When you think of influential bands from the late ’70s and early ’80s, The Police undoubtedly comes to mind. Their unique fusion of punk, reggae, and pop-rock captured audiences worldwide and left an unforgettable mark on music history.
If you’re a fan searching for more bands that share their groundbreaking sound or just curious about artists who were inspired by them, look no further. In this blog post, we’ll dive into 13 amazing bands similar to The Police that embody a similar spirit and style in their music. Read on!
As one of the most influential rock bands in music history, U2 has consistently captivated audiences with their unforgettable sound and strong political message.
Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, the band formed in 1976 and quickly gained a following due to their unique combination of post-punk attitude and anthemic rock tunes. Notable songs of theirs you should check out are “Desire,” “With or Without You,” and “Beautiful Day.”
U2 shares several similarities with English rock legend The Police. Both groups initially found success during the late ’70s and early ’80s, delivering powerful performances adorned with thought-provoking lyrics that resonated well among fans at large.
2. The Clash
English rock band The Clash formed in 1976 and played a monumental role in shaping the original wave of British punk rock. With their powerful blend of musical styles and politically charged lyrics, they became known as one of the most influential bands of their time.
Among their groundbreaking discography is the iconic song “London Calling,” which explores apocalyptic themes and depicts various end-of-the-world scenarios.
The track showcases not only The Clash’s ability to address important topics but also highlights their style that seamlessly combines punk rock with elements from other genres like reggae and ska.
Fans of The Police will certainly find much to appreciate about The Clash for their innovative approach to blending different sounds within a single genre while maintaining high-energy performances throughout each song.
3. The Jam
Due to their shared influences and contributions to the punk rock and new wave music scenes, British rock band The Jam is often compared to The Police. Formed in 1972, they helped shape the direction of alternative rock during this time.
One significant aspect that sets The Jam apart from other bands like The Police is their unique blend of musical genres, such as punk rock with melodic pop elements. This can be seen in popular songs such as “Town Called Malice” or “Going Underground.”
As pioneers of British punk and new wave music along with contemporaries like The Clash and Blondie, it’s essential to remember how influential The Jam was for future generations of musicians. Their relatable storytelling through lyrics made them one of Britain’s most beloved groups from this era.
British duo Eurythmics formed in the early 1980s and consisted of Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart. They made a significant impact on the music scene their breakout hit “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” in 1983, which showcased their new wave, synth-pop sound.
Other hits, like “Here Comes the Rain Again,” “Would I Lie to You?,” and “There Must Be an Angel (Playing with My Heart),” further cemented their place in the music industry.
If you’re a fan of The Police, we would encourage you to check out Eurythmics’ work for its similarities. Both bands emerged in the same era, and while they had distinct sounds, they shared some common elements in their pop, rock, and new wave sounds.
5. The Cars
Our next band, The Cars, was an American rock group that emerged in the late 1970s and early 1980s. They were known for their signature new wave sound, which blended electronic music with guitar-driven rock.
One of their biggest hits was “Just What I Needed,” which featured catchy riffs and synth-pop elements that captured the spirit of the times. Another notable single was “Drive,” a ballad that showcased guitarist and songwriter Ric Ocasek’s ability to deliver poignant lyrics with heartfelt emotion.
Police fans should give The Cars a listen and explore their catalog. Their music shares similarities in terms of style and sound. The abovementioned songs are perfect examples of The Cars’ talent for crafting unforgettable, infectious melodies.
6. Talking Heads
Known for their fusion of new wave post-punk, and art pop, Talking Heads indeed shared a similar sound with The Police. They were a rock band that emerged from New York City in 1975 and went on to have a career spanning almost 16 years.
The band’s performances were nothing short of groundbreaking, helping to define the vibrant and eclectic New York music scene of the late ’70s. Talking Heads embraced a visual and theatrical approach to their shows, incorporating elements of performance art into their live performances.
Like The Police, Talking Heads had a knack for crafting songs that were both intellectually stimulating and irresistibly catchy. Both bands were unafraid to blend diverse musical influences, resulting in a sound that was distinctively their own that we recommend checking out.
7. Simple Minds
Like The Police, Scottish rock band Simple Minds emerged in the late ’70s and achieved massive success throughout the ’80s and beyond. The group was formed by lead vocalist Jim Kerr and guitarist Charlie Burchill, who have been the core members throughout the band’s existence.
They initially started with a post-punk sound but later evolved into a more sophisticated and atmospheric sound, blending elements of new wave, art rock, and pop. Tracks like “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” and “Alive and Kicking” have become timeless classics that resonate with audiences to this day.
