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Boomer Anthems: Synchronicity 2

Yes, this little over-the-top up-side-your-head rock-solid and insanely conceived and overproduced version*** still manages to singe this song into the deepest recesses of your medulla oblongata. In passing, I note that The Police managed to get this deep into the groove with only 3 guys. Phenomenal.

[Sting – bass, vocals Andy Summers – guitar, keyboards Stewart Copeland – drums]

“The late-inning number that really gets [the crowd] galvanized is the edgy old Police staple that has the most old-fashioned unresolved rock tension in it, ‘Synchronicity II’—which, after all, is a song about a domestic crisis so anxiety producing that it wakes up the Loch Ness Monster.” — Chris Willman

That’s the origin video and song from 1983.

Here’s its stadium punch 25 years later in 2008. If anything it has only grown more accurate in its lethal prophetic power:

Another suburban family morning
Grandmother screaming at the wall
We have to shout above the din of our rice crispies
We can’t hear anything at all
Mother chants her litany of boredom and frustration
But we know all her suicides are fake
Daddy only stares into the distance
There’s only so much more that he can take
Many miles away something crawls from the slime
At the bottom of a dark Scottish lake

Another industrial ugly morning
The factory belches filth into the sky
He walks unhindered through the picket lines today,
He doesn’t think to wonder why
The secretaries pout and preen like cheap tarts in a red light street,
But all he ever thinks to do is watch,
And every single meeting with his so-called superior
Is a humiliating kick in the crotch
Many miles away something crawls to the surface
Of a dark Scottish loch

Another working day has ended
Only the rush hour hell to face
Packed like lemmings into shiny metal boxes
Contestants in a suicidal race
Daddy grips the wheel and stares alone into the distance
He knows that something somewhere has to break
He sees the family home now, looming in his headlights
The pain upstairs that makes his eyeballs ache
Many miles away there’s a shadow on the door
Of a cottage on the shore
Of a dark Scottish lake

Many miles away
Many miles away
Many miles away
Many miles away
Many miles away
Many miles away

*** The music video for “Synchronicity II” was directed by Godley & Creme, filmed at a sound stage on the outskirts of London. In it the band are seen performing on top of giant piles of guitars, drums, junk, car parts, wires, with debris and papers flying about, punctuated by footage of Loch Ness for each chorus. The band members stood apart from each other on separate towers made of scaffolding, wearing dystopian outfits. A misty and stormy appearance was created with air blowers and dry ice. During the filming, Copeland’s tower caught fire and the crew started to leave the building. Creme told the director of photography to keep the cameras rolling despite the danger.— LaWik

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Veeze October 10, 2020, 3:57 PM

    We’ll have to agree to disagree about this. When I look back at things, or anytime I encounter the assault on my senses that is “Roxanne,” I wonder how the Police ever made a dime.

  • ghostsniper October 10, 2020, 5:58 PM

    Agreed. They never made a red centavo off me. 40 years ago my BIL and me used to laugh about how all their stuff sounded the same. Summers almost knew 3 chords.

  • Jewel October 10, 2020, 6:45 PM

    Ah, sweet music of being liberated from my dysfunctional fambly at 19. This was music to work hard to. But Sting, now there’s a wondrous musical transformation. Fields of Gold, I Hung My Head, Desert Rose are some of his best songs. I became a big Sting fan after seeing him in Dune. Apparently, so did Patrick Stewart.

  • julie October 10, 2020, 10:02 PM

    Sting: You know, I used to be kind of cool once.

    “Roxanne” reminds me of being in college. I was a dishwasher; my friends would greet me after a shift by singing, “Julie, you don’t have to wash that dish tonight…”

  • JoeDaddy October 11, 2020, 3:09 AM

    Us ‘Librarians’ born on Oct.2 have a knack for hitting a raw nerve. Groucho Marx, Don McClean, Ghandi, …Sting. Just ask all my former Libtard ‘frenz’.

  • stephen_barron October 11, 2020, 7:22 AM

    Copeland and Summers are fine musicians in their own right. Copeland did music for that old 80’s crime show, “The Equalizer”, and made some guest appearances. To this day he still plays with Trey Anastasio and Les Claypool in Oysterhead. Andy Summers made some nice Eno-esque music. I never cared so much for Sting, but thought he was pretty good in Dune.

  • ambiguousfrog October 11, 2020, 9:28 AM

    I appreciate Copeland’s talent. Great job on the live Wrapped Around Your Finger:

    But, I liked him most when he didn’t put up with Sting’s arrogance and kick the crap out him when the circumstances required it.

  • Jack October 11, 2020, 9:42 AM

    I never cared much for new wave and so I considered the Police to be another hair band and I thought that Sting was working very hard to be prettier than Amiee Mann in her Til Tuesday days. But later I did like some of the bands work and even later I began to understand that the guy is probably one of the most talented and creative musicians who ever wore shoes.

    Sensitive and creative people usually have a lot of quirks and Sting once said that he would cry whenever he had an orgasm, or something along those lines. I never had that problem but I remember wanting to cry about some that I never got to enjoy. C’est La Vie, I suppose.

  • Rob Muir October 11, 2020, 9:46 PM

    IMO, the best musician in the Police was Copeland. He scored a few things in addition to drumming for the band. The Equalizer score was a real departure for 80s TV in the same vein as Jan Hammer’s work on Miami Vice. As I recall, his brother Miles was the manager for the band. Miles was older than Stewart and was a record company executive. I’ve read some hysterically brutally honest comments Miles has made about various bands from the UK. I expect that the Ian Faith character in This Is Spinal Tap was at least partially based on Miles. Again, IMO, Sting’s best album, as a whole, was Blue Turtles. He has FANTASTIC sidemen on that CD and it shows. His later CDs had more radio-friendly tunes and are very, very good. If you can catch the documentary about the tour following Blue Turtles, it’s well worth the watch. It was kind of like “Sting left the Police, now what?” Miles Copeland makes an entrance in that as well.
    Another Sting-related venture was the movie Stormy Monday. I really appreciated the soundtrack from that, although it was a pretty dark film.