"It's Sad to Belong" was released in May 1977 through Big Tree Records, with the b-side "The Time Has Come". It became one of "a string of hit singles" that England Dan & John Ford Coley had in the mid-1970s.
The song topped the adult contemporary (then called "easy listening") chart for five consecutive weeks from June 25 to July 23. It also appeared on the top 40 "rack singles" list on June 7. On December 24, it ranked #3 on Billboard's end-of-the-year easy listening chart.
"It's Sad to Belong" is the second track on Dowdy Ferry Road. It is one of only two songs on the album not written by either singer.
The song has been called "bittersweet".Dale Van Atta of the Deseret News observed that it is "the universal divorce anthem - about the alleged monotony of monogamy" and that the duo "[reduces] it to a simple, peaceful chorus" (referring to the line, Yes, it's sad to belong to someone else when the right one comes along).
The song was covered by B. J. Thomas. It is still performed in concerts by the surviving member of the duo, John Ford Coley.