Over a couple of mp3 cd collections I have by the Police: Outlandos d’Amour (1978), Reggatta De Blanc (1979), Zenyatta Mondatta (1980), Ghost in the Machine (1981), Synchronicity (1983), Message in A Box extras. And by Sting: The Dream of the Blue Turtles (1985), … Nothing Like The Sun (1987). Not that I’m a real fan 🙂
The band started out with a raw punk-reggae sound & the songs had an angry energetic edge to them & their look was leather & spiky hair like Billy Idol. The first 3 lps had word play titles but as their sound changed so the titles become more ‘serious.’ I had some of these as vinyl or cassettes. They went from radical-lite to one of the best selling groups of all-time partially by letting their sound grow & particularly thanks to videos on MTV. Every Breath You Take pushed them into mega-popularity – who knew a paean to ‘stalking = real love’ would prove to be so appealing 🙂
Sting branched out with film acting (but never musicals) & launched his solo career with ‘Blue Turtles’ which I enjoyed. But much his writing for The Police his work became more domesticated, ecologically supportive & new age. I lost interest – as I did with Peter Gabriel, as they become message gurus instead of musicians.
Another band of the time that embraced word play titles is Split Ends with Waiata. I loved this band with their sweet lyrics, excellent sonics & even a sense of humour. I can hear Ghost Girl in my head without playing it. Here too is The Style Council: Our Favourite Shop – I love this album that is more r’n’b, white-eyed soul, than anything else. Fine songs, excellent engineering & a delight.
From the era is Talk Talk: It’s My Life. Like The Police this is a band that stretched its sound over the course of its career making some of the most transcending music but this where they started. Romantic, smooth & loved It’s My Life with the soaring sax. A band that, in its way, became as experimental as King Crimson. The band that supposed picked up the crown when The Police retired was U2. Here is The Joshua Tree that heralds their climb to arena stardom. Solid pop/rock but I never became a fan.
Finally, to echo the reggae roots of The Police, I added Eek-A-Mouse to this collection with The Very Best Of, U-Neek. He used word play titles for most of his lps. Wiki tells me his niche is singjay. Sound quality is good with songs of political pondering, social commentary & women. If you want a reggae alternative to Bob Marly this guy is for you.