Sting pulled off both a band and a solo career!
Sting is an English musician who, prior to his solo career, had a band called The Police with Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers.
Formed by Copeland in 1977, The Police reached worldwide success after releasing their first single Roxanne only a year after they formed the band.
By fusing punk, reggae, and jazz, The Police were one of the first acts in the UK to pioneer a style that was to become known as New Wave.
Including his songs with The Police, Sting has had many more hits including Every Breath You Take, Fragile, Englishman In New York, So Lonely, Seven Days and Message In A Bottle.
The Police first single
Roxanne is a single from the album Outlandos d’Amour by The Police.
Being The Police first single, it took two releases before the world caught on, eventually reaching the top 40 in both the U.S and the U.K. Roxanne really was the song that propelled The Police towards superstardom.
Written by Sting, Roxanne was first played in a Bossa Nova style. The inspiration for the lyrics came to Sting when the band was performing in Paris and he saw the prostitutes walking in the red light district.
The actual name Roxanne came from a poster in the hotel that the band stayed at in Paris.
Since the shaky release back in 1978, Roxanne has gone from strength to strength and has always been a part of The Police’s live show.
Having been included in all of their Greatest Hits, the song came to represent the bands music like no other.
The audience reach of Roxanne can only be compared to their monster hit Every Breath You Take, pretty remarkable for a first single!
Since The Police’s breakup in 1984, Sting has continued to perform Roxanne in many different versions during his live set as a solo artist.
By doing so, he has showcased how a song can be dressed up in many ways without losing its integrity, as long as it’s a good song to begin with.
Roxanne was the natural choice to play when the band reunited at the 2007 Grammy awards. The reunion tour that followed sold out in minutes.
Roxanne – Chords & Guitar Lessons
Roxanne’s verse progression descend which cleverly supports the lyrical attempt to stop Roxanne from selling her body under the red light.
The bridge/pre-chorus employ the II – V – VI progression which set us up for the very common I – IV – V chorus progression.
Roxanne – Lyrics
Roxanne, you don’t have to put on the red light,
those days are over, you don’t have to sell your body to the night.
Roxanne, you don’t have to wear that dress tonight, walk the streets for money,
you don’t care if it’s wrong or if it’s right.
Go to Roxanne – Lyrics.