As a songwriter, Sting loves to borrow from other genres, whether it’s reggae, jazz, or (in the case of his new album, “16th century art songs on a lute.” But during the early days of The Police, he apparently borrowed something more concrete from prog-rock outfit Renaissance.
Sting spilled the details to The Guardian, admitting that in 1978, when the band signed their first deal with their record label, the band was so poor that they stole one of Renaissance’s master tapes and recorded over it.
“It was criminal,” Sting says. “But we didn’t have a choice. We simply couldn’t afford two-inch tape. Can I still be prosecuted for that, do you think?”
It’s always good to come clean, Sting. Even if it’s 35 years after the fact.