May 12, 2021 Playlist

"Synchronicity" by The Police (1983)
The Police "Synchronicity"  1983 (UK/USA)
We return to our April theme featuring classic albums of the new wave era which are also listener requests. Back in 1983, this was my favorite album, and it was a lot of people's favorite that summer as this record duked it out with Michael Jackson's legendary Thriller for the top spot on album charts all around the world. It also turned out to be the swansong for The Police, who were probably the most interesting of the popular groups of the new wave era. Their dirty little secret is the members played at being punk rockers, but their previous bands were a legendary prog band of the 70's (Stewart Copeland played drums for the last few albums by Curved Air), a legendary psychedelic band of the 60's (Andy Summers was the lead guitarist for the final lineup of Eric Burdon & The Animals), and a regional jazz fusion band (Sting played bass in a group called Last Exit, NOT the group of the same name with Sonny Sharrock). So these cats could REALLY play their instruments and had a lot of experience and diverse musical ideas to bring to the group. However, they also didn't get along too well and the ego clashes between Copeland (technically the founder of the group) and Sting (who wrote all the hits) were legendary. By the time of  recording Synchronicity, the three played in separate rooms in the studio and followed a rule that only one member at a time would be present for overdubs. Somehow, this weird lack of communication seems to have helped the album: there is a sparseness to the arrangements that really highlights what great players they were, as all three contribute great parts to every track. Also, Sting outdid himself writing the tunes for this album: "Every Breath You Take" was a monster song that won a couple Grammys, and "King Of Pain" and "Wrapped Around Your Finger" were also huge hits. But most interesting of all, the heavy centerpiece of the album "Synchronicity II" also managed to become a Top 40 hit in spite of having obtuse lyrics and weird chord modulations - it was one of the most unusual hits of the entire decade. And listening to this album again all these years later, there really isn't a weak track on this classic album.
(N) = New Release
(R) = Listener Request

Artist Song Album Year Country
Jefferson AirplaneTwilight Double Leader (live)Thrity Seconds Over Winterland1973USA
Neil Young & The Santa Monica Flyers Speakin' Out (live)Neil Young Archives Vol. II (N)rec. 1973 (2021 Reprise)Canada/USA
Dinosaur jr. I Ain'tSweep It Into Space (N)2021 (Jagjaguwar)USA
Guided By Voices Lights Out In Memphis (Egypt)Earth Man Blues (N)2021 (GBV Inc.)USA
Triptides Having A LaughAlter Echoes (N)2021 (Alive Naturalsound)USA
black midi John LCavalcade (N - forthcoming album)2021 (Rough Trade)UK
Stereolab B.U.A.Electrically Posessed (Switched On Volume 4) (N - compilation of rare tracks)rec. 1998 (2021 Warp)UK/France
Elephant9 Throughout The WorldsArrival Of The New Elders (N)2021 (Rune Grammofon)Norway
Menahan Street Band Midnight MorningThe Exciting Sounds Of Menahan Street Band (N)2021 (Dunham/Daptone)USA
Femi & Made Kuti PrivatisationLegacy + (N)2021 (Partisan)Nigeria
The PoliceSynchronicity ISynchronicity (R)
The PoliceSynchronicity IISynchronicity (R)
The PoliceOh My GodSynchronicity (R)
The PoliceDarknessGhost In The Machine1981UK/USA
Curved Air (Stewart Copeland before The Police)MoonshineAirborne1976UK
Eric Burdon & The Animals (Andy Summers before The Police)Coloured Rain (Traffic)Love Is1968UK
LoveOrange SkiesDa Capo1967USA
The Strawberry Alarm ClockBarefoot In BaltimoreThe World In A Seashell1968USA
Moby GrapeOmaha (extended version)Vintage: The Very Best Of Moby Graperec. 1967USA
Ultimate SpinachMind FlowersBehold & See1968USA
Bixio-Frizzi-TemperaNucleo Antirapina (Operazione K: Sparate a Vista)
("Anti-theft Core (Operation K: Shoot On Sight)")
Beretta 70 (compilation)rec. 1977Italy
Tangerine DreamGenesisElectronic Meditation1969Germany
This HeatRepeatRepeatrec. 1979UK
Throbbing GristleBeachy Head20 Jazz Funk Greats1979UK

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