Study Guide

Roxanne Introduction

Roxanne Introduction

In a Nutshell

We have to admit that this song's just about the ultimate cliché: Boy meets girl. Boy falls in love with girl. Girl happens to be a prostitute. Boy decides he's going to rescue girl, make her his one and only, and make sure she never has to sell herself again.

Wait, haven't we seen this movie before? Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes

Like we said, it's just about the ultimate cliché. But that doesn't mean it's not also a classic, killer song. We may have seen this movie before, but where else have we felt the kind of true anguish that Sting conveys in his wailing vocals?

About the Song

ArtistPolice, The
Year1978
LabelA&M Records
Writer(s)Sting
Producer(s)Stewart Copeland, Sting, Andy Summers
Musician(s)Sting (lead vocals, bass guitar), Andy Summers (guitar, backup vocals), Stewart Copeland (drums, backup vocals)
Learn to play
AlbumOutlandos d’Amour

Music Video

Influences on Police, The

British punk rock
Jamaican reggae
Jazz
The Beatles
The Clash
The Sex Pistols
Bob Marley & the Wailers
Talking Heads
The Animals
Madness

Influenced by Police, The

U2
Men at Work
Simple Minds
The English Beat
Dispatch
Mr. Hudson
Tears for Fears
UB40
Puff Daddy

Roxanne Resources

Books

The Police Complete
The Police themselves describe this book as "the complete collection of every Police song recorded to date arranged for piano, vocal, and guitar. It includes guitar boxes and chord symbols as well as a special collection of portrait photographs of the band. This is the ultimate songbook for any Police fan and musician."

Sting, Broken Music
Sting's memoirs, from childhood to the present. Not just any musician autobiography because Sting was an English major in college, so you know there has to be good stuff in here.

Albums

Outlandos d'Amour
The album on which "Roxanne" appears.

Websites

The Police: Official Site
Where you can find everything you ever wanted to know about the band.

Sting's Homepage
"I value all of my experiences and maybe particularly the sad experiences because they've fed my muse. The songs are written to move people, and the greatest compliment anyone can pay one of my songs is that it made them cry. And I've done that for myself on a number of occasions. It's lovely feeling; it's good to cry, it does you a world of good." - Sting

A Police Fan Site
Where your adoration of The Police can be shared with thousands of other fans.

Sting Interview
Sting talks very openly about his memoir, including such content as feeling like an outsider, his fascination with tantric sex, and the music industry.

Andy Summers Interview
"Not many people write words that are worth listening to in rock music. They're garbage, most lyrics. I'm more interested in creating beautiful lines."

1979 Interview with Andy Summers
One of the first interviews with a member of the band after they hit it big.

Stewart Copeland Interview
In 2008, journalists get the drummer to reflect on the band's reunion tour.

Video & Audio

Live Aid '85
Sting performs Roxanne solo at the Live Aid: Feed the World concert in 1985

2007 Grammy Awards
The Police reunited for a tour and kicked it off with a stellar performance of "Roxanne" at the Grammys in 2007.

The Police 2007—Opening Night
Assorted footage from their reunion tour, including interviews and snippets from some of the songs they performed.

Sting Interview
A candid English interviewer asks him questions about the opposite sex, his start as a musician, and more.

Stewart Copeland Interview
Copeland speaks with Good Morning America about some of his adventures.

Cover of "Roxanne"
George Michael covers the band's first hit. Which version do you prefer?

"Roxanne" Music Video
Shot simply on a soundstage with red lights, this video captures the youthful enthusiasm of the musicians behind the song.

Cyrano
A video of the balcony scene from the original Cyrano de Bergerac. The cavalier with the huge nose at his best.

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