Sting of The Police turns 70

Think

Sting_in_April_2018
By Raph_PH – QueenbdayRAH210418-34, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=76810661

As the 40th anniversary of MTV, not to mention mark Knopfler’s 72nd birthday, was being celebrated in early August 2021, I started listening to the intro to Dire Straits’ Money For Nothing. It was only then that I heard the similarities between the vocal of Sting on the “I Want My MTV” segment and the Police song Don’t Stand So Close To Me. It’s SO obvious in retrospect.

Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner CBE has been an enormously successful and well-regarded musician and songwriter. As Wikipedia noted, the initial sound [of the Police] was punk-inspired, but they switched to reggae rock and minimalist pop.” He had had a lengthy solo career, influenced by everything from jazz to madrigals over the years. Sting also has a strong activist bent over many years, participating in myriad events.

But I’ve always been amused how much an ex-girlfriend absolutely HATED his voice. I couldn’t play any of his music while she was in the room, and I had/have a lot of his tunes.

The Police were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003. Solo and with The Police combined, Sting has sold over 100 million records and received 17 Grammy Awards.

Songs

All songs by Sting and chart action are the Billboard pop charts unless otherwise indicated.

Murder By Numbers – The Police. This song used to irritate me greatly, but it’s not the tune’s fault. It’s that I bought the LP of Synchronicity and it did not appear, only on that new-fangled compact disc technology the music was trying to force down our throats in the early 1980s. It WAS on the B-side of the massive Police hit Every Breath You Take. Rick Beato notes why this song is fantastic.

King Of Pain – The Police, #3 for two weeks in 1983. Do I love this because Weird Al did a great early parody, with King Of Suede? Maybe.

I Hung My Head. Johnny Cash done stole this song from him, but JR just does that.

Every Breath You Take – The Police, #1 for eight weeks in 1983. Beato spends nearly an hour breaking down the power of this song.

Why STING is Uncopyable

Fortress Around Your Heart, #8 in 1985. Lyrics of love as war. Beato explains the intricacies of the song here, starting at 2:07.

Spirits In The Material World – The Police, #11 in 1982

Gabriel’s Message. From that first A Very Special Christmas collection.

The Bed’s Too Big Without You – The Police. I suppose I related to this in my younger, lonelier days. 

Fields of Gold, #23 in 1993.

Message In A Bottle  – The Police, #74 in 1979.

Can’t Stand Losing You – The Police.

Fragile. I’ve related to this a LOT over the years.

Cueca Solas

They Dance Alone. A heartbreaking song about the survivors of the Disappeared.

If I Ever Lose My Faith In You, #17 in 1993. There’s a modulation here that always knocks me out

Don’t Stand So Close To Me – The Police, #10 in 1981; ’86 version, #46 in 1986. Someone on Quora suggested that the Police were a band with a happy ending. Maybe a couple of decades later

Roxanne – The Police, #32 in 1979. The first hit.

Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic – The Police. #3 for two weeks in 1981. Such a joyful song. Beato loves it. Shawn Colvin does a nice cover.

If You Love Somebody, Set Them Free, #3 for two weeks (#17 soul) in 1985. Sting was way ahead of me linguistically with this. Not only did I buy the album this appears, but the 12-inch with three different versions.

Synchronicity II – The Police, #16 in 1983. I have repeated these lyrics to this very angry song more than once. “And every single meeting with his so-called superior Is a humiliating kick in the crotch.” Musically, Beato at 8:13 touts it.

On Show #8359, Thursday, March 18, 2021, Sting was a category on JEOPARDY! And at the end, he recreates the Think music.

Coverville 1373: The Sting and The Police Cover Story IV