There are four discernible versions of The Police. There's the reggae/punk infusion of their early work with hits like "Roxanne" and "So Lonely," the transformation to the slick, polished, new wave of albums like 1979's Regatta De Blancand 1980's Zenyatta Mondatta, the synthesizer-heavy bubblegum of "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" and the impressive pop craftsmanship of the global hit "Every Breath You Take." This diverse body of work is impressive on its own, but its mind boggling that such genre bending and orignality occurred in less than 10 years, turning Sting & The Police into global superstars in the process. The trio was both technically outstanding and brilliant in the songwriting department and their success should surprise nobody.
The heart and soul of the Police was Sting. He was a terrific frontman of unheard of talent who was responsible for writing nearly every hit entirely on his own. But, unfortunately, it was his talent that probably broke up the squad. It frustrated drummer Stewart Copeland and guitarist Andy Summers who also wrote plenty of songs. Many of those songs ended up on the records without any participation from Sting who adamently refused to perform on them. Around 1986, Sting's ego—if not his talent—led him to an epiphany most frontman encounter in their careers. "I don't need these guys," he probably said to himself. "I can make music all on my own." And that he did.
Though guitarist Andy Summers has received plenty of praise—ask any talented musician—he is still underrated by the masses. There are three songs credited solely to Sting which should also be attributed to Andy Summers. These songs collectively make up what I like to call "the fifth discernible version of The Police." They are "Walking On The Moon," "Driven To Tears" and "When The World Is Running Down (You Make The Best Of What's Still Around)"
All of these songs have something in common—the chorus-filled guitar of Andy Summers, which crashes and slices in perfectly-timed down strokes like a chopping butcher knife. There's hardly a real chord progression amongst them. They're more like chord flashes, striking throughout the songs like lightning. Sting may have written the melodies and the lyrics, but Summers makes these songs with his guitar. I'd like to think that it was his ethereal performances that made people fall in love with these songs in the first place.
P.S. Watch out for one of his few recorded guitar solos on "Driven To Tears."