Before Sting and the boys conquered the world back in the late 70s, they were a struggling trio more than happy to work with Andy Summer’s old prog contacts in Germany. Signing up for live performances by experimental, electronic and world music composer Eberhard Schoener, they were recruited to end a trilogy that had begun with Balig-Agung and Trance Formation.
The resulting Flashback, from 1978, is one of the most fascinating albums one could hope to hear – and listeners will do well to remember that this all took place before So Lonely and Roxanne were even recorded. Schoener heard something special in Sting’s voice and began showcasing it alongside the bass duties for which he was originally employed. Thus, we have the amazing confection of Sting talking and then singing on the electro pulse of Why Don’t You Answer, dropping anchor in Donna Summer sequencer heaven. Only The Wind pulses like an unheard Blade Runner soundtrack piece, while the instrumental Powerslide throws the rock-reggae shapes that The Police would make their own. A wonderful marriage of German experimentalists, pre-fame rock stars and, later, an orchestra having a ball.