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  POLICE Twentieth Anniversary Autograph
THE POLICE 20th Anniversary Autograph


 
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Product Code: MLPO001
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THE POLICE 20th Anniversary Autograph
Hand Signed by Sting, Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers
The very best of...Sting & The Police
100/1000
Certificate of Authenticity included.
About this item
The Police's canny, forward-looking combination of pop hooks, exotic rhythms, blond good looks, adventurous management, and good timing won the trio a mass following in America and around the world. Its distinctive sound - songs centered on Sting's bass patterns and high, wailing vocals, with Summers' atmospheric guitar, and Copeland's intricate drumming - was among the most influential approaches since punk. While the Police seemed at first to be a white reggae band, it later incorporated ideas from funk, minimalism, Arab, Indian, and African music. But as the chief singer, songwriter, and bassist, Sting began harboring solo ambitions, which led to the band’s untimely demise in 1984, following its fifth and most successful album, Synchronicity.

Sting, who got his nom de fame because of a yellow-and-black jersey he often wore as a young musician, had been a teacher, ditchdigger, and civil servant and had worked with several jazz combos in Newcastle, England, including Last Exit, before he met American drummer Stewart Copeland at a local jazz club. Copeland, the son of a jazz-loving CIA agent and an archaeologist with an appreciation for classical music, had grown up in the Middle East, attended college in California, moved to England in 1975, and joined the English progressive-rock group Curved Air.

After Curved Air broke up in 1976, Copeland formed the Police with Sting and guitarist Henri Padovani in 1977, replacing Padovani with Summers after some months of club dates. (The new trio played for several months with bassist Mike Howlett, who went on to become a record producer, in a group called Strontium 90.) Summers had played with numerous groups since the mid-’60s, including Eric Burdon and the Animals, the Kevin Ayers Band, the Zoot Money Big Roll Band, and Neil Sedaka; he had also studied classical guitar in California.

From the start, the Police distinguished itself for its maverick business practices. Before recording anything, the threesome portrayed a bleached-blond punk-rock band in a chewing-gum TV commercial - a move that drew the scorn of Britain’s punks. But in punk style, the group’s first single, “Fall Out” (with Padovani), was homemade and frenzied. Released in 1978 by Illegal Records Syndicate (I.R.S.) - an independent label founded by Stewart Copeland and his brother Miles (also the group’s manager) - “Fall Out” sold about 70,000 copies in the U.K.

The following year, the Police signed with A&M, negotiating a unique contract that awarded the group a higher-than-standard royalty rate instead of a large advance. The Police’s next unorthodox move was to tour America before releasing any records there. Through Frontier Booking International (FBI) - Stewart’s brother Ian Copeland’s agency - the band borrowed equipment, rented a van, and traveled cross-country to play club dates, sowing the seeds of a following that would make its first U.S. release, “Roxanne,” a moderate hit (#32, 1979; it was already a British hit).

Both Outlandos d’Amour and Reggatta de Blanc entered the U.S. Top 30, while in the U.K. “Message in a Bottle” and “Walking on the Moon” went to the top of the singles chart. A 1980 world tour took the Police to Hong Kong, Thailand, India, Egypt, Greece, and Mexico - countries that rarely receive foreign entertainers. Zenyatta Mondatta (#5, 1980), which contained “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da” (#10, 1980) and “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” (#10, 1981), was the group’s first U.S. platinum album. It was followed by a second million-seller, Ghost in the Machine (#2, 1981), which secured the Police among the big hitmakers of the decade with “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” (#3, 1981). Meanwhile, the three musicians worked on various outside projects. Sting embarked on a film career, acting in Quadrophenia (1979), Radio On (1979), and Brimstone and Treacle (1982), which he also scored; and performing solo in The Secret Policeman’s Other Ball (1982). Summers collaborated with Robert Fripp on two albums. Copeland recorded with Peter Gabriel, released a solo EP as Klark Kent, and composed the soundtrack for Francis Ford Coppola’s movie Rumble Fish (1983).

The three regrouped for 1983’s chart-topping Synchronicity, which spawned the monster hit “Every Breath You Take” (#1, 1983), and also produced “Synchronicity II” (#16, 1983), “King of Pain,” (#3, 1983), and “Wrapped Around Your Finger” (#8, 1984). After a triumphant world tour, it was announced that the Police would take a “sabbatical” to devote time to individual pursuits; but in 1985, as Sting released a successful solo album and started touring with a new band, it became clear that the singer had no plans to reunite with Copeland and Summers. In later years, interviews revealed a playful but real tension between Sting and Copeland, causing speculation that this interaction may have played a part in the group’s end as well.

Still, fans were hopeful when the group played together at several shows on Amnesty International’s Conspiracy of Hope Tour in 1986. That year also brought a Police greatest-hits compilation that was supposed to include new tracks but didn’t, largely because Sting wouldn’t write any. Instead the trio included “Don’t Stand So Close to Me ’86,” a subpar new version of the original hit, which peaked at #46. (Several remixes were intended, but a freak polo accident prevented Copeland from drumming.) It was the Police’s last recording to date. The trio re-formed in front of an exclusive audience to perform at Sting’s wedding to Trudie Styler in 1992 and sat for its first joint interview in 15 years in 1999. The group was the subject of a few tribute albums - two reggae and one rock en Español - in the late ’90s. Meanwhile, Sting lent his most famous Police compositions, “Every Breath You Take” and “Roxanne,” to rap producer/mogul Sean Combs for sampling and a remix, respectively, in 1997.

Copeland and Summers have enjoyed more modest solo success, at least commercially, than Sting [see entry]. In 1985 Copeland released The Rhythmatist, an album documenting his experiments collaborating with African folk percussionists. More film scores followed, as well: Oliver Stone’s Wall Street and Talk Radio and numerous others. The drummer also composed themes for television series, including The Equalizer (an instrumental album called The Equalizer and Other Cliff Hangers was released in 1988; it is now out of print), and released two albums with another rock band, Animal Logic, formed with jazz bassist Stanley Clarke and singer Deborah Holland. Then, after composing King Lear for the San Francisco Ballet, he presented his first opera, Holy Blood and Crescent Moon, in 1989; a second, Horse Opera, followed in 1993, with a mini-opera based on the Edgar Allan Poe short story “The Cask of Amontillado” presented in 1994. Also in ’94, Copeland coordinated a tour of international percussion groups. Copeland is responsible for the eclectic, atmospheric music featured in the best-selling Spyro the Dragon videogame series.

Summers’ post-Police career, while less varied, has been distinguished by adventurous rock, jazz, and fusion albums, both alone and in collaboration with such respected musicians as Fripp and British jazz guitarist John Etheridge. His 1999 solo release Green Chimneys: The Music of Thelonious Monk featured Sting on vocals of the track “Round Midnight.” Also in ’99, Summers participated in a cross-cultural songwriting exchange workshop in Cuba. On February 11, 2007, the Police reunited to perform at the 49th Annual Grammy awards, boldly announcing their plans to play Live Earth in July and tour through 2007-2008.

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