THE GERMAN ELECTRONIC MUSIC MADE BY ALL THREE GUYS FROM THE POLICE BUT TOTALLY WASN’T THE POLICE.
Shortly after the Police formed, a project came their way that provided an ideal venue for their chops, if perhaps an unexpected one. The Police are associated with punk and reggae, not German experimental music—in any case, in the first year or so of the band’s existence, Sting and Summers recorded about a full album’s worth of music with Eberhard Schoener, who was a respected German experimental composer who had released a number of albums; his music was more or less comparable to Tangerine Dream. At some point in 1978 and 1979, after the Police had garnered some success, the members of the Police supported Schoener on some live dates and sessions that were broadcast on German TV.
It’s surprisingly difficult to nail down details about how this came about, but it seems that Andy Summers had made some arrangements to work with Schoener before joining the Police, and somehow his new situation led to Sting, Stewart Copeland, and Summers all recording with Schoener in that early Reggatta de Blanc phase. Some material was released in 1977-1978, and some was re-released in 1981, in part to capitalize on the Police’s remarkable chart successes.
In 1979, the four men performed on Bavarian TV—here is “Trans Am/Rhein-Bow Medley”; both songs are off of Flashback.