Can't Stand Losing You

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"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")
Recorded 1978
Length 2:58
Label A&MAMS 7381
and AMPP 6001 L in Blue vinyl
Writer(s) Sting
Producer(s) The Police
Certification Silver (BPI)[4]
The Police singles chronology
"Can't Stand Losing You"
"So Lonely"
Alternative cover

"Can't Stand Losing You" is a song by rock band The Police, first released as a single and on their album Outlandos d'Amour, both in 1978.


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 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]

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.

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".


Year Artist Album
1999 Novastar The Best Is Yet to Come
2004 Feeder Picture of Perfect Youth
2013 Rx Bandits Covers

In 2007, Mika and Armand Van Helden collaborated on a cover version of the song for the Radio 1 Established 1967 CD, which was issued to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of BBC Radio One.

"Can't Stand Losing You" has appeared as downloadable content in the music video game series Rock Band as in a 3-song pack along with The Police's other songs "Synchronicity II" and "Roxanne".

Chart performance[edit]



"Dead End Job", the B-side of "Can't Stand Losing You", is based on a riff Copeland wrote in high school.[17] The song is composed in a punk rock format, and contains many expletives.[citation needed] 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.


  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 9 (2): 89. February 2001. ISSN 1070-4701. 
  4. ^ "Certified Awards". BPI. Retrieved 27 May 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 "Police" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  7. ^ a b "Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  8. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – CHART POSITIONS PRE 1989". Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  9. ^ " – The Police – Can't Stand Losing You" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  10. ^ (Dutch) "Can't Stand Losing You – THE POLICE". Top 30. Retrieved 7 January 2014. "Hoogste notering in de top 30 : 12" 
  11. ^ "The Irish Charts – All there is to know". Retrieved 25 June 2013. 
  12. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – The Police - Can't Stand Losing You search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  13. ^ " – The Police – Can't Stand Losing You" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  14. ^ " – The Police – Can't Stand Losing You". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  15. ^ (Dutch) "Single Top 100 over 1979" (PDF). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  16. ^ (Dutch) "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1979". Single Top 100. Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  17. ^ Sutcliffe, Phil (1993). "The B-sides and Other Obscure Releases". In Message in a Box: The Complete Recordings (pp. 57-59) [Boxed set booklet]. A&M Records Ltd.