Secret Single: The Police, “Synchronicity II”

Written by Music, Popdose Secret Single

Popdose explores a B-side from one of the Police’s darkest recording sessions.

In 1983, there were few bands bigger than The Police, and the freedom of such stature came through on their album Synchronicity. For starters, naming your album and two songs on it after a Jungian principle seems even more pretentious than a lyric about “That famous book by Nabokov.” On top of all that, the album is more dark than one would care to admit.

On that album you have the wailing mania of an unstable man and his relationship with “Mother,” the ruminations of the “King of Pain” and the song most likely not to be recognized as a stalker anthem, “Every Breath You Take.” You also had this song, “Synchronicity II,” which winds up being one of Sting and Company’s most rocking affairs, devoted to a downtrodden man in his daily rut contrasted against the Loch Ness Monster shambling out of the lake “many miles away.”

There were other disturbing tunes to be found, like the extra track from the compact disc and the b-side to “Every Breath You Take,” “Murder by Numbers” which seemingly advocates clever ways in which to do a lot of people in. “Synchronicity II” has “Once Upon A Daydream” as its b-side and, as you’ll hear, it may be just one step over the line so far as art-rock nihilism goes.

This would, famously, be the last Police studio album. A reunion tour with the band was a financial boon but a working boondoggle, with primary sparring partners Sting and drummer Stewart Copeland vowing that, now that hell had frozen over, it would not happen again. Ah, well.

Side A – Synchronicity II

Side B – Once Upon A Daydream

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