Tuesday, March 22, 2016

"King of Pain" by The Police

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  1588
Date:  08/27/1983
Debut:  37
Peak:  3
Weeks:  16
Genre:  Rock, New Wave

Pop Bits:  Just as "Every Breath You Take" was finishing its eighth week in the #1 spot on the Pop chart, this second single from The Police's Synchronicity album debuted. It wouldn't do as well as the classic "Every Breath," but it still was a significant hit spending two weeks at #3. It would be the band's fifth Top 10 hit. The song would also hit #1 at Rock and #33 AC. Although it would serve as the second single from the LP in the US, in the band's UK homeland it would end up being the fourth single issued and it faltered at #17.

ReduxReview:  Following the stalker-ish "Every Breath You Take," it's pretty amazing that this downer of a song got to #3. I think its a testament to how good these songs were. There was a lot of dark material on Synchronicity, yet listeners seem to relate to it all and heavily embrace it. The Police were not necessarily known for writing happy tunes, but a song called "King of Pain" screams out depressing before a note is played. Yet Sting's philosophical lyrics and the song's lovely pop melody helped make it not so dire and folks dug it. I did too. It's really a terrific song.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  Over the years there has been some interesting covers of this song. Most notably is the parody version done by "Weird Al" Yankovic titled "King of Suede," which is obviously about a guy who sells suede. The song was the second single from his "Weird Al" Yankovic in 3-D album and it reached #62. Another later single attempt was made by Alanis Morissette in 2000. That year she recorded the live album MTV Unplugged. This song was the one cover version she chose to do. It was issued as the LPs second single, but it failed to chart. However, it did reach the lower rungs of a few charts in Europe.


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