Synchronicity album

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Synchronicity is the fifth album by The Police, released in 1983 (see 1983 in music). Their most popular release together, Synchronicity includes perhaps their best-known single, "Every Breath You Take". The album's title was inspired by Arthur Koestler's The Roots of Coincidence, which mentions Carl Jung's theory of Synchronicity. Sting was an avid reader of Koestler, and also named Ghost in the Machine after one of his works.

Synchronicity topped both the Billboard Pop Albums and Billboard 200 charts. It won a Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.

In 2003 the TV network VH1 named Synchronicity the 50th greatest album of all time.

The album marked a complete break with the reggae influences of the band's first four records, instead featuring production-heavy textures and liberal use of synthesizers that, at times, drove entire songs ("Synchronicity I", "Wrapped Around Your Finger"). Sting's material dominates the album, with the two short tracks by Andy Summers ("Mother") and Stewart Copeland ("Miss Gradenko") being seen by the band themselves as concessions.

"Synchronicity I" starts the album off with a catchy sequencer line that repeats throughout the song. "Walking in Your Footsteps" features lyrics concerning the relation between extinct dinosaurs and nuclear weapon-wielding humans, and is followed by the jazziest song on the album, "O My God". "Mother" features strange, Indian-like sounds and screamed vocals, and "Miss Gradenko" is a two-minute song about a woman in the middle of the Soviet bureaucracy. "Synchronicity II" features extensive use of feedback, and is one of the heaviest songs on the record.

"King of Pain" features a large amount of lyrical imagery, and uses numerous effects and instruments. "Wrapped Around Your Finger" uses subdued keyboards to create a mystical air, and the record's closer, "Tea in the Sahara", is a quiet, eerie song about two women who are deceived by a prince and left in the desert, where they meet their death. "Murder By Numbers" was added to the CD and cassette versions of the album, and has an odd time signature and lyrics detailing the development of a serial killer.

"Every Breath You Take", which begins Side Two of the record, is almost without question the Police's best-known song, with Sting's eerie vocals on top of a steady rhythm featuring picked guitar, strong bass, and controlled drumming. Originally, the song was what Andy Summers called a "Hammond organ thing that sounded like Billy Preston." The guitarist came up with a more interesting guitar riff, which, next to the vocals, is perhaps the most distinctive part of the piece. The song, released before the album, immediately went to #1 on both the U.S. and U.K. charts, aided by a black and white video directed by Godley and Creme.

"King of Pain" and "Wrapped Around Your Finger" also made it into the Top Ten, and "Synchronicity II" reached the Top Twenty. Synchronicity managed to make it to number one for several weeks in 1983.

The album's original cover artwork was available in 36 variations, with different arrangements of the color stripes and showing different photographs of the band members, which they took themselves.


Track listing

  1. "Synchronicity I" (Sting) - 3:23
  2. "Walking in Your Footsteps" (Sting) - 3:36
  3. "O My God" (Sting) - 4:02
  4. "Mother" (Summers) - 3:05
  5. "Miss Gradenko" (Copeland) - 1:59
  6. "Synchronicity II" (Sting) - 5:02
  7. "Every Breath You Take" (Sting) - 4:13
  8. "King of Pain" (Sting) - 4:59
  9. "Wrapped Around Your Finger" (Sting) - 5:13
  10. "Tea in the Sahara" (Sting) - 4:19
  11. "Murder by Numbers" (Sting, Summers) - 4:36

Personnel

Production

  • Producers: The Police, Hugh Padgham
  • Engineer: Hugh Padgham
  • Mastering: Dave Collins, Bob Ludwig
  • Art direction: Jeffrey Kent Ayeroff, Norman Moore, Vartan
  • Design: Jeffrey Kent Ayeroff, Norman Moore
  • Photography: Duane Michals

Charts

Album - Billboard (North America)

Year Chart Position
1983 The Billboard 200 1

Singles - Billboard (North America)

Year Single Chart Position
1983 "Every Breath You Take" Adult Contemporary 5
1983 "Every Breath You Take" Club Play Singles 26
1983 "Every Breath You Take" Mainstream Rock 1
1983 "Every Breath You Take" The Billboard Hot 100 1
1983 "King of Pain" Adult Contemporary 33
1983 "King Of Pain" Mainstream Rock 1
1983 "King of Pain" The Billboard Hot 100 3
1983 "Synchronicity II" Mainstream Rock 9
1983 "Synchronicity II" The Billboard Hot 100 16
1983 "Wrapped Around Your Finger" Mainstream Rock 9
1984 "Wrapped Around Your Finger" Adult Contemporary 13
1984 "Wrapped Around Your Finger" The Billboard Hot 100 8

Awards

Grammy Awards

Year Winner Category
1983 "Every Breath You Take" Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal
1983 "Every Breath You Take" Song Of The Year
1983 Synchronicity Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal

hu:Synchronicity