The Police - Roxanne
A Sneak Peek...
And today, on the "opening chord" for the short but glorious career of "The "Police".
On April 7, 1978, "The Police" released their first single in their classic lineup - "Roxanne".
Why do we mention "the classic lineup"?
Because a year earlier on May 1, 1977, the band released their first single "Fall Out", but it was with another band lineup that included guitarist Henry Padovani. The single failed and the band took a whole year to re-gather themselves, sign with "A&M Records" and start working on their debut album - "Outlandos d'Amour".
This single was released by the band even before they finished recording their debut album, which was only released in November 1978.
This song made it to "Rolling Stone" Magazine's 500 greatest songs of all time, it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and it even made it to the "Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame" "Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll" list, but that was not the case when it was released. The song failed to chart and did not make it onto the BBC radio playlist at all.
Because the song was not included in the BBC playlist, the record company saw it as a marketing opportunity and began publishing posters of the single with the caption "Banned by the BBC". The reason for the alleged "banning" was the fact that the song was about a love story between a man and a "prostitute", and he was trying to persuade her to stop doing it. The marketing trick worked and the band was immediately considered a revolutionary Punk-Rock band.
Sting got the idea for the song in Paris's "district of lights," after a performance by the band at The Nashville club. Sting looked at the prostitutes and thought to himself how he would feel if he fell in love with one. The song's title comes from the name of the character in the play "Cyrano de Bergerac", an old poster that was hanging at the hotel where the band was staying.
Another version about the song title, is that Sting chose the name "Roxanne" since it was the name of the wife of Alexander the Great. Sting was known to be a history teacher before he started making music.
The laughter in the intro to the song is the result of an accident. While recording vocals, Sting accidentally sat down on a piano that was in the studio. He thought its lid was closed but it was open, so thus was a piano big sound along with Sting's laugh. The producer and band thought it would be nice to leave it in the final version.
For listening to the song: Click Here.