Singles

STING: Mad About You, 12''


Album Details:

TYPE: Singles
LABEL: A&M
RELEASE DATE: 01 February 1991
RELEASE COUNTRY: UNITED KINGDOM
Track List
  1. Mad About You (Remix) Lyrics
  2. Tempted (Live) Lyrics
  3. If You Love Somebody Set Them Free (Live) Lyrics

Soundbites

Sumner's Tales: Sting talks...

"It's inspired by the story of King David and Bathsheba. These stories of murder and obsessive, jealous love appeal to me for some reason. Yes, those lines "There are no victories / In all our histories / Without love" have the quintessential Sting idea that romantic love outweighs global issues. I really believe that. Love is continuity of the species, it's the most important thing. That's why love songs are immortal. A political song will be dated within a year. It took me a long time to learn that."
Independent On Sunday, 11/94

"It deals in lust, power and jealousy - kind of a fascinating series."
Creem, 2/91

"I think it really began for me with the string rhythm against the beat. It runs like an ostinato; that's what I started with, and to that we put the bass line. Once I'd got that I needed to do something to sound Eastern Mediterranean becuase the subject of the song was from that area, around Palestine or whatever. Dominic actually played on the bazouki on the record - we don't carry the bazouki on tour with us, we aren't insured for it. But I wanted to give that a feel of Eastern Mediterranean. The inspiration for the song was the story of King David who at the height of his political power fell in love with someone else's wife. This man was a soldier, so he manufactured some war and sent the soldier off to fight in the front line. He of course died, and he then made love to the wife and regretted it for the rest of his life. He was very sorry, but only in the Bible can you get stories of such lust and power and greed, and I find that very inspring in that sense."
Timothy White Radio Session, 1991

"'Mad About You', for instance, has an eastern-Mediterranean flavour linked with a classical tonality - different styles that seemed to gel."
Bass Player, 4/92

About 'Tempted'...
"One of my favourite songs that I never wrote was 'Tempted' and I did actually cover it. It's a great song, and Chris Difford and Glen Tilbrook are great songwriters, Squeeze were always a great band, and it was nice to cover it."
iTunes, '04

About 'If You Love Somebody Set Them Free'...
"I needed to write an antidote to 'Every Breath You Take'. I don't think the idea of loving somebody and setting them free is particularly original, yet it's about love relationships in a larger arena than the property market of owning something, surrounding it with protection so you can control it, which is basically what most relationships are about. "I'm not sure if I'm brave enough to actually believe it, loving someone and setting them free. But singing it helps in a way, if you say something long enough..."
New Musical Express, 6/85

About 'If You Love Somebody Set Them Free'...
"This was the first single I did on my own away from the Police. I'm not sure if the phrase is mine. I probably read it somewhere. But it's the first time it's been used in a song, I think. And it's true, you can't imprison someone in a relationship. It's an antidote song to 'Every Breath You Take'. One song is about constricting, possessive love, and one is about being free. I suppose the truth is somewhere in the middle. It has a Motown sort of vibe, and my attempt at soulful singing. I had a great band at the time: Kenny Kirkland (keyboards), Branford Marsalis (saxophone), Darryl Jones (bass). Yes, Darryl's in the Rolling Stones now. He's one of my alumni I'm most proud of."
Independent On Sunday, 11/94

About 'If You Love Somebody Set Them Free'...
"'If You Love Somebody Set Them Free' was written as an antidote to the song 'Every Breath You Take'. 'Every Breath You Take' was about obsessive surveillance of a loved one to the point of paranoia. I wanted to write a song that was the opposite. But both songs are kind of ambiguous because 'Every Breath You Take' has a kind of seductive and romantic side to it which a lot of people responded to. A lot of people think its their song. I don't know what kind of relationships they have but to me it's a very dark song. And some other people would find 'If You Love Somebody Set Them Free' quite sinister. But I enjoy that. It's whatever you make of it."
'All This Time' CD-ROM, '95

About 'If You Love Somebody Set Them Free'...
"I think the highest tribute you can pay another person is to say, 'I don't own you - you're free.' If you try to possess someone in the obvious way, you can never have them in the way that really counts. There are too many prisons in the world already; we don't need a prison in every home. It's not just a clever, thought; it's a genuine feeling. I've lost the emotion of jealousy, I really have. Some people may see that as being cold... In relationships I feel very susceptible to entrapment. I see the bars go up and I try and escape, usually in the most violent and vicious way. I've destroyed one person totally; I've left people in a bloody pulp as I've felt the bars go up. If anything, 'Set Them Free' is a kind of warning. I'm not really into the idea of permanent relationships. I find that phoney, shallow and unrealistic in many ways. That's not to say the relationships I have are in any way inferior. I think they're more intense because of that belief."
Musician, 7/85

About 'If You Love Somebody Set Them Free'...
"There is a nasty side to it too. It's got quite a swagger to it, and a kick in the teeth. But most of my seductive, pleasant, blander songs have a kick in the teeth in them somewhere, if you look. But it's a good kick in the teeth. A positive kick in the teeth! Character building!"
International Musician, '85

Backgrounder

'Mad About You' appeared on 1991's 'The Soul Cages' album, and despite being released as a single in the UK didn't trouble the top 50. A terrific song, which appears with regularity in Sting's set list to this day, and which also has two videos. One a typical 'promo' video and the other an on-stage 'live' video. There are some very interesting remixes of this track around such as the 'More Drums Mix', although they are hard to locate, including an excellent one done by Vinnie Colaitua and Dominic Miller. A really cool version also appears during the end titles of the 'Summoner's Travels' video. Appearing on all versions of the UK single was Sting's version of one of his favourite Squeeze songs 'Tempted'. The 12", and both jewel case and digipak versions of the CD single also featured a live version of 'If You Love Somebody Set Them Free'