Album #529 – Synchronicity

Album #529

Synchronicity is the last album by The Police. The album challenge books quotes the group as saying that they were glad this was their last album because, with tensions already high, they would not have been able to do another one.  I’m sure a sixth album would have caused a painful break-up and wouldn’t have allowed for the reunions the group has had in the last 12 years. Stewart Copeland and Sting really hated each other during the sessions. In fact, they couldn’t even record their parts in the studio together. Luckily, they can tolerate each other now. This is probably because Sting’s ego got the best of him. He was itching for a solo career and considered Copeland and guitarist Andy Summer, his backing band. That didn’t sit well with the fiery drummer. In fact, Sting and Copeland almost got in a physical fight during the recording of Every Breath You Take. Despite the strong tensions, Summer and Copeland did contribute songs to the album: Mother features Summers dark and hollow vocals and Miss Gradenko is Copeland’s addition to the album. The album became a smash and made The Police the biggest rock band of the year. Synchronicity shot to the top of the album charts in the UK and US, unseating Thriller in the process. But, Thriller would end up beating Synchronicity at music’s biggest night the following year, capturing the coveted album of the year award and winning a record eight Grammy’s for Michael Jackson that year. The Police would still win two for their effort and, if Thriller was not in contention, I’m sure it would have won more. The music videos for the singles on this album were also memorable and showed the group being creative and expanding some of the limits of this art form. The album features the group’s definitive song: Every Breath You Take. A song about a stalker, written after Sting divorced his first wife, the song is like John Lennon’s Imagine or R.E.M.’s The One I Love in that it is a tough message shrouded in a clam, smooth arrangement. The album also features massive hits King of Pain, Wrapped Around Your Finger, Synchronicity II and Tea In The Sahara. Sting combined his love of psychology with his personal turmoil as the inspiration for this album. It worked. In the midst of their problems, Synchronicity elevated the Police and Sting, to rock legends. Their liberal use of synthesizers along with jazz, reggae and experimental influences gave them an elevated sound from their previous efforts. It’s too bad that the group was over but, like I mentioned, maybe it was for the best. Other highlights include: Synchronicity I, Walking In Your Footsteps and O My God. Overall, I give Synchronicity, 10 out of 5.

Next: Meat Puppets II by Meat Puppets

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