TYPE: Singles (The Police)
RELEASE DATE: 01 October 1983
RELEASE COUNTRY: UNITED KINGDOM
Sumner's Tales: Sting talks...
"There's a domestic situation where there's a man who's on the edge of paranoia, and as his paranoia increases a monster takes shape in a Scottish lake, the monster being a symbol of the man's anxiety. That's a synchronistic situation. They're not connected logically, but symbolically and emotionally they are."
'A Visual Documentary', 1984
On the stunning feedback yowl that punctuates 'Synchronicity II'...
"It was a mistake. I blasted and wailed for six minutes, the tape was rolling, but I couldn't hear anything through the cans. I was messing about, doing all this shit and waiting for them to start. I mean, I was having a lot of fun, but I kept thinking, 'When are they going to roll' They couldn't believe what I was playing, because when the tape's not on you tend to go more for it. I have a copy of the whole thing at home because I think it's one of the best things I've ever done. I did it on a Strat and Marshall, really right up against the amp, with everything cranked."
Andy Summers: Guitar World, 4/87
About 'Once Upon A Daydream'...
"Jung believed there was a large pattern to life, that it wasn't just chaos. Our song 'Synchronicity II' is about two parallel events that aren't connected logically or causally, but symbolically."
Time Magazine, 8/83
About 'Once Upon A Daydream'...
"I love it. It's a set of chords Andy came up with and I wrote some lyrics to them by the swimming pool in Montserrat. It's very dark, but that was the 'Ghost' period - pretty intense."
'Message In A Box' Album Liner Notes, '93
About 'Once Upon A Daydream'...
"Most people would lounge and bask in the sun by a swimming pool but Sting would create a cloud around himself and stare grimly at the horizon while he organised his dark thoughts into beautiful music."
Stewart Copeland: 'Message In A Box' Album Liner Notes, '93
'Synchronicity II' appeared on the Police's 1983 album, 'Synchronicity'. The track was also released as single in 1983 making the #17 spot in the UK and #16 spot in the US. Memorable for a lavish, Godley & Creme directed 'Mad-Max' style video, the song is amongst the small handful of Police songs that Sting occasionally picks up, dusts down, and blasts out. Still guaranteed to bring the house down. 'Once Upon a Daydream' is a dark and brooding track with lyrics by Sting and chords by Andy. It appeared on the B-side of the 'Synchronicity II' single - a perfect companion piece to the same era's 'Murder by Numbers'.
Review from Smash Hits
"After making two of this year's best singles, this release smacks of sheer commercial greed on the part of the record company.'Synchronicity II' is a decent enough track on the album 'Synchronicity', so why wasn't it left there? Still, I can't wait to see the video on Top Of The Pops."
Review from Melody Maker
"The inarticulate ravings of a simpleton turned superstar? The ramblings of Sting's guilty conscience? A doodle feigning philosophical insight? Search me, John. Whatever, this is top-heavy heady stuff; an energetic experiment thrashing around frantically in search of a tune. It seems to have something to do with separate happenings occurring simultaneously in different environments, but whether it's bemoaning the individual's incapacity to govern the arbitrary acts that influence our existence, worrying over the way we're resigned to our fates or saying nothing whatsoever is far from clear. Crackling with frustration, all 'Synchronicity' communicates is that Sting's been reading an awful lot lately without the time or patience to assimilate the information and raw coherent conclusions. This is a brave, rash, arrogant and foolhardy release (and, of course, a rip-off if you already own the album) but, at the very least, there's something to be said for the band still posing questions like "what the hell are they up to?" rather than "why on earth do they bother?" after almost half a decade at the top of their trade."
Review from New Musical Express
Sting and Shakin' Stevens were two of the best new models of the '80s. Shakin' Stevens looked like Elvis was always supposed to, without the liberal lashings of the greasegun and a handsome set of paunches, and he even had good songs - 'Marie Marie!' - and he didn't wear huge nappies and surround himself with morons; Sting , after a brief period as a laughing stock (we used to turn out in droves - well, in half dozens - to make mock of the Police in 1977 - so old, so bleached, so... unthere) evolved into something between Marlene and McCartney - he was like the It Boy. Well the paint job is lasting pretty well for both of them, but the tread is getting pretty thin. The Police still sell, but there is a sour smell about their aura these days; the Yank manager running around shooting off his loud mouth about how we should all be grateful for our daily Cruise, the ugly luggage (Sting always did have Weller's Syndrome) growing ever more evident and embarrassing, the songs of universal angst and anti-militarism still fresh off the press as Mr Sting had parties thrown for him by Adnan Khashoggi, probably the biggest by-proxy mass murderer in the world. You must know by now that Sting has two speeds - sexy beast and angry old man. If I tell you that the key words and phrases in this one are "boredom", "suicide", "lemmings", "frustration", "the factory belches filth into the sky" and "picket line", you'll be warned what kind of mood he's in. The rabid beat yearns for the hungry years when The Police were just another no-hope punk band in a cellar in Covent Garden, blowing the last few quid of Andy Summers' pension money on a round of lukewarm lager and generally living it up. I think it's all about people being a herd and wasting their time, though from where I'm sitting Sting should thank de Lawdy that people are a herd and do waste their time - if they weren't/didn't, The Police would have sold 0.00 records and he'd still be playing pinball in knicker commercials."
Review from No.1
"Strangely jumbled and rambling choice for a single - this isn't the kind of song you could commit to memory in one or two easy listenings. But who am I to criticise the band that conquered a world of Sting-struck teenagers and musical intellectuals alike? Who am I to suggest that this track should have been content to remain on the album in favour of something more accessible?"
Review from Record Mirror
"Those diamante collars sparkle again. Sleek and smooth as an old tom after a two week course of cod liver oil capsules and the fastest track from their mega-selling album. The Police know the business inside out, but they never sit complacently on the fence."
Review from Sounds
"I really like the Police. 'Every Breath You Take' was brilliant single. (So was 'Walking On The Moon', I recall). Sting's girlfriend Trudie is a very nice lady. 'Synchronicity' is a fascinating lyrical theme. This is a dull, perfunctory single. It will probably be number one. If I hadn't already resigned, Keith Altham would demand by dismissal!"