Flashback Video: 'Synchronicity II' by The Police
Ever since the dawn of MTV and Friday Night Videos, the music video has significantly impacted musical tastes and pop culture. It might not be as extreme as when the Buggles declared that "Video Killed the Radio Star", but there is no arguing that the music video certainly could make or break a song's popularity. So this regular Flashback Video feature will serve to remember some of the music videos from the great '80s decade that made an impact on me in one way or another.
This issue we will cover "Synchronicity II" by The Police. This was the third single released in October 1983 from their amazing (and final) Synchronicity album. It only went on to peak at #16 on the Billboard Hot 100, but I consider it one of my favorite and most-underrated songs by The Police. It is also one of my favorite music videos by The Police.
The music video for "Synchronicity II" was directed by Godley & Creme, a duo would go on to make some of the other best music videos of the decade and especially the early par of the '80s. Prior to this they had directed Duran Duran "Girls on Film", Asia "Heat of the Moment", Elton John "Kiss the Bride", Herbie Hancock "Rockit" and Yes "Leave It" in addition to the first two singles from Synchronicity, "Every Breath You Take" and "Wrapped Around Your Finger". Later they would also direct Frankie Goes to Hollywood "Two Tribes", Duran Duran "A View to A Kill", Howard Jones "Life in One Day", Huey Lewis & the News "Hip to Be Square", Peter Gabriel "Don't Give Up", Sting "If You Love Somebody Set Them Free", Wang Chung "Everybody Have Fun Tonight" and The Police "Don't Stand So Close To Me '86" among many others. They really tended to make each video they created unique and pushed the boundaries of creativity.
The lyrics specifically mentions a "dark Scottish lake", so there was footage filmed for the video on a boat traveling across a lake in Scotland. It is quite possibly Loch Ness with the song's references to mythical monster known to reside there. The parts with the band were filmed at a sound stage on the outskirts of London. Each band member was dressed in futuristic dystopian outfits and had his own tower about 25 feet tall built out of scaffolding and elements of each of their own instruments - guitars, drums, keyboards, microphones, speakers and miscellaneous equipment intermixed - while debris and garbage are blowing about. The misty, stormy appearance was created with air blowers and dry ice with bright flood lights creating an eerie backdrop. During the filming, Stewart Copeland's tower caught fire and the crew started to leave the building. Creme reportedly told the director of photography to keep the cameras rolling despite the potential danger. I would assume that Copeland or the band was never in any real danger. Either way, the result was pretty awesome and here you can enjoy the music video for "Synchronicity II" by The Police...
This is probably not the first song or music video most people think about when they think about The Police, but as I said earlier, I really feel that both the song and the video are underrated.
Hope you enjoyed another trip back to the '80s thanks to Flashback Video!