160. SYNCHRONICITY by The Police
In many ways, The Police were a lot like their fellow punk and reggae compatriots The Clash (previously covered here) - 5 records in about 5 years and then you're done. (The Clash's Cut the Crap doesn't really count as, without Mick Jones and Topper Headon, it was a Clash album in name only.) In the immortal words of Neil Young, it truly was better to burn out than to fade away. In fact, although this 1983 album was The Police's swan song, the band itself had become an ugly duckling. It's any wonder that the record even got made - by the time of the recording in late 1982/early 1983 the band members essentially hated each other. But, of course, as is well known, not only did the record get made, but it went on to become the band's biggest release ever. Go figure. In keeping with my tendency to pick 3 to 5 tracks from each record to recommend the reader/listener start out with, there's no getting around what those should be for Synchronicity. Sometimes I wonder if the sequencing of the record had been made top heavy (that is, start out with the singles/potential hits at the beginning a la U2's The Joshua Tree) would it have been considered as good or even better than it was? We will never know. Regardless, these are the songs I consider as must listens for the uninitiated and initiated alike: 'Synchronicity II' (I think this would have been a much better album opener), 'Every Breath You Take,' 'King of Pain' and 'Wrapped Around Your Finger.'