Though The Police have cemented themselves as rock royalty, the three musicians — Sting, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland — actually endured a multitude of struggles during their early days. Now, fans can get an inside look at their highs and lows (which peaked when Sting departed the group) in the new REELZ documentary, The Police & Sting: Story of Their Songs, airing on Sunday, January 3.
At their start, the trio struggled to convey their authenticity to the masses, but that all changed upon the release of their one-of-a-kind, reggae-inspired track "Roxanne," which made waves in the music industry.
From there, they released a slew of popular songs, and their Grammy-winning single "Every Breath You Take" — a dark tune about stalking and obsession that stemmed from the breakdown of Sting's marriage — turned them into international superstars. However, behind closed doors, the group was falling apart.
The Police performing live, from left, Sting, Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers. Photo: MEGA
The song’s producer Hugh Padgham talks in detail about the track's recording session, where the men were in the midst of constant infighting and professional jealousy. In particular, it was Sting who desired more creative freedom.
They struggled to stay together and reached their breaking point in 1986 when Sting shocked the world by departing the group. "You have to keep in mind how bold it was when Sting went solo," notes professor and music critic Anthony DeCurtis. "The Police were the biggest band in the world essentially."
The singer then teamed up with Grammy Award-winning producer Neil Dorfsman, and together they fused reggae and jazz for the hit single "Englishman in New York." Its international success secured Sting's prowess as a remarkable solo artist. Watch an additional exclusive clip on "Englishman in New York" below.
For more on the groundbreaking band's success and breakup, tune in to The Police & Sting: Story of Their Songs Sunday, January 3, at 8 p.m. ET on REELZ.
Watch REELZ on DIRECTV 238, Dish Network 299, Verizon FiOS 692, AT&T U-verse 1799 and in HD on cable systems and streaming services nationwide. Find REELZ on your local cable or satellite provider at www.reelz.com.