From the Vault...


The Police
"Ghost In The Machine"

© A&M Records

Year of Release: 1981

track listing
  • Spirits In
    The Material
  • Every Little Thing
    She Does Is Magic
  • Invisible Sun
  • Hungry For You
  • Demolition Man
  • Too Much Information
  • Rehumanize Yourself
  • One World (Not Three)
  • Omegaman
  • Secret Journey
  • Darkness

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    The Police
    "Ghost In The Machine"

    The Police return to the WSVNRadio website, with their 4th album of their career (and 4th album on the WSVNRadio website). 1981's Ghost In The Machine had Sting experimenting with different sources of music, that would form his own solo career. Mixing the traditional Police sound heard on previous releases, some songs on this release get the "world music" touch, likewise a little more reggae, as heard on Reggatta de Blanc. All in all, it was different for the typical Police fan, and maybe Sting was ahead of his time in presenting the different styles.

    The most popular songs from the album, "Spirits In The Material World" and "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" received the most radio airplay, but there were far more other songs that were getting airplay on FM AOR stations. Likewise, having the vinyl copy, and being a huge Police fan growing up, there were many songs on this album I really enjoyed, yet there were some that I can say are my least favorites.

    First, let's go over the least favorite songs... "Demolition Man" may have been a little too punkish, but to some, this song could have been compared to many of my personal favorites from Zenyatta Mondatta. The experimentation of world music is heard on "Too Much Information," a song that is actually good, but not necessarily compared to the most popular hits by The Police. Another song in that same aspect, is "Rehumanize Yourself," a traditional new wave/punkish song that could be compared to the band's first album Outlandos d'Amour. "Omegaman" could easily have fitted a future album, Synchronicity, yet it was very different listening to in 1981, comparing to the earlier works of the Police's music.

    As much as the most popular songs "Spirits In The Material World" and "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic," both of these songs are favorites of mine, yet they did get quite overplayed on radio. So instead, the other well-liked songs, such as "Invisible Sun" captures a terrific mystery to it. This is one song that is never tiring, with its synthesizer works, and vocal "oooohs". "Hungry For You" is a great tune, that easily could have been included on Zenyatta Mondatta. "One World (Not Three)" has a catchy reggae feel, and "Secret Journey" has another great mystery in sound behind it, such as "Invisible Sun." The album's closing song, "Darkness" was another different direction for Sting and crew, as it has a strong resemblence to the later years of Genesis with Phil Collins, and even Collins' solo works.

    Ghost In The Machine was an experimental album. It showed the band going in a different direction, than heard on their first 3 albums. Most fans were used to the catchy new wave/punkish style, and could have easily written off this release as one of their least favorites. But listening to it 20+ years later, it easily fits today's music, with such musical styles as new age, and new world music. Sting was ahead of his time back in 1981, presenting the many songs on Ghost In The Machine, yet taking the band in the different directions he did may have developed risks in their popularity, it was just a look at what would become in the future -- Sting's future as a solo performer.

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