While recently discussing the Police’s ‘Roxanne’ with Consequence, Stewart Copeland talked about Sting’s role in the success of the hit song.
The drummer recalled the recording process of the track, saying:
“The vocal has that moment where Sting does his vocal overdub, and in the introduction, he’s waiting for the song to begin, and they say, ‘Hang on, we’re gonna run the tape back.’ The tape was running, so he sits back on the piano, which is right behind him, forgetting that the lid was open, so he sits down and plays a butt cord, I think B flat minor, and then he laughs, and that’s on the record.”
He then reflected on his brother, Miles’ involvement in the studio process:
“I had a vibe; it had nothing to do with the song, completely out of keeping with the sentiment of the lyric, but it kind of had a vibe. We were recording, and my brother Miles came down. It was not yet our manager, but he came down just to offer advice, and he supplied something very valuable called dumbass. He doesn’t know anything about music, but he knows a hit when he hears it.”
Sharing his brother’s reaction to their songs, Copeland continued:
“He listened to all of our songs. ‘Well, they’re all kind of standard. I’m not hearing anything that really gets me going here.’ And we said, ‘We got one left,’ so we played it to him somewhat reluctantly.”
The musician added, opening up about how Miles became their manager:
“Immediately, his ears perked up. ‘Now, that is a unique sound. I’m going to take that to a record company to see if we can get ourselves a deal.’ And that’s kind of when he became our manager right there. He said that I can work with, and he took it to a record company, A&M Records, and the rest is history.”
Although Stewart gave credit to Sting for the success of the song, the singer actually felt embarrassed by the song when they first created it, as he thought it had a different musical style from their usual material.
You can watch the drummer’s words on ‘Roxanne’ below.