If You Love Somebody Set Them Free (4:57)

Cover of The Very Best of Sting and The Police

From The Very Best of Sting and The Police and 31 other releases

“If You Love Somebody Set Them Free” is the first single released from Sting’s solo debut album The Dream of the Blue Turtles. It is also the opening track of the album, and is featured on Fields of Gold: The Best of Sting 1984-1994 as well as The Very Best of Sting & The Police. The song’s title refers to an aphorism by Richard Bach.

Like much of the album, the song has heavy jazz influences, and was a major hit, peaking at number three on the US Billboard Hot 100, number one on the US Album Rock Tracks chart for three weeks, number 17 on the US R&B chart, and number 26 on the UK Singles Chart.

Live performances of the song are featured on the DVD edition of Bring On the Night and on the CD and DVD editions of …All This Time.

A portion of the song was later used for Sting’s 1987 hit “We’ll Be Together” from …Nothing Like the Sun.

The song was also performed at The Brits in February 1995 with M People. He duetted on the song with the band’s lead singer, Heather Small and this track was given the dance treatment by the band who were also backed by a 100-strong Gospel Choir at the Earls Court Arena during the annual music awards show.

Sting said that he wrote the song as an “antidote” to the Police’s 1983 song “Every Breath You Take.” The song was also lampooned by the Dead Milkmen in the song “If You Love Somebody, Set Them on Fire,” from their 1990 album Metaphysical Graffiti.


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