Synchronicity (Remastered 2003)

Synchronicity (Remastered 2003)

Released in 1983, The Police’s fifth and final album, Synchronicity, would be the band’s most successful in terms of record sales, chart positions, awards, and accolades. The record and its ensuing success catapulted the trio of Sting, drummer Stewart Copeland, and guitarist Andy Summers into the highly refined stratosphere of the superstar. Synchronicity would top the US charts for more than four months, and its first single, “Every Breath You Take,” would beat out Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” for Song of the Year at the Grammys. Barely two months after the album’s release, The Police would play Shea Stadium. No wonder the BBC described the group as “the biggest band in the world.” WIth Synchronicity, The Police also discarded most of the reggae influences that were hallmarks of the band’s earlier records—and since it was the 1980s, the group enthusiastically joined the synthesizer brigade. But there’s also a fair amount of what was then called “world music” influence on the record, as heard on singles like “King of Pain” or “Wrapped Around Your Finger.” And Synchronicity is more stripped down than its predecessors, in a way that both serves the songs, and highlights the band’s strengths as a trio. Still, the record almost didn’t get finished: As principal songwriter, Sting believed his opinion on the direction of the songs were more important than those of his bandmates. And given that he and Copeland were already at odds—producer Hugh Padgham once bluntly declared that “Sting and Stewart hated each other”—the idea that Sting would instruct a drummer known for complex, intricate fills to simplify his parts didn’t bode well for the band’s future. And, in fact, The Police would disband before the decade was finished.

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