Year Released: 1981

Notable Songs: “Invisible Sun”, “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic”, “Spirits in the Material World”, “Secret Journey”

Album MVP: “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic”

Why I Loved It: There’s a handful of albums on this countdown in which their position will be questioned more than others, and this is one of them. I’m apparently far higher on Ghost in the Machine than most, because people I spoke to didn’t really care for the Police’s fourth studio effort with the same enthusiasm I did.  The Police were one of the first bands I remember that made rock music sound cool to me, as I was just 10 years old when this album was released. Prior to this The Police were more of a reggae-rock band and I’m sure they lost a portion of fans who considered this album’s more pop-friendly tracks as sellout music. However, they gained far many more than they lost, including this guy.  The Police embodied 80’s pop and the result was a phenomenal album, led by one of the more catchier song choruses of the 80’s, “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic” as well the song that got me started on the air drums, “Spirits in the Material World.”

This album unofficially began the rise of Sting as one of the most famous and socially-conscious musicians in the world.

Commercial Success: Ghost in the Machine didn’t quite enjoy the commercial success as many of the albums slotted around this part of the countdown but still did very well for itself.  The album, the group’s fourth peaked number-two on the Billboard Top 200 and hit the top spot in the United Kingdom.  Three well charting singles came from this effort: “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic” hit number-three on the Billboard Hot 100 and reached number-one on the Mainstream Rock chart. “Spirits in the Material World” found itself as high as seventh on the Mainstream Rock chart and 11th on the Billboard Hot 100.  “Secret Journey” reached No. 46 on the Billboard Hot 100 and while “Invisible Sun” didn’t chart in America it did reach number-two in the U.K. The album went on to finish 1982 tenth on the year-end Billboard Top 200 and sold more than three million copies in the United States.

Fun Facts: From regarding this hit single “Spirits in the Material World.”

“This song is based on the writings of Hungarian author and philosopher Arthur Koestler. Sting enjoyed Koestler’s work, and the album Ghost In The Machine is named after one of his books. Koestler believed that outside influences could destroy our spirit and restrict our thinking. The “spirits” and “ghosts” Koestler wrote about were the innate higher functions that often get lost in the “machine” created by governments and corporations.

The word “material” has a double meaning here. In one sense, it indicates the physical world as opposed to the spiritual realm. It could also mean materialism, where a high value is placed on money and things at the expense of enlightenment.

Like many Police songs, this has a Reggae beat, although it is more synthesizer-driven than many of the others.”


 100.  Van Halen – OU812 

99. Stevie Wonder – In Squared Circle

98. Taylor Dayne – Can’t Fight Fate

97. Kool & The Gang – Emergency 

96. Stevie B – In My Eyes 

95. Keith Sweat – Make It Last Forever 

94. Michael Bolton – Soul Provider 

93. Go Go’s – Beauty & The Beast 

92. LL Cool J – Bigger And Deffer (Bad) 

91. Twisted Sister – Stay Hungry 

90. Def Leppard – Hysteria

89. New Edition – Heartbreak

88. Don Henley – Building A Perfect Beast

87. Beverly Hills Cop – Movie Soundtrack

86. Culture Club – Kissing To Be Clever 

85. Rolling Stones – Tattoo You

84. Asia – Asia 

83. Tiffany – Tiffany 

82. Lionel Richie – Dancing on the Ceiling

81. Barbara Streisand – Guilty 

80. Phil Collins – …But Seriously 

79. Air Supply – The One That You Love

78. J. Geils Band – Freeze Frame

77. Duran Duran – Rio 

76. Billy Ocean – Suddenly 

75. Run DMC – Raising Hell

74. Pat Benatar – Crimes of Passion

73. John Cougar – American Fool

72. Huey Lewis and The News – Picture This

71. Top Gun – Movie Soundtrack

70. Steve Winwood – Back In The High Life

69. Air Supply – Lost In Love

68. LL Cool J – Radio

67. Journey – Frontiers 

66. Styxx – Paradise Theater

65. Madonna – Like A Prayer

64. Eric B & Rakim – Paid In Full 

63. Tears for Fears – Songs From The Big Chair

62. Tina Turner – Private Dancer 

61. Steve Nicks – Bella Donna

60. U2 – The Joshua Tree

59. Bon Jovi – New Jersey 

58. Huey Lewis and the News – Fore!

57. Janet Jackson – Rhythm Nation 1814

56. Prince – 1999

55. ZZ Top – Eliminator 

54. Survivor – Vital Signs

53. New Edition – New Edition 

52. Dirty Dancing – Movie Soundtrack

51. Foreigner – 4

50. Public Enemy – It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back

49. Lionel Richie – Lionel Richie 

48. Men at Work – Business As Usual

47. Run DMC – Run DMC

46. Richard Marx – Richard Marx

45. Paula Abdul – Forever Your Girl 

44. Rocky IV – Movie Soundtrack 

43. Tom Petty – Full Moon River 

42. Whitney Houston – Whitney 

41, REO Speedwagon – Hi Infidelity 

40. Christopher Cross – Christopher Cross

39. Culture Club – Colour By Numbers 

38. Chicago – Chicago 17

37. Bryan Adams – Reckless

36. Bon Jovi – Slippery When Wet

35. Heart – Heart 

34. Def Leppard – Pyromania 

33. Toto -Toto IV