Monday, February 23, 2015

The Police - Synchronicity 1983

This week, we're going back to the early 80's with an album that monumental for a few reasons, all of which I'll dive into in a bit.  First though, let's talk briefly about The Police.  In an era where groups were breaking out of the 60's and 70's with newer sounds and solo projects, some creating super groups and embracing technology, The Police came through with their own style by rapidly changing and evolving their sound in a short 5 or 6 years.  They went from a group in London embracing the Punk scene, to a trio embracing world music and new wave.  One could even argue that given the time and influences, that they evolved into one of the first New Wave groups of the time.   (Indeed, New Wave was born of Punk, or should I say America + Punk = New Wave)

Like every album I've ever owned and each album I showcase, this one is special to me for a lot of reasons.  None of which I'll dive into at all though.  Instead, let's talk about why 1983's Synchronicity was monumental.  First, it was the final studio album that the Police would release as a group.  (Best of's aside) What's interesting about this is, no one had an expectation for the group to continue either.  By 1984 music was on such a roll with great new artists and a breakneck pace of releases not seen since the 50's that many groups born in that era came and went without ever being known for little more than a hit or two.  Sting however went on with an epic solo career that to a degree exists 30+ years later.

Next, the album ended up with a bunch of hits, but only 4 official singles.  Of course everybody's heard of Every Breath You Take, King of Pain, Synchronicity II and Wrapped Around Your Finger.  But if you're not familiar with Miss Gradenko or Mother, you'll probably wonder how these weren't all over the radio.

1983 also saw Michael Jackson celebrating 1982's year end carryover release of Thriller hard, which to this day still stands as one of the biggest albums of all time.  Jackson's Thriller had been the number 1 album since that January and was briefly set back by Flashdance, (Which to this day shocks me that both the movie and album was ever that popular), for two weeks over the summer where upon it came back.  Now here's where it get's funky...  Thriller, (released in November of '82), comes back at number 1 for 2 weeks, (In June) to be unseated by Synchronicity.  Synchronicity became the album of the summer until Thriller made a last stand when Michael released the single Human Nature that summer but it only carried the album back for 2 weeks as the release of Wrapped Around Your Finger would set Synchronicity up a back and forth battle of the singles through the fall of 1983.  All things said and done, it was The Police with this album, that ended Michael Jackson's Thriller, almost year long run at the top of the charts.
The Police - Wrapped Around Your Finger

This original 1983 release of Synchronicity was purchased at Listen Up! Records in Natick MA sealed and like all vinyl versions of this album was pressed on audiophile vinyl.  Depending on the light, this record is actually purple, and should be listened to in the best environment possible.  Get a great set of headphones, plug it into an awesome player and try to resist pulling an Eddie Murphy.

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