Thursday, June 9, 2016

"Synchronicity II" by The Police

Song#:  1683
Date:  11/05/1983
Debut:  54
Peak:  16
Weeks:  14
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  The Police were at a career high with their #1 album Synchronicity. The eight-week reign of "Every Breath You Take" at the top of the Pop chart and its #3 follow-up "King of Pain" kept the album at #1 for seventeen non-consecutive weeks, interrupted one week by a resurgence of Michael Jackson's Thriller. To keep the album selling, this third more rock-oriented track was selected as the next single. It would hit #9 at Rock, but it fell short of the Pop Top 10 by a few notches. However, the video for the song was a hit on MTV and that kept the album selling.

ReduxReview:  Although this is a terrific song, it's not really a great single. I can kind of see why this was selected though. After releasing two mid-tempo singles, something more upbeat and exciting that showed off their rock edge would be a nice change of pace. But with a title that doesn't appear in the song (with a II on it even!) and no catchy chorus, it was most likely not going to be a major hit. It actually did a lot better than what I thought it would, which was most likely due to their popularity and the widely played video. I'm glad it did well, but it doesn't rank among their best singles.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  By this point in time, if you wanted to be a star and sell records, you needed a music video to promote on MTV and the production values of those videos were becoming more and more elaborate. They even served as launching pads for directors who would go on to make award-winning films (Spike Jonze and David Fincher, just to name a couple). For "Synchronicity II," The Police got the team of Godley & Creme (of 10cc fame) to direct the video. The three members of The Police were perched on towers above a wasteland of things. There was a lot of wind and dry ice going on and it all created a dry and combustible atmosphere that allowed some items under Steward Copeland's tower to catch fire. As the fire alarm went off and people were being ushered out of the building, the directing team yelled to keep the cameras rolling in order to capture all the action and chaos. It's unclear whether any of that footage was included in the final cut of the video.


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