Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Synchronicity - The Police
#455 in Rolling Stone's best 500 albums ever.
Synchronicity is the fifth and final studio album by The Police, released in 1983. The band's most popular release, Synchronicity includes the hit songs "Every Breath You Take", "King of Pain", "Wrapped Around Your Finger", and "Synchronicity II".
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.
The album marked a significant reduction in the reggae influences that were a part 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"). The influence of World music can also be heard in songs such as "Tea in the Sahara" and "Walking in Your Footsteps".
As with their prior album, the basic tracks for Synchronicity were recorded at AIR Studios, Montserrat. For sound engineering reasons, the three band members recorded their parts in separate rooms: Copeland with his drums in the dining room, Sting in the control room, and Summers in the actual studio. According to co-producer Hugh Padgham, subsequent overdubs were done with only one member in the studio at a time.
During the recording of "Every Breath You Take", Sting and Copeland came to blows with each other, and Padgham nearly quit the project.
The album was published in the UK and USA on both LP and CD in 1983, and on super audio CD in 2003. In 1989 it was published as a remastered gold CD. It was reissued as a remastered digipack CD in 2003.
All songs written by Sting except where noted.
"Synchronicity I" – 3:23
"Walking in Your Footsteps" – 3:36
"O My God" – 4:02
"Mother" (Andy Summers) – 3:05
"Miss Gradenko" (Stewart Copeland) – 2:00
"Synchronicity II" – 5:02
"Every Breath You Take" – 4:13
"King of Pain" – 4:59
"Wrapped Around Your Finger" – 5:13
"Tea in the Sahara" – 4:19
"Murder by Numbers" (Words: Sting, Music: Andy Summers) – 4:36 (Not included on original LP release.)
Three other songs were recorded as B-sides.
"Someone to Talk To" (Summers)
"Once Upon a Daydream" (Sting, Summers)
"Tea in the Sahara (Live)"
Sting – bass, keyboards, lead vocals, backing vocals, oboe, drum machine on "Synchronicity I", saxophone on "O My God"
Andy Summers – electric guitar, keyboards, lead vocals on "Mother" and "Someone to Talk To", backing vocals on "Someone to Talk To"
Stewart Copeland – drums, xylophone, miscellaneous percussion
Hugh Padgham – production, engineering
Dave Collins, Bob Ludwig – mastering
Jeffrey Kent Ayeroff, Norman Moore, Vartan – art direction
Jeffrey Kent Ayeroff, Norman Moore – design
Duane Michals – photography