“Every Breath You Take,” released on 20 May 1983, is undoubtedly one of the most memorable tracks by British rock band The Police. Composed by the band’s lead vocalist and bassist Sting, the song is the centerpiece of their fifth and final studio album, “Synchronicity”. The evocative melody, characterized by its clean, arpeggiated guitar riff, coupled with Sting’s haunting vocals, belies the song’s unnerving narrative about possessive love and obsessive surveillance, making it a compelling paradox in the world of popular music.
The song’s ambiguous lyrics led to its widespread interpretation as a love song, despite Sting’s assertion that it is about the dark side of love. “Every Breath You Take” became a global sensation, topping the Billboard Hot 100 chart for eight weeks and the UK Singles Chart for four weeks. It won two Grammy Awards in 1984, including Song of the Year, and is considered one of the greatest songs of the 20th century. The song has a lingering cultural impact and has been covered and sampled by numerous artists over the years, most notably in Puff Daddy’s tribute to The Notorious B.I.G., “I’ll Be Missing You”. It is a testament to The Police’s unique blend of rock, reggae, and jazz, and its potent, evocative storytelling.