|Single by The Police|
|from the album Synchronicity|
|B-side||"Once Upon a Daydream"|
|Format||vinyl record (7")|
|Genre||New wave, post-punk|
|Label||A&M - AM 153|
|Producer||The Police, Hugh Padgham|
|The Police singles chronology|
"Synchronicity II" is a song by The Police, described by People Weekly as "aggressive" and "steely." It was recorded in 1983 and was included on the album Synchronicity. It was released as a single in the UK and the U.S. by A&M Records. The third single from the album, it reached number 17 in the UK Singles Chart and number 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 in December 1983. It featured the non-album track "Once Upon a Daydream" on the b-side.
Meaning of the song
The song, which refers to Carl Jung's theory of synchronicity, nominally tells the story of an emasculated husband and harried father whose home, work life, and environment are terrible and depressing. In an early stretch of lyrics we find "Grandmother screaming at the wall" (family trouble/mental illness), as well as "mother chants her litany of boredom and frustration, but we know all her suicides are fake" (nagging, unhappy spouse). Later, we hear about humiliation by his boss ("and every single meeting with his so-called superior/is an humiliating kick in the crotch"), all the while he "knows that something somewhere has to break". Meanwhile something monstrous is emerging from a "dark Scottish lake/loch", a reference to the Loch Ness Monster—a parallel to the father's own inner anguish. In "Synchronicity II" guitarist Andy Summers "forgoes the pretty clean sounds for post-apocalyptic squeals and crashing power chords", writes Matt Blackett in Guitar Player magazine.
"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."
"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."
"Synchronicity II" also may have taken inspiration from the poem "The Second Coming" by William Butler Yeats. The theme of "The Second Coming" is similar to that of "Synchronicity II"—a civilization beginning to collapse, and the rise of something new, something perhaps savage, to take its place.
Throughout the song, the musical tone follows the lyrics closely. The description of the man's working day is first underlaid with confident-sounding but chordless guitar notes, which in each verse segue through rising tension into a menacing scene of the creature. The final verse carries an image reminiscent of a horror movie: "There's a shadow on the door / Of a cottage on the shore / Of a dark Scottish lake / Many miles away." A longer than usual melodic line makes the transition between the urban and creature horror.
The music video for the song was directed by Godley & Creme. In it the band are seen performing on top of giant piles of guitars, drums, junk, car parts, wires, etc. with debris and papers flying about, punctuated by footage of Loch Ness for each chorus.
|12" UK Single AMX 153|
|2.||"Once Upon A Daydream"||3:28|
The song in music games
"Synchronicity II" is covered and appears as a playable track on the PlayStation 2 game Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s. The master track of the song also appears as downloadable content for the music video game series Rock Band and Rocksmith.
- The song was covered by The Casket Lottery, appearing on their compilation album Possiblies And Maybes.
- Progressive metal band Queensrÿche covered the song for their 2007 cover album Take Cover.
- The album ¡Policia! - A Tribute to the Police (2005) contains a cover by No Motiv.
- The song was also covered by Rosetta Stone as part of their Unerotica: Reformatted Eighties album in 2000.
- Heavy Metal/Prog rocker Rob Gravelle released a cover as a single in 2008.
- "Synchronicity." People Weekly v20.(July 25, 1983): pp14(1).
- The Police in the UK Charts, The Official Charts.
- "Synchronicity II" in the Billboard Charts, Billboard.com.
- "The 50 greatest tones of all time."(Critical Essay). Matt Blackett. Guitar Player 38.10 (Oct 2004): p44(17).
- Interpretations of the content of "Synchronicity II" on www.songfacts.com
- Interpretations of the content of "Synchronicity II" on www.songmeanings.net
- "King of painlessness" (rock star Sting). Chris Willman. Entertainment Weekly n339 (August 9, 1996 n339): pp30(4).
- "Official Police business" (music group Police). Jay Cocks. Time v122.(August 15, 1983): pp50(1).