Our Police albums ranked list looks at one of the most popular and well-loved bands in classic rock history. Formed in 1977, The Police became one of the most successful bands in the world over a very short period. Just when they had become maybe the biggest band in the world on a worldwide basis, they called it quits in 1984. The Police were led by Gordon Matthew Thomas Summer who went by the name of Sting. Even though the group was a band, it was obvious through the songwriting credits and the lead vocals of Sting that he was the man in charge. However, the other two musicians in the group might not have agreed to much of that analyzation which is probably what led to the band’s break up. Of course, just looking over the spectacular career that Sting has enjoyed, compared to the other two musicians in the band, it’s quite apparent that most of the songwriting ideas came from Sting.
Still, the sound of The Police and the band’s musical performances were spilt quite evenly between the three musicians. Drummer Stewart Copeland and guitarist Andy Summers were equal partners with Sting in creating the band’s unique and original sound. And of course, many of the songwriting credits were also attributed to both Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers.
The Police were a band that at first was hailed as a punk new wave band, but who quickly defined themselves as being a musical group that offered so much more than just the simplistic rhythms and chord changes that defined most punk and new wave groups. With each album the band released, the group matured times ten. Every album sounded unique and for the most part they all contained big time hits.
The Police were not a band of teenagers when they released their first album. Both Sting and Stewart Copeland were born in 1951 and 1952 making then around 25 and 26 when they released their first record. Andy Summers was the elder in the band being born in 1942 during World War II making him to be in his mid-thirties when the Police hit it big time. The band’s age and musical experience when they first hit the big time explains their quick musical maturation on each album they released. It also explains why they were quick to want to disregard the punk image that many critics and fans first bestowed upon them in completely misinterpreting who the band really were.
The Police only released five albums throughout their recording career. Their debut album entitled Outlandos d’Amour was released during the fall of 1978. It was a breath of extreme musical fresh air with music fans beginning to really tire of disco music still dominating the radio airwaves. The album’s success was fueled by the excitement of the song “Roxanne,” which sounded like something no one had ever heard before.
The Police followed up their debut album quickly in a little less than a year later with their second album entitled Reggatta de Blanc. The band celebrated two huge hits on the album called “Message In A Bottle,” and “Walking On The Moon.” The Police would continue their stretch of one album a year and hard to spell album titles in 1980 with the release of their third album entitled Zenyatta Mondatta. In 1981, the Police released the album Ghost In The Machine which sounded much different from their previous three albums. With the advent of MTV taking off that year, The Police found themselves an early favorite of the channel as the song from the album entitled “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic,” was placed in heavy rotation on MTV. The help that the band received from MTV may have played a significant role in expanding their popularity and setting the stage for the arrival of the biggest album of their career two years later.
In 1983, The Police released the album Synchronicity. It would become the band’s biggest album of their career. It turned the band into a group that was forced to play stadiums and arenas. In 1984, The Police played Shea Stadium, the same baseball stadium that hosted The Beatles twenty years earlier in 1964. A fact that was not lost among many critics and fans and probably the band themselves. And just like The Beatles had done when they were the most loved and popular band in the world….The Police broke up.
Our Police Albums Ranked list present the five Police studio albums the group released between 1978 and 1983. A five-year period that went by way too fast. Every one of the Police albums are fantastic and our favorites change all the time. Nonetheless, we placed them in the order of commercial success and of course our own subjective opinion of what we believed were their best albums. It’s all in celebration of the great band The Police.
# 5 – Ghosts In The Machine
We open our Police Albums Ranked list with an album that was at one time our favorite Police album. There was just a dark modern day power behind some of the songs on this great album. The album was just so perfectly titled. The album’s opening number “Spirits in the Material World” packed an incredible dark punch that was extremely addictive the first time one heard it. It was also released as a single.It also sounded great on vinyl. The album Ghost In The Machine hit number one in the United Kingdom, France, Austria, Canada and Italy. It became the band’s highest charting album so far in the U.S. peaking at number two on the Billboard Top 200. Three singles were released from the album with the song “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” hitting number one in the United Kingdom.
# 4 – Outlandos d’Amour
The Police album Outlandos d’Amour stands as the band’s debut album. Three singles were released from the album. As popular as the song “Roxanne,” had become, it only reached the number 32 spot on the US Billboard Hot 100. And that was after it had been reissued. The album peaked at number 23 on the Billboard Top 200 albums charts. However, it became a top 10 album in the UK hitting number six. Over time, the album would go platinum in sales in multiple countries around the world. Standout tracks on the album included “Can’t Stand Losing You,” “So Lonely” and “Truth Hits Everybody.” Even though they were hailed a punk new wave band, it was obvious to anyone with even a small musical ear that these guy were not a punk band.
# 3 – Zenyatta Mondatta
Continuing with our Police albums list we turn to the Zenyatta Mondatta album. The Zenyatta Mondatta album stands as the band’s third album release. The album was released on October 3rd 1980. It was the band’s second straight number one album in the United Kingdom. It was also the band’s first top 10 album in the United States where it peaked at number five. Much of the success of the album sales were based on the huge hit singles released from the album including “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” and “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da.” The album got mixed reviews with some calling it the best record The Police had released while others called it not as good as the first two. What was very obvious was it was the band’s most rhythmic. This is an album in which Stewart Copeland really shined on.
# 2 – Reggatta de Blanc
Reggatta de Blanc was the band’s sophomore album. The album was released in 1979. The band seemed to mature tremendously on their second album releasing songs with complex rhythms surrounded by brilliant melodies, deep lyrics and intense musicianship. The album spawned two of the biggest Police singles of all time in “Message In A Bottle,” and “Walking On The Moon.” Too marvelous Police songs that have aged extremely well. Reggatta de Blanc became the first Police album to hit number one in the United Kingdom which was a pretty impressive feat considering it was only their second album. The album also contained the song “Bring on the Night” which Sting would eventually take to another level as a solo artist backed by a group of fantastic young jazz musicians. Another album highlight was Sting’s reggae rock infused “The Bed’s Too Big Without You.”
# 1 – Synchronicity
If you were somewhere between the ages of 12 and 35 in 1984, chances are you had this album on cassette or vinyl. The final Police album entitled Synchronicity became the band’s biggest selling and most popular album of their career and one of the biggest selling albums of the 1980s. Sting and Stewart Copeland were in their thirties when this album was released and Andy Summers was in his 40s, so it must have felt real good to have accomplished such a major artistic achievement that was accepted so widely.
Synchronicity soared to the top of the album charts based on the mega hit single “Every Breath You Take.” There was no bigger song in 1983 than “Every Breath You Take.” The song became the band’s first and only number one single in the United States where it hit number one on the US Billboard top 100 and stayed there for eight straight weeks. Three more singles were released from the album with the songs “Wrapped Around Your Finger,” and “King of Pain,” both becoming top 10 hits on the U.S. Billboard top 100. The Synchronicity album itself hit number one in both the United Kingdom and United States. It won album of the year at the 1984 Grammy Awards. And then The Police broke up as they were standing on top of the world. Since its release, Synchronicity has sold more than eight million copies.
The Police Albums Ranked article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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