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Reggatta's first single, ' Message In A Bottle', streaked to number one and the album's success was consolidated further when ' Walking On The Moon' also hit the top slot. 1980 saw them undertake a world tour with stops on all continents - including the first rock concerts in Bombay - and the band eventually returned to the UK exhausted, for two final shows in Sting's hometown of Newcastle.Much of this groundbreaking tour was captured on the ' Police Around The World' video and a BBC documentary entitled ' The Police in the East'.The album was preceded by the release of a new single ' Every Breath You Take' (May 83) which immediately went to number one on both sides of the Atlantic and simply stayed there.Dressed up as a love song, the song was anything but - its sinister theme being one of obsession and surveillance.Born 2 October 1951, in Wallsend, north-east England, Gordon Sumner's life started to change the evening a fellow musician in the Phoenix Jazzmen caught sight of his black and yellow striped sweater and decided to re-christen him Sting.Sting paid his early dues playing bass with local outfits The Newcastle Big Band, The Phoenix Jazzmen, Earthrise and Last Exit, the latter of which featured his first efforts at song writing.
The band returned to the UK to find the reissued ' Roxanne' single charting, and played a sell-out tour of mid-size venues. The debut album ' Outlandos d' Amour' (Oct 78) delivered three sizeable hits with ' Roxanne', ' Can't Stand Losing You' and ' So Lonely' which in turn led to a headlining slot at the '79 Reading Festival which won the band some fine reviews, but it was with ' Reggatta de Blanc' (Oct 79) that the band stepped up a gear.The album still had the now expected clutch of hit singles with ' Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic' making number one, the bleak ' Invisible Sun' reaching number two (despite a BBC ban being slapped on its video) and ' Spirits In The Material World' also charting, but it was a much darker and complex album than its predecessors and, to many, more satisfying.During this period Sting took the lead role in Richard Loncraine's big-screen version of Dennis Potter's controversial play "Brimstone and Treacle" as well as in the BBC production "Artemis '81".The new material had a more political stance - ' We Work The Black Seam' dealt with the miner's strike, ' Children's Crusade' with drugs, and ' Russians' with the West's demonisation of communism.He even wrote what he termed "an antidote song" to ' Every Breath You Take' in the shape of ' If You Love Somebody Set Them Free'.
Within days Copeland Senior had them a record deal.