Saturday, March 31, 2018

"If You Love Somebody Set Them Free" by Sting

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  2359
Date:  06/08/1985
Debut:  44
Peak:  3
Weeks:  18
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  Following the tour that supported their mega-hit album Synchronicity, The Police decided to take a break with the three band mates heading out to do their own project. Lead singer/songwriter Sting decided he wanted to launch a solo career. Instead of trotting out the same style of rock that The Police had done, Sting brought in a set of jazz-oriented musicians to help create various sounds, styles, and textures for The Dream of the Blue Turtles. This first single got things started and it was an immediate hit at Rock getting to #1. It got near that peak at Pop hitting the Top 3 while also getting to #10 Dance, #17 R&B, and #39 AC. The hit would help the album get to #2 and it would eventually be a triple-platinum seller.

ReduxReview:  Even though I had read ahead of time that Sting's solo album was going to incorporate different styles of music including jazz, I was still a bit jarred when I first heard this single. I just wasn't sure what to make of it. The song seemed to lean more towards R&B than jazz, yet it still had a bit of a pop/rock edge. It certainly wasn't the new wave rock of The Police (although the bridge certainly had a Police-ish feel). It took me a while to warm up to the song but it eventually won me over. The album was a mish-mash of ideas and styles and while it was interesting with some terrific stand-along songs, I didn't think it was a real cohesive work. He would release better albums later.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Not only was the album a hit with record buyers, it was also quite popular with the Grammy folks. It would generate four nominations including ones for Album of the Year, Best Pop Male Vocal, Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, and Best Engineered Recording. Although he would not win any of those awards, in the coming years he would end up winning nine Grammys for his post-Police work.


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