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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 not 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.
The Police were a British rock band formed in London in 1977. For most of their history the band consisted of Sting (lead vocals, bass guitar, primary songwriter), Andy Summers (guitar) and Stewart Copeland (drums, percussion). The Police became globally popular in the late 1970s and early 1980s and are generally regarded as one of the first new-wave groups to achieve mainstream success, playing a style of rock influenced by punk, reggae, and jazz. They are also considered one of the leaders of the Second British Invasion of the United States. They disbanded in 1986, but reunited in early 2007 for a one-off world tour that ended in August 2008.
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This book details the origins of the names of 240 musical acts, focusing on the most popular groups (and a few individual performers) from the 1960s through today. Even casual music fans will recognize almost all of the acts discussed. A few one-hit wonders are included simply because their name is so unusual (Mungo Jerry, for example) that they warrant a place in the study. Each entry focuses on the meaning and/or origin of the act’s name, what it had been called previously, and any other names that were considered and rejected during the naming process. Also included are facts and figures about the act’s history and place in the rock music pantheon, the year the act was formed, the names of original members and later members of note and the act’s best known hit. The book lists bands alphabetically to give the casual reader the opportunity to open it to any page and read at leisure, the historian the ability to easily pinpoint the subject of his or her research, or the die-hard rock fan the chance to learn from A to Z the name origins of the biggest acts in rock and pop music history.

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