Producers: Pete Smith and Sting
Recorded: Early 1985 at Blue Wave Studios, Barbados
Released: June 1985
Dolette McDonald, Janice Pendarvis–backing vocals
|Album:||The Dream Of The Blue Turtles (A&M, 1985)|
Sting‘s first solo single after the Police disbanded in 1984, “If You Love Somebody Set Them Free” reached Number Three on the Billboard Hot 100 and Number 26 on the U.K. pop chart.
The song marked the first time the public heard the new band Sting had assembled, which featured prominent jazz players including saxophonist Branford Marsalis, who played with Dizzy Gillespie and Art Blakey and was an established solo artist in his own right; drummer Omar Hakim, who had been in Weather Report; keyboardist Kenny Kirkland, whose credits included Gillespie, Wynton Marsalis, and Elvin Jones; and bassist Darryl Jones, who came from Miles Davis‘s band and would go on to replace Bill Wyman in the Rolling Stones.
Sting’s idea for the new band was to still play pop music but elevate it by infusing the players’ jazz sensibilities.
Jazz was not a foreign area to Sting–he had played in British jazz groups before the Police formed in the late ’70s.
The Blue Turtles project was not Sting’s first solo foray, nor his first hit. “Spread A Little Happiness,” a song he recorded for the film Brimstone & Treacle–in which he also acted–was a U.K. hit in the fall of 1982.
The Blue Turtles album reached Number Two on the Billboard 200 and Number Three on the U.K. chart.
At the same time, Sting was featured on new albums by both Phil Collins and Davis.