Fans of The Police might enjoy Simple Minds. Both bands share a knack for crafting captivating melodies and thought-provoking lyrics. Furthermore, both bands were pioneers in incorporating elements of new wave and post-punk into their sound.
From the land Down Under, we have INXS. The band formed in the late 1970s and bears similarities to The Police. Since then, they have become known for their electric live performances and have produced many chart-toppers.
Their debut album kickstarted their music industry success back in 1987 with hits such as “Need You Tonight” and “Devil Inside.” Then the band’s international music sales skyrocketed when they started working with producer Chris Thomas, who helped refine their sound.
After losing their lead singer Michael Hutchence in 1997, INXS went through line-up changes. However, they continued producing albums until 2010, when they released a record called Original Sin.
9. Men At Work
Also originating from Australia, Men at Work rose to considerable prominence in the early 1980s. Their songs—a unique fusion of new wave and pop—garnered them widespread recognition.
Founded in Melbourne in 1979, Men at Work featured Colin Hay as the lead vocalist and guitarist, accompanied by Greg Ham on flute, saxophone, and keyboards, along with a talented ensemble of musicians who contributed to their distinctive sound.
Over the years, they released iconic hits such as “Down Under” and “Who Can It Be Now?” which achieved global success. The group also received a Grammy for Best New Artist in 1983.
Police aficionados should give Men At Work a try. Their music encapsulates the carefree and vibrant spirit of the 1980s, featuring songs that’ll make you sing along.
10. The Pretenders
Founded in 1978, The Pretenders has been making waves for over four decades. Chrissie Hynde formed the band in 1978, and she has remained the lead vocalist ever since.
The band’s sound fuses classic rock with punk and new wave, creating a unique blend that draws listeners from all over the world. Over the years, they have released 54 singles. Popular among these are “Brass in Pocket,” “Middle of the Road,” and “2000 Miles.”
Police fans should definitely check out the work of The Pretenders, as they possess a similar sound. Both bands expertly blend rock, new wave, and punk influences to create an irresistible and timeless fusion you’re sure to enjoy.
Hailing from the vibrant era of new wave and punk, Blondie emerged with a distinctive sound that blended elements of rock, pop, and disco. Led by the charismatic singer Debbie Harry, their music exuded energy, sass, and a touch of rebelliousness.
With chart-topping hits like “Heart of Glass,” “The Tide Is High,” and “Rapture,” they became icons of the late 1970s and early 1980s music scene and have sold over 40 million records since their start.
For fans of The Police, exploring the work of Blondie is a must. Both bands share a similar sound that effortlessly fuses rock and new wave influences. Blondie’s infectious energy, catchy hooks, and fearless attitude parallel the very essence that Police enthusiasts admire.
12. Duran Duran
Known for their catchy pop tunes and synthesized-driven songs, Duran Duran captivated fans when they emerged in the late 1970s. With songs like “Hungry Like the Wolf,” they became icons of the era, defining the sound of the Second British Invasion.
As the years progressed, Duran Duran continued to evolve and experiment with their sound. The albums Rio in 1982 and Seven and the Ragged Tiger the following year solidified their status as global superstars.
For fans of The Police, delving into the captivating world of Duran Duran will unveil a shared energy and musical brilliance that will ignite your passion for their irresistible sound. Go ahead and add their songs to your playlist!
We end this list with another British rock band, Squeeze. Comprising of Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook, the duo gained popularity during the new wave era in the late 1970s, just like The Police.
With hits like “Tempted,” “Cool for Cats,” and “Up the Junction,” Squeeze showcased their talent for crafting infectious hooks and clever wordplay. Their songs often delve into themes of love, relationships, and the complexities of everyday life, resonating with listeners on a personal level.
One thing that sets Squeeze apart from other bands on this list is that they are not just a nostalgia act. They continue to thrive as one of the most popular bands on the UK music scene with their latest album, The Knowledge, released in 2017.
Summing Up Our List Of Bands Like The Police
We’ve taken an exhilarating journey through 13 bands that embody the essence and sound of the legendary group The Police. From their infectious new-wave rock beats to their mesmerizing melodies, these bands have left an undeniable imprint on the music scene.
We hope this article has been a helpful resource for you, allowing you to discover new favorites that will find a permanent place on your playlist. However, this list is far from complete. If we missed any bands that you feel deserve a mention, let us know and we’ll add them for you!