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Readers’ Poll: The 10 Best Police Songs

Your picks include ‘King of Pain,’ ‘Message in a Bottle’ and ‘So Lonely’

Sting The Police

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The Police only lasted from 1977 to 1984, but they managed to accomplish quite a bit in those seven years. They began playing tiny clubs around London just as punk was breaking, and ended by selling out just about every stadium on the planet. At the end of the Synchronicity tour, it was virtually impossible to imagine how they could become any more popular, so they simply went their separate ways. (There was also the tiny problem that they grew to despise each other.) We asked our readers to vote for their favorite Police songs. Click through to see the results. 

By ANDY GREENE

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1. ‘Roxanne’

The Police had only been around for a couple of months when they headed over to Paris to play a gig at the Nashville Club. Sting saw a bunch of prostitutes near the club and, also nearby, he glimpsed a poster for the play Cyrano de Bergerac, which features a character named Roxanne. With the two things fresh in his mind, Sting sat down and wrote a song about a man in love with a hooker named Roxanne. Drummer Stewart Copeland helped transform it into a tango, and the result was an absolute classic – even if it didn't chart when originally released. Their manager Miles Copeland knew it was a masterpiece, and when they put it back out in 1979, it exploded on the radio. It's since been played on classic rock stations roughly 20 million times and is arguably their most beloved work.