The Police Live In Atlanta 1983 is the second CD in the two CD, two concert album The Police Live!. It is pulled together from two concerts on November 2nd and 3rd.
Because the two concert recordins are so different, I have decided to review them separately to help create a clearer review. The other CD is here – The Police Live In Boston 1979
Review Of The Police Live In Atlanta 1983
Set List – 7/10 rating
- Synchronicity I – 2:52 (originally from the studio album Synchronicity)
- Synchronicity II – 4:44 (Synchronicity)
- Walking In Your Footsteps – 4:54 (Synchronicity)
- Message In A Bottle – 4:36 (Reggatta De Blanc)
- O My God – 3:36 (Synchronicity)
- De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da – 4:32 (Zenyatta Mondatta)
- Wrapped Around Your Finger – 5:21 (Synchronicity)
- Tea In The Sahara – 4:53 (Synchronicity)
- Spirits In The Material World – 2:57 (Ghost In The Machine)
- King Of Pain – 5:53 (Synchronicity)
- Don’t Stand So Close To Me – 3:46 (Zenyatta Mondatta)
- Every Breath You Take – 4:37 (Synchronicity)
- Roxanne – 6:10 (Outlandos D’Amour)
- Can’t Stand Losing You – 6:48 (Outlandos D’Amour)
- So Lonely – 7:26 (Outlandos D’Amour)
Eight songs from Synchronicity mean that it’s essential to appreciate that album to love this set list. As this is the end of The Police, I’m more aware of songs missing like Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic and Invisible Sun from Ghost In The Machine plus Walking On The Moon from Regatta De Blanc together with key album tracks like Bring On The Night (which was good enough for Sting to use as the title song for his first live album as a solo artist) and The Beds Too Big Without You.
Sorry this set list dominated by the last album doesn’t do it for me as The Police move away from their distinctive combination of punky new wave and reggae to a blander, perhaps more sophisticated type of music. Now I can see it as the bridge towards Sting’s more jazzy solo work.
I mentioned in my comments about the collection The Police Live!, there is a difference between how the British and Americans see the career of the group. The USA has a very strong affection for Synchronicity based on the album and single sales but there is a stronger preference for the early style and songs in the UK.
A different set list order may have helped but with so many of the early songs from the last album, it means that I never get pulled into the recording with any real enthusiasm. I’ll give it a rating of 7/10 which is kind.
Performance Rating 6/10
In 1979 The Police were consolidating their success and in peak form. By 1983 they had matured and the members of the band had become interested in other things. Sting was developing his acting career, Copeland wrote a film soundtrack. Both Sting and Summers had their marriages collapse. Tensions grew within the band.
The Synchronicity album was their last and this tour was the breaking point. It wasn’t the time to record a live album.
The group were supported by three female backing singers on this recording but the bigger problem was that they sounded bored. Yes it’s a professional performance but they are going through the motions.
Sting’s voice is not up front and powerful in the mix. The group comes alive on Every Breath You Take and show what they could have done but it’s a rare highlight in this dull set.
Every Breath You Take (from the Synchroncity tour video recorded at Atlanta in 1983)
King Of Pain
Seeing them is better than only listening despite the cheesy video effects.
Atmosphere and Authenticity – 7/10
All the right members, made from two concerts at the same venue when the band were possibly the biggest in the world. The audience are enthusiastic, even if it is a large venue.
What’s not to like?
It’s hard to put my finger on it but the recording lacks the essence of a great performance. I feel they are going through the motions and it just doesn’t connect with me in teh way that it should.
Overall review rating 20/30
That feels about right – a three star record. It not in any way horrible but it’s more adequate than special.
Lovers of late period The Police might really appreciate it but I’m not sure whether anyone else will.
I’m not sure what will draw me back to this recording.
What Other People Say
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