It’s about the heartbreaking of Adele from her first relationship as well as most of the songs on album 21. ‘Set Fire to the Rain’ came to Adele in the middle of the night when she got up for a wee! (Q magazine) She also told The Sun magazine: “Well, it’s a bit like Chasing Pavements, you can’t do it. I was playing on my mind while I was trying to light a fag (cigarette in British) in the rain outside a restaurant.”
In an interview with MTV News Adele said: “It broke my heart when I wrote this record, so the fact that people are taking it to their hearts is like the best way to recover. ‘Cause I’m still not fully recovered. It’s going to take me 10 years to recover, I think, from the way I feel about my last relationship. It was the biggest deal in my entire life to date. He made me totally hungry. He was older, he was successful in his own right, whereas my boyfriends before were my age and not really doing much. And he got me interested in film and literature and food and wine and traveling and politics and history, and those were things I was never, ever interested in. I was interested in going clubbing and getting drunk.”
The song “Rumour Has It” was supposed to be released as the third single from the album and serviced to pop and adult contemporary radio, but the song was scrapped and “Set Fire to the Rain” was released as the third single. In an interview with Billboard magazine Pete Cosenza, a spokesperson for Columbia, Pete Cosenza said: “Our research found more programmer preference for ‘Set Fire to the Rain’. Both ‘Rumour’ and ‘Fire’ came back strong, but ‘Fire’ was a bit stronger. It’s a better plan to go with ‘Fire’ over ‘Rumour’ at pop and adult radio. Everyone, from radio to the buying public, seems to be on board.”
Release Date: July 4, 2011
Songwriter/s: Adele Adkins – Fraser T Smith
Label: XL – Columbia
Chart Rankings: In the UK, the song peaked at number 11 on the Official Charts Company and was certified Platinum by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) for sales over 600,000 copies. In the US, it topped the Billboard Hot 100, Adult Top 40, Adult Contemporary and the Mainstream top 40 charts. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified it Quadruple Platinum for sales over 4.5 million copies. The song has topped the charts in several countries including Belgium, Brazil, Poland, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It reached the top 10 of Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa and Switzerland. ‘Set Fire to the Rain’ was certified 5 times Platinum in Canada, Quadruple Platinum in Mexico, Triple Platinum in Australia and Italy, and Platinum in all of Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Germany, New Zealand and Switzerland.
Artist’s age on Release Date: Adele Laurie Blue Adkins was 23 years old when she released this song.
Cover Versions: Ruthie Foster – Aretha Franklin – Danielle Bradbery – Jordan Smith – Zhavia & James Charles – Boyce Avenue – Valeria Simulik – Our Walking – Zyrah Rose (Britain’s Got Talent) – Ember Waves – Andrew Muccitelli – Christina Grimmie – RUNAGROUND – MASHA – Jordan Smith (The Voice 2015) – Sara Miