was replaced by Andy Summers,
a veteran of the British Invasion, following the release of
"Fall Out" Summers had
previous played with Eric Burdon's second lineup of the
Animals, the Zoot Money's Big Roll Band, the Kevin Ayers
Band, and Neil Sedaka. The Police signed with A&M by the
spring of 1978, committing to a contract that gave the group
a higher royalty rate in lieu of a large advance. A&M
released "Roxanne" in
the spring of 1978, but it failed to chart.
The Police set out on a
tour of America in the summer of 1978 without any record to
support, traveling across the country in a rented van and
playing with rented equipment.
Released in the fall of 1978,
Outlandos d'Amour began
a slow climb into the British Top Ten and American Top 30.
Immediately after its release, the group began a U.K. tour
supporting Alberto y los Trios Paranoias and released the
"So Lonely" single. By
the spring of 1979, the re-released
"Roxanne" had climbed to number 12 on the U.K.
charts, taking Outlandos d'Amour
to number six. In the summer of 1979,
Sting appeared in
Quadrophenia, a British film based on the Who
album of the same name; later that year, he acted in
Preceded by the number one British single
"Message in a Bottle"
Reggatta de Blanc (fall 1979) established the
group as stars in England and Europe, topping the U.K.
charts for four weeks. Following its release,
Miles Copeland had the
band tour several countries that rarely received concerts
from foreign performers, including Thailand, India, Mexico,
Greece, and Egypt.
released in the fall of 1980, became the Police's North
American breakthrough, reaching the Top Ten in the U.S. and
Canada; in England, the album spent four weeks at number
one. "Don't Stand So Close to Me"
the album's first single, became the group's second
number one single in the U.K.; in America, the single became
their second Top Ten hit in the spring of 1981, following
the number ten placing of "De Do Do
Do, De Da Da Da" in the winter.
By the beginning of 1981, the Police were
able to sell out Madison Square Garden. Capitalizing on
their success, the band returned to the studio in the summer
of 1981 to record their fourth album with producer Hugh
Padgham. The sessions, which were filmed for a BBC
documentary hosted by Jools Holland,
were completed within a couple months, and the album, Ghost
in the Machine, appeared in the fall of 1981.
Ghost in the Machine
became an instant hit, reaching number one in the U.K. and
number two in the U.S. as "Every
Little Thing She Does Is Magic" became their
biggest hit to date.