conditions were so deplorable. Bobby Sands became part of the British Parliament while jailed. However, he died during these strikes. Even though it was a dark song, Sting wrote it hoping to evoke some light amid the tragedy. Nonetheless, the music was banned by the BBC.
8. Synchronicity II
According to his website, Sting talked about the meaning behind this song. The monster mentioned in the lake represents all of the man’s darkest emotions. Although each event in the lyrics seems unrelated, they are connected by the universe. Much of this song’s lyrics were inspired by Carl Jung, accredited with the phrase synchronicity.
7. King of Pain
This song was the final single from The Police’s Synchronicity album, reaching number 3 on Billboard Hot 100. It is another example of The Police’s style of using sadder lyrics with an upbeat tempo. At the time Sting wrote this, he was separated from his first wife, Frances Tomelty. Additionally, The Police were having a lot of disagreements.
6. Wrapped Around Your Finger
Although this may sound like a beautiful love song, it’s about control in a relationship. The second line of the song, “caught between Scylla and Charybdis,” is taken from The Odyssey by Homer. It means trapped between a rock and a hard place. Mephistopheles was a demon from German folklore. The end of the song turns the lyrics full circle. The person who is being manipulated in the relationship realizes it and does the same to the other person.
There isn’t a hidden meaning in this song; it’s a love song with a twist. The song’s subject flirts with a prostitute and doesn’t want her to continue working and stay faithful to him. Later, the song was featured in the motion picture Moulin Rouge; appropriate because it was similar to Sting’s lyrics.
4. Murder By Numbers
The song’s lyrics sound like a how-to for a serial killer. The darker beat and smoky guitar lend themselves wonderfully to the music. However, as the verses progress, it becomes clear that the song is really about politicians and how low they sink to further their agenda. Additionally, it’s about all the terrible things people do to advance their careers and get ahead in life.
3. Message In A Bottle
This song was The Police’s first number on song in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Spain. In six other countries, it reached the top five. However, in the United States, it only peaked at number 74. It has a smooth island beat to compliment the imagery of being trapped on a deserted island. The lyrics are about sending positivity out the universe, hoping to find their soulmate.
2. Every Breath You Take
If you’ve ever seen The Wedding Singer, you understand how an artist starts a song and how it ends entirely differently, especially if they have gone through a breakup. When Sting wrote this song, he was in the midst of a divorce with his first wife. It’s often mistaken as a love song. On the other hand, the lyrics are about someone who always watches the object of their passion, even if they don’t feel the same way.
1. Every Little Thing She Does is Magic
Even though this song became a hit in 1981, Sting started performing the song when he was a member of a short-lived group called Strontium 90 with Summers, Copeland, and Howlett. The song topped the charts in the United Kingdom, Canada, and the Netherlands and being number 5 in Norway. The musical arrangements of the piece are much different from other songs from The Police. Copeland and Summers didn’t like Sting’s piano collaboration with Jean Roussell. Copeland even played over the original demo, which became the official release of the song.