During the 1980s, when pop icons like Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson, and U2 reigned supreme, many regarded The Police as the biggest band in the world. Yet after only five albums-and at the peak of their popularity-The Police disbanded and Sting began a solo career that made him a global pop star. Today, artists from Puff Daddy to Gwen Stefani credit The Police and Sting as major influences on their own work, reflecting that The Police were t only a popular, polished rock act, but a powerfully influential one as well. In Sting and The Police: Walking in Their Footsteps, Aaron J. West explores the cultural and musical impact of Stewart Copeland, Andy Summers, and Sting. West details the distinctive hybrid character of The Police's musical output, which would also characterize Sting's post-Police career. Sting's long-lived solo career embodies the power of the artful appropriation of musical styles, while capitalizing on the modern realities of pop music consumption. The Police-and Sting in particular-were pioneers in music video, modern label marketing, global activism, and the internationalization of pop music. Sting and The Police: Walking in Their Footsteps will interest more than just fans. By placing the band within its various musical, cultural, commercial, and historic contexts, Sting and The Police: Walking in Their Footsteps will appeal to anyone interested in global popular music culture.
Aaron J. West has written numerous articles on jazz and popular music. He is currently professor of music history at Collin College. A professional musician, he has performed with jazz and pop legends Arturo Sandoval, Brian Wilson, Norah Jones, and the Glenn Miller Orchestra.
Aaron J. West
Rowman & Littlefield
Date of Publication
Music & Dance
Tempo: A Rowman & Littlefield Music Series on Rock, Pop, and Culture