New Wave vs Progressive Rock
During the 80s the New Wave and progressive Rock were the new things… All the bands were trying to mix styles and get a new sound. Basically they were all part of the same package, even if they had distinct sounds. The Police and Genesis were part of it – although the first one is mix of new wave/ska rock and the second one is progressive rock – they were battling over the top.
The history of The Police started at 1976, when drummer Stewart Copeland watched Gordon Summer – more known as Sting – performing in a local British pub. The drummer decided to convince Sting to drop his band ‘Last Exit’ to try a new project. Soon after, the guitar player Henry Padovani joined them and the trio did a briefly tour supported by vocalist Cherry Vanilla. Next year the band released their first EP ‘Fall Out’, which brought them some fame. In 1978, The Police created new hits as ‘ Roxanne’ and ‘Can’t Stand Losing You’, which reached the top-selling singles in England. At the same year the album ‘Outandos D’Amour’ was out – The hit ‘ Message in a Bottle’ came right after in 1979 and went straight to the top on the radios.
The second album, ‘Reggatta de Blanc’, solidified their worldwide success; touring India, Egypt and Greece among other countries. In 1980, put out hits as ‘Don’t Stand So Close to Me’ and ‘De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da Da’, winning 3 Grammys, as the Bet365 promo code.
Followed by the singles, came the third album ‘’Zenyatta Mondatta’’. After a year hiatus/vacation, the band traveled to the Caribbean to record their fourth album ‘Ghost In The Machine’ in 1983. It was the band’s best work until that time, leading to the top hits on the radios in America and Great Britain for 17 weeks long. However, after a world tour the group broke up, in order to work on solo projects.
The Police reunion is something that happens from time to time nowadays, playing together for charity or TV shows, having guests such as – long time friend – Phil Collins to perform with them.
Drummer and singer, Collins, has started his career playing in one of the most important bands in rock history, possibly the most important in progressive rock: Genesis. Lots of people only know Genesis by their recent work ’Invisible Touch’, but having a 20 year history inside progressive rock has made them unanimous among the public and admirers.
The first formation had Tony Banks (keyboard), Peter Gabriel (vocal), Anthony Philips (guitar, that would soon be replaced by Steve Hackett), Mike Rutherford (guitar) and Chris Stewart (drummer that would be replaced by John Silver). They were all students from Chaterhouse British School. Soon, they abandoned school to focus only and exclusively to the band, being signed by Decca Records and releasing their first album ‘From Genesis to Revelation’ 1969. Right after the album was out, John Mayhew would leave the band and get replaced by the now super famous and iconic Phil Collins.
Having the new band all set, they put out their new album ‘Nursery Cryme’ in 1972 and started to work on theatrical performances, implementing the visual and the sonority on stage – the landmark of a good progressive band. Peter Gabriel would perform all dressed up, wearing masks, reciting poems and narrating tales in between the songs.
The fact is that, around 75, Peter Gabriel left the band for good. And some time after, guitar man Steve Hacket would release his first solo record, enjoyed by the critic, and feared by the fans – that could mean a possible split.
Yet, they did move on. At the beginning feeling really insecure, but step-by-step, they accepted the lost of their front man, enjoying the chance to show a bit more about each band member, specially because the last record was 90% planned by Peter himself.
Initially they tried to find a new singer to fill in for Peter Gabriel. The new album was almost done and Phil Collins would sing some of the songs (‘Squonk’ among them) while the rest of the guys would have the hard task to find a new lead man. After all they didn’t find anyone good enough. Phil was singing better than the other candidates. So it was decided: Phil Collins would be the new lead singer. During the shows they would have a drummer hired to perform, meanwhile in the studio, Phil would fill in for both spots.
I would say that The Police is one step ahead of Genesis in one small detail: As a young band they reached the success faster, only a few years on the road and they had major hits everywhere. This is something you don’t see every day, I guarantee you won’t find many artists with this kind of outcome on their respective curricula.