Synchronicity is the fifth and final studio album by English rock band The Police, released in the United Kingdom on 17 June 1983. The band's most successful release, the album includes the hit singles "Every Breath You Take", "King of Pain", "Wrapped Around Your Finger", and "Synchronicity II". At the 1984 Grammy Awards the album was nominated for a total of five awards including Album of the Year and won three. At the time of its release and following its tour The Police were hailed as the "Biggest Band in the World". The album has since been included on their lists of the "100 Best Albums of the Eighties" and the "500 Greatest Albums of All Time". In 2009, Synchronicity was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame…
Simultaneously more pop-oriented and experimental than either Ghost in the Machine or Zenyatta Mondatta, Synchronicity made the Police superstars, generating no less than five hit singles. With the exception of "Synchronicity II," which sounds disarmingly like a crappy Billy Idol song, every one of those singles is a classic. "Every Breath You Take" has a seductive, rolling beat masking its maliciousness, "King of Pain" and "Wrapped Around Your Finger" are devilishly infectious new wave singles, and "Tea in the Sahara" is hypnotic in its measured, melancholy choruses.
For their fourth album, 1981's Ghost in the Machine, the Police had streamlined their sound to focus more on their pop side and less on their trademark reggae-rock. Their jazz influence had become more prominent, as evidenced by the appearance of saxophones on several tracks. The production has more of a contemporary '80s sound to it (courtesy of Hugh Padgham, who took over for Nigel Gray), and Sting proved once and for all to be a master of the pop songwriting format.
The stage was set for the Police to become one of the biggest acts of the '80s, and the band delivered with the 1980 classic Zenyatta Mondatta. The album proved to be the trio's second straight number one album in the U.K., while peaking at number three in the U.S. Arguably the best Police album, Zenyatta contains perhaps the quintessential new wave anthem, the haunting "Don't Stand So Close to Me," the story of an older teacher lusting after one of his students.
By 1979's Reggatta de Blanc (translation: White Reggae), nonstop touring had sharpened the Police's original blend of reggae-rock to perfection, resulting in breakthrough success. Containing a pair of massive hit singles – the inspirational anthem "Message in a Bottle" and the spacious "Walking on the Moon" – the album also signaled a change in the band's sound. Whereas their debut got its point across with raw, energetic performances, Reggatta de Blanc was much more polished production-wise and fully developed from a songwriting standpoint.
While their subsequent chart-topping albums would contain far more ambitious songwriting and musicianship, the Police's 1978 debut, Outlandos d'Amour (translation: Outlaws of Love) is by far their most direct and straightforward release. Although Sting, Andy Summers, and Stewart Copeland were all superb instrumentalists with jazz backgrounds, it was much easier to get a record contract in late-'70s England if you were a punk/new wave artist, so the band decided to mask their instrumental prowess with a set of strong, adrenaline-charged rock, albeit with a reggae tinge.
After a 23-year absence, The Police return in (almost) all of their former glory. One of the best things about this live album is the extended jams, solos, and re-arrangements that breath fresh air into the old songs ("Wrapped Around Your Finger", "Driven To Tears", "King Of Pain", and the "VIMH/WTWIRDYMTBOWSA" medley simply destroy the old album cuts), which of course still sound fresh even today. Sting's bass work is stronger than ever and pushed up in the mix. Stewart Copeland is still a drumming prodigy and the star of the show, playing tastefully and unloading the heavy artillery when needed. Andy Summers fiery playing belies his 64 years of age, tossing off solos left and right along with his trademark chorus/effect-laden chordal patterns. The band truly sounds amazing, hands-down. Despite a few stumbles ("Don't Stand So Close To Me" is a bit too pedestrian, "Truth Hits Everybody" is about half-speed, and Sting can't quite hit those notes like he used to) the band is tighter and better than ever before, and like Sting said, they were really good to begin with. Simply put, there aren't any bands like this around anymore and that's a shame.
The Police celebrate the 30th anniversary of their recording debut with their first double-disc CD "best of" collection entitled, The Police. The 28 songs bring together the biggest hits from the band's five original studio albums and includes their very first single, 1977's "Fall Out." From that rarity to one of the most-remembered and most performed rock ballads of the `80s, 1983's "Every Breath You Take," The Police spans the group's six-year journey from sweaty clubs to sold-out stadiums - establishing them as one of the definitive and most popular rock groups in the world.
Consisting of one disc recorded from a Boston radio broadcast in 1979 and the other from a large concert hall in Atlanta in 1983, Live! demonstrates the evolution of the Police's sound while showing off their ability to perform onstage. Aside from the track listings (although several of the same tracks are found on both discs), there are notable differences between the two concerts. The production is the most obvious. The 1979 recording, sounding raw like a well-done bootleg, is mixed for a punk band, which the Police largely were at the time. The Atlanta recording is slick and professional, perfect for the world-famous pop stars they had become. The second major difference is the performances themselves. In the Boston concert, because they had less material to fill an entire show, the band extended the songs by improvising on themes and progressions (while at the same time frequently lead-footing the tempos). In contrast, the Atlanta show featured a denser mix. Three backup singers doubled the number of people onstage, while the songs were moody and atmospheric. Again the band expanded on its arrangements. You won't hear your favorite licks from many of these songs, but the fair exchange is getting to hear drummer Stewart Copeland's inspired improvised fills; Andy Summers's cautious, delicate guitar textures; and Sting's rasta chants. Aside from being a transcendent live album, this collection makes it very clear that the Police were so much more than just Sting and "two other guys." Quite the opposite is true. It testifies not only to the strength of the songwriting but, more important, to the band's musicianship. The Police were a perfect musical trinity, each member an indispensable and inseparable part of the whole. –Beth Massa, Amazon.com.