Ghost in the Machine (album)

Ghost in the Machine (album)

Infobox Album
Name = Ghost in the Machine
Type = studio
Artist = The Police

Released = start date|1981|10|2
Recorded = start date|1981|1-end date|1981|9, AIR Studios, Montserrat; Le Studio, Quebec, Canada
Genre = New Wave, rock, jazz fusion
Length = 41:03
Label = A&M - AMLK 63730
Producer = The Police & Hugh Padgham
Reviews =
* Allmusic Rating|3.5|5 [ link]
*"Rolling Stone" Rating|4|5 [ link]
* Robert Christgau (B+) [ link]
Last album = "Zenyatta Mondatta" (1980)
This album = "Ghost in the Machine" (1981)
Next album = "Synchronicity" (1983)
Misc = Singles
Name = Ghost in the Machine
Type = studio
single 1 = Invisible Sun
single 1 date = start date|1981
single 2 = Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic
single 2 date = start date|1981
single 3 = Spirits in the Material World
single 3 date = start date|1981
single 4 = Secret Journey
single 4 date = start date|1982|5

"Ghost in the Machine" is the fourth album by The Police, released in 1981 (see 1981 in music). Much of the material in this album was inspired by Arthur Koestler's "The Ghost in the Machine", which also donated the title.

Album overview

The cover art for "Ghost in the Machine" features an LED-inspired graphic that depicts the heads of the three band members each with a distinctive hair style (from left to right, Andy Summers, Sting with spiky hair, and Stewart Copeland with a fringe); the band was unable to decide on a photograph to use for the cover. The album's cover is ranked at number 45 on VH1's 50 Greatest Album Covers.

The album was the first Police record to feature heavy use of keyboards and saxophones. "Spirits in the Material World" used a synthesizer to mask the song's reggae influence, and the middle twenty minutes of the record ("Hungry for You (J'aurais Toujours Faim de Toi)" through "One World (Not Three)") has a great deal of saxophone harmonies. The opening to "Secret Journey" is a guitar layered with effects pedals. As Andy Summers recollects:

The LP opens with "Spirits in the Material World," a dark pop song with keyboards dubbed over Summers' original guitar line. Following that is "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic", which features piano and a strong Caribbean vibe. "Invisible Sun" refers to The Troubles in Northern Ireland. "Hungry For You (J'Aurais Toujours Faim de Toi)" is sung mostly in French. "Demolition Man," the band's longest song, almost six minutes in length, features a strong bass line and saxophone, and was written by Sting while staying at Peter O'Toole's Irish mansion. Grace Jones and Sting have both recorded solo versions of the song. Manfred Mann's Earth Band also recorded a version of the song — rearranged and with extensive use of synthesizers — in 1982 for their "Somewhere in Afrika" album.

"Too Much Information," "Rehumanize Yourself," and "One World (Not Three)" all concern various political themes. "Rehumanize Yourself" also features the only expletive on a Police record: the word "cunts". The final three songs return to the darker sound which opens the album: "Ωmegaman" features lyrics dealing with personal pressure, "Secret Journey" is a moody song about inner strength and enlightenment, and "Darkness," the album's Stewart Copeland-penned closer, is a dark and hostile ballad about the pressures of life. "Ωmegaman" was initially chosen to be the first single before the album but Sting was against the idea.

"Invisible Sun," released as a single instead, was a large success in the UK, making it to #2 even though the video was banned by the BBC for including footage referring to the conflict in Northern Ireland. Later, "Every Little Thing She Does is Magic" made it to #3 in the U.S. and #1 in Britain, and "Spirits in the Material World" made it to the U.S. Top 20.

Arthur Koestler's reaction to the album is said to have been muted. He knew little about the burgeoning New Wave scene, and said in an interview with the Paris Review (compiled later on in "Writers At Work vol. Seven"):

In his younger days, Sting was an avid reader of Koestler. Another of The Police's albums "Synchronicity" was also inspired by Koestler's "The Roots of Coincidence", which mentions Carl Jung's theory of synchronicity.

In 2000 "Q" magazine placed "Ghost in the Machine" at number 76 in its list of the 100 Greatest British Albums Ever. RS500|322

Track listing

All songs written by Sting except as noted.

ide one

#"Spirits in the Material World" – 2:59
#"Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" – 4:22
#"Invisible Sun" – 3:44
#"Hungry for You (J'aurais Toujours Faim de Toi)" – 2:53
#"Demolition Man" – 5:57

ide two

#"Too Much Information" – 3:43
#"Rehumanize Yourself" (Sting, Stewart Copeland) – 3:10
#"One World (Not Three)" – 4:47
#"Ωmegaman" (Andy Summers) – 2:48 "("Omegaman" on some editions)"
#"Secret Journey"– 3:34
#"Darkness" (Copeland) – 3:14


The Police

*Sting - bass, keyboards, saxophone, lead vocals
*Stewart Copeland - drums, backing vocals
*Andy Summers - guitar, guitar synth, backing vocals

Additional personnel

*Jean Roussel - keyboards on "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic"




succession box
before = "Abacab" by Genesis
title = UK Albums Chart number one album
years = October 10 1981October 30 1981
after = "Dare" by The Human League
succession box
before = "Tattoo You" by The Rolling Stones
title = Australian Kent Music Report number-one album
years = December 14 1981 – December 20 1981
after = "Business as Usual" by Men at Work

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