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Rock Rewind: The Police “Every Breath You Take”

Over the years, “Every Breath You Take” has arguably become the song most people identify with British rock group The Police—the band often credited with bringing New Wave to the mainstream. “Every Breath You Take” was the best-selling song from their best-selling album Synchronicity (1983)—which, ironically, was also their last.

While every one of The Police’s five albums had done well since the band formed in the late 1970s (all ultimately going Platinum both in the U.K. and the U.S.), Synchronicity won over the American public by far, selling a whopping 8x Platinum here in the States. The most popular single from the album, “Every Breath You Take,” written by the band’s bassist and frontman Sting, spent eight weeks at No. 1 in 1983, going on to earn The Police two of their career six Grammy awards. Ironically, many people listen to the soft, steady rhythm of the tune and think of it as a love song to be played at weddings, but according to Sting, it is actually a darker, more sinister song about unhealthy obsession and jealousy.

After Synchronicity, The Police tried to record a sixth studio album, but internal tensions and an injury to drummer Stewart Copeland prevented it from coming to pass. They officially disbanded in 1987, and all three bandmates went on to have successful solo careers. The band reunited briefly for a reunion tour in 2007-2008.

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About the Author


Tim Ferrar's interest in pop and rock started as a child, listening to Top-40 radio for hours on end while playing air guitar in his bedroom. Eventually air guitar led to electric guitar, and Tim began playing in bands and writing his own songs. With an admitted weakness for "a great hook or a great guitar riff," Tim's musical tastes are broad and varied, ranging from Michael Jackson and Lady Gaga on the pop side to Bon Jovi and Foo Fighters on the rock side- making him the ideal guy to cover our Rock and Pop categories. By day, Tim is a mild-mannered accountant in Chicago. By night, he rocks out on electric guitar in a cover band in various clubs around town- much to the surprise of some of his clients.

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