Released today in 1983: Wrapped Around Your Finger

A&M AM127

A&M AM127

Creative marketing techniques were employed by A&M for the release of the fifth album by The Police, Synchronicity. The sleeve of lead single Every Breath You Take, released shortly before the LP, featured three paintbrush-effect horizontal stripes, each in a primary colour, and these were carried across to the artwork for the album cover. This featured groups of black and white images, each featuring a band member, with semi-transparent versions of the stripes superimposed over the top of them. Here’s where the creative element came in: multiple versions of the artwork were issued, with the order of the colours changed and different images used. In the US, the primary colours were replaced on some versions with stripes in bronze, silver and gold; on promotional copies of the LP the stripes were removed altogether, leaving only the black and white images, which were taken by the band members themselves.

The theme was continued on the packaging for the second single to be taken from the album, Wrapped Around Your Finger. Three versions of the 7” single sleeve were printed: the same black and white picture of the band was used on each (a colour shot from the same photo session was used on the 12”) but a primary colour wash was applied to the image giving purchasers a one in three chance of which colour they received. This statistical probability wasn’t true of the picture disc edition of the 7” single. Again, there were three different versions, each one featuring a different member of the band, but according to Record Collector magazine of the 12,000 pressed the vast majority featured Sting. A look at eBay today indicates this being the case. There are five copies of the Sting picture disc on offer, for ‘Buy It Now’ prices ranging from £6.29 to £17.95, but just two for the Stewart Copeland version (with quite a variation in price, either £20.69 or £32.95). If Andy Summers is your favourite, you can expect to pay around £40: presently, there’s two on sale on eBay, one for £41.40 and another, auction-only offering with a starting bid of £39.99. Apparently, just 1000 copies each of the Summers/Copeland editions were pressed, the other 10,000 featuring Sting. It was almost as if A&M wanted people to pick sides now, and The Police hadn’t even split yet.

NEW SINGLES on sale from Jul. 15
1983
The POLICE Wrapped Around Your Finger (A&M AM127)
1985
MADONNA Into The Groove (Sire W8934)

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One thought on “Released today in 1983: Wrapped Around Your Finger

  1. My brother’s first record he saved up for and went and bought, was a coloured 12″ single (pretty sure 12″) of this – in colour. It sadly got smashed at a party of mine – he was distraught. He was 13. I was a horrible sister.

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