Back in June, The Police’s classic album Synchronicity celebrated its 40th anniversary, and guitarist Andy Summers recently reflected on the album’s popularity with ABC Audio.
Summers says when they made the album, The Police were so popular it was “complete pandemonium.” He shares, “We were like The Beatles of the ’80s. I mean, it was insane.”
Because of that, Summers says they felt they “could put anything out and it would be a hit.” But he insists, “We were trying to make the best possible record.”
But Andy says when they went into the studio there was “quite a lot of tension in the band,” mainly because Sting wanted to “do his own stuff.” While they had a few songs that felt right for the album, he notes, “The key moment came when we had ‘Every Breath You Take.'”
But even with a great song, Summers says it still wasn’t quite coming together until Sting told him to “go on, go in there and make it your own,” and in one take he put down the song’s “immortal guitar line.”
Their manager instantly insisted it be the first single, although the band was hesitant because it was a ballad. Of course, they were wrong. “Went out and it stayed at number one for eight weeks, the album was number one for four months,” Summers says of the song’s impact. “Now ‘Every Breath You Take’ is the most played song of all time in American radio.”
Released June 17, 1983, Synchronicity spent 17 weeks on top of the Billboard 200. In 2009 it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and in 2023 it was chosen by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Recording Registry.
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