100 Greatest Songs of the 70’s #55 The Police – Walking On the Moon

Released: 1979

Whilst you could spend hours debating what was punk and what was not, The Police were definitely not punk. Formed out of what could be classed as either hippie detritus and/or the most established parts of the establishment, Sting, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland were as shameless as any other dad rockers who clung onto the movement’s coat tails for maximum exposure, but their ambitions were stratospherically higher.

They were also arguably way too old to consider being pop stars in the traditional sense either, but their second album Regatta De Blanc refined and tightened a chassis that threaded rock, ska and dub together into an end product that was suitable for Saturday morning British telly. The result was escaping hysterical crowds out of backstage toilet windows level of successful.

Cultural appropriation wasn’t really a thing in 1979, which meant that Sting’s cod Marleyisms were seen through a much more innocent lense – and by the way, everybody from Elvis Costello to the Stones was in on this act. Walking On The Moon regardless was a minimalist triumph, a riff, some bass and words that might’ve been like proverbs had the song’s working title not been walking round the room. A cosmic leap forward for the trio, by the time people got round to arguing what sort of music it was the answer no longer mattered.