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When ’70s prog rock was devastated by the arrival of punk the only cool alternative around was ska/reggae. Copeland and his band The Police uniquely combined rock with reggae in one of the most skilful fusions that pop has ever witnessed.
Manic punk energy collided with the spaced out half-time rhythms of Jamaica. Copeland mixed the broken triplet hi-hat grooves of Bob Marley’s Carlton Barrett with his own explosive rock sensibility. Over this he laid tiny splashes and high pitched percussive elements reflecting his childhood growing up in Beirut. The resulting fusion shaped one of rock’s most imitated stylists.
The Police: Roxanne; Walking On The Moon; So Lonely; Driven to Tears; Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic