Can't Stand Losing You

"Can't Stand Losing You"
Single by The Police
from the album Outlandos d'Amour
B-side "Dead End Job"
Released 14 August 1978[1]

June 1979 (re-release)
Format Vinyl record (7")
Length 2:58
  • A&MAMS 7381
  • and AMPP 6001 L in Blue vinyl
Songwriter(s) Sting
Producer(s) The Police
The Police singles chronology

"Can't Stand Losing You"

"So Lonely"

Alternative cover
NL 7-inch cover
NL 7-inch cover

"Can't Stand Losing You" is a song by English rock band The Police, released from their debut album Outlandos d'Amour, both in 1978. The song also was released as the follow-up single to "Roxanne", reaching number 2 in the UK Singles Chart on a re-release in 1979. It was written by the band's lead singer and bassist Sting as a song about suicide.

The song also gained minor controversy for its single cover art, featuring Stewart Copeland hanging himself.

Background [ edit ]

"Can't Stand Losing You" features lyrics which, according to Sting, is "about a teenage suicide, which is always a bit of a joke." Sting also claimed that the lyrics took him only five minutes to write.[4]

The original single was banned by the BBC because of the controversial cover (an alternative cover was released in some places). As Sting described: "The reason they [the BBC] had a problem with "Can't Stand Losing You" was because the photo on the cover of the single had Stewart standing on a block of ice with a noose around his neck, waiting for the ice to melt."[5] Despite this, or perhaps because of the extra attention from the controversy, it became the group's first single to break the charts,[6] and has held a spot in their live sets ever since it was written. The photography on the controversial cover was by Peter Gravelle.

The original single capped at number 42 in late 1978,[6] but the June 1979 reissue nearly topped the UK Singles charts, held off only by "I Don't Like Mondays" by The Boomtown Rats.[7] "Can't Stand Losing You" also appeared on the UK singles charts in 1980, as part of the Six Pack singles compilation set. The package (consisting of six 7" vinyl singles) peaked at number 17 on the UK charts in June 1980. In 1995, a live version of the song was released as a single and reached number 27 in the charts.[6]

"Dead End Job", the B-side of "Can't Stand Losing You", is based on a riff Copeland wrote in high school.[8] Sting's lyrics mention being a teacher as a dead-end job, which was his job before joining The Police. The song was only available on vinyl until the release of 1993's Message in a Box.

The instrumental track "Reggatta de Blanc" from the album of the same name originated from an improvisational stage jam played during live performances of "Can't Stand Losing You". This instrumental track went on to win the Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance in 1981.

The Police performed the song on the BBC2 television show The Old Grey Whistle Test in 1978, which was their first performance on television. Sting wore a pair of oversized sunglasses as a result of a mishap with a can of hairspray during makeup, which required a trip to the hospital.[9]

Two music videos exist for the song. One features the group playing the song on a stage with Sting wearing huge glasses. Slow motion shots of the group live appear as well. The second features the group performing the song in front of a red backdrop. This was filmed on the same day as the red backdropped version of "Roxanne".

Composition [ edit ]

"Can't Stand Losing You" is musically similar to "Roxanne", with both songs bearing a reggae influence and a rock chorus. The song also makes use of the Echoplex. Sting sings lead vocals on the song, which he described as "up and down, strange, high-pitched singing."[4]

Personnel [ edit ]

Chart performance [ edit ]

Cover versions and appearances [ edit ]

References [ edit ]

  1. ^ Sutcliffe, Phil; Fielder, Hugh (1981). L'Historia Bandido. London and New York: Proteus Books. p. 58. ISBN 0-906071-66-6.
  2. ^ Prato, Greg. "The Police – Outlandos d'Amour". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  3. ^ "Dramarama : The 50 Most Scandalous Love Songs". Vibe. Vol. 9 no. 2. February 2001. p. 89. ISSN 1070-4701.
  4. ^ a b "THE POLICE: Can't Stand Losing You, 7". Archived from the original on 2 August 2018. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
  5. ^ Garbarini, Vic (Spring 2000). "I think if we came back..." Revolver. Rogier van der Gugten. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  6. ^ a b c d "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  7. ^ a b "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  8. ^ Sutcliffe, Phil (1993). "The B-sides and Other Obscure Releases". Message in a Box: The Complete Recordings (Boxed set booklet). A&M Records Ltd. pp. 57–59.
  9. ^ Nightingale, Anne (2003). The Old Grey Whistle Test (DVD). Warner Home Video.
  10. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – CHART POSITIONS PRE 1989". Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  11. ^ " – The Police – Can't Stand Losing You" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  12. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Can't Stand Losing You". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  13. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – The Police - Can't Stand Losing You" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  14. ^ " – The Police – Can't Stand Losing You" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  15. ^ " – The Police – Can't Stand Losing You". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  16. ^ "Top 100-Jaaroverzicht van 1979" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  17. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1979" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
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