Ghost in the Machine an easy second. Any others worth listening to?
Well, the sound of the Police changed drastically from 1978 through 1984. In the beginning, they were a punk band with reggae influences. Fans who liked THAT band were often bored with the more progressive stuff Sting was writing for “Ghost in the Machine” and “Synchronicity.”
I think the last two were the best Police albums, but some Police fans (including Andy Summers) preferred the more raw sound of the early years.
Synchronicity is certainly an extremely different album from what came before. Personally I like Ghost in the Machine better, but Synchronicity is a close #2.
This just reminded me of the background music in the restaurant I was in recently. One song was a Japanese female jazz-ish singer, doing a very breathy, very heavily accented version of “King of Pain”. The other customers were wondering why I kept giggling into my coffee.
Synchronicity is the Stingiest, AAAest album. It’s my least favorite.
So, what would you suggest as an alternative?
I think Zenyatta Mondatta spent more time in my cassette player than Synchronicity did. I think the hard part about identifying a “best” Police album is that every one of their albums had several good tracks, and a few that IMO sucked. Perhaps this is why they have so many damn Greatest Hits albums.
It always amazes me to see any album that has mostly hits or singles on it, that’s a rare things these days. The only example coming to mind is The Cars at the moment.
Syncrhonicity was the first CD I bought.
(A version of * Der Ring des Nibelungen *was the second.)
The correct answer is “hell yes.” Side 2 is perfect straight through. For me, the only dud on the whole album is “Mother,” which seems to exist merely to indulge Andy Summers’s weird Psycho fantasy. (An instinct that was much better served when Sting was around to soften it in “Murder By Numbers.”)
And yep, Ghost in the Machine is a solid second. Great underappreciated songs like “Omegaman,” "Invisible Sun"and “Secret Journey,” plus the hits “Sprits in the Material World” and my favorite Police song of all time, “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic.”
Oh heck they also scored with Regatta de Blanc and Zenyatta Mondatta. Really the only album I don’t listen to much is their premiere, Outlandos d’Amour, but it gave us two classics so it still wins.
When I was a hardcore fan–and I was the hardest core fan, believe me, I have stories–my two favorites were, back and forth, *Regatta de Blanc *and Zenyatta Mondatta. Although I also love the Klark Kent album quite a lot too. Bought my first copy of that in Paris.
What choie said.
Or looking at it a different way… it sounds like you have Ghost in the Machine and Synchronicity. There are only 3 other studio albums and I would expect them to be available used for cheap; they’re pretty different from the last two but I love them all… go check them out.
That’s a good point, Borborygmi. With only five albums you’re not gonna go broke trying 'em all out, and really I doubt you’ll regret any of 'em. Except maybe Outlandos d’Amour if you’re not into punk, or if you don’t mind missing “Roxanne” and “Can’t Stand Losing You.”
I should say one good thing about Andy Summers’s “Mother.” It has a 7/8 time signature, which makes it fairly unusual and interesting.
I like them all. The transition from reggae/punk to syntho-pop is one of the things that makes their albums so cool; you can get two different sounds depending on the mood you’re in.
The big tracks on “Synchronicity” can seem boring because they’re so overplayed, but if you sit back and give them a good listen you see why they’re overplayed; they’re GREAT songs.
Damn, astorian, that’s pretty cold to relegate Andy to the status of mere fan.
I like all of the original Police albums, but if I’m only planning to listen to one, it’ll usually be Zenyatta Mondatta.
Well, Andy’s done very little since 1984 except wait around in hopes that Sting would call…
Seriously, you’re right, it was a bit cold. My only point was, Andy Summers himself has said he liked the old, raw punk sound a lot better than the later, more commercially successful sound.
Stewart Copeland never went that far, but he said (essentially) that the Police of 1978 were a band, a real band… whereas the 1984 Police were only a band in the sense that the Jimi Hendrix Experience was a band. The Police had become, so to speak, the Sting Experience, making Summers and Copeland little more than side men.
Synchronicity’s good, but as others have said, it’s essentially Sting’s first… well, second, if you count Ghosts… solo album, despite the inclusion of “Mother” and “Miss Gradenko.” I much prefer Reggatta de Blanc and Zenyatta Mondatta. Remember, The Police was originally Stewart’s band. That was evident with Reggatta (“Any Other Day,” “Does Everyone Stare”) but the power shift starts with Zenyatta (Sting rattles off "Don’t Stand So Close to Me, “De Do Do Do…,” “Driven to Tears,” but Stew battles back with “Bombs Away” and “The Other Way of Stopping,” and even Andy gets in the act with “Behind My Camel” - even won a Grammy for it). Telling that there were two instrumentals on the album, both penned by the non-Stings, and Sting wasn’t about to write lyrics for either track.
The Brimstone & Treacle soundtrack is a good look into the weirder side of The Police, if you’ve never heard it.
“Someone to Talk To” was a Synchronicity B-side that Andy thinks would have been a hit, had Sting sang it instead of him.
I agree with the consensus that Outlandos hasn’t aged well.
I’d say. Summers’ solo stuff is pretty good, especially his stuff with Fripp and the jazz. He also did soundtrack work, and photography. The Police-men have had admirable post-Police careers, though of course the commercial success has been largely Sting’s. After this tour, of course, nobody’s hurting for cash.
His work with Fripp was instructive, not good.
Fripp and Summers are both guys who create all sorts of interesting sounds, but are pretty hopeless at writing songs. When I listened to their work together, I kept thinking, “This would have made a nice solo to a ballad by John Wetton” or “This would have made a nice intro to a song by Sting.” But outside the context of a good song, those moments degenerated quickly into random noise.
I listen to Outlandos more than the other ones these days, cause it has more raw energy than the others and I’ve heard the songs on Synchronicity too much. But all in all, I can’t say any one Police album’s better than the rest, other than to say that Synchronicity II is my favorite song by them.
[hijack]I think the same thing listening to David Gilmour solo albums (cept of course about Pink Floyd.)[/hijack]