I’d only had a passing acquaintance with Reggae courtesy of a college friend who introduced me to Bob’s “No woman no cry” back in the Seventies, and, truth be told, these uneducated ears (at least back then) couldn’t deal with it. But, fast forward to the punk explosion and a bit of bandwagon-jumping by three newly-peroxided punk masqueraders. and Reggae, albeit a radical version - was served up again, and consumed with relish. I still believe The Police laid the path that joined Marley’s Reggae with the rest of the world, a “back door” if you will, through which we could explore it further.
Sting, in conjunction with the wonderful syncopated rhythms of Stewart Copeland, left acres of space across the sonic landscape I had never encountered before. Sparse, beautiful bass lines, weaving in and around those luscious hi-hats and Summer’s expressive guitar tapestries.
He could write a mean lyric too. but when you crown this package with a totally unique vocal delivery, you have a world beater. All I can say is, if Sting doesn’t deserve a place in this series, I don’t know who the hell does.
A comeback World tour with his original partners in crime (or should that be against crime?) shows that he can still bring it to the table.
Spirits in the Material World – Try playing the bass line to this and singing it at the same time. You WILL go insane. It is pure genius.
Walking on the Moon – Less is more. Three bass notes, some hi-hat, and THAT voice, voila: Gold Dust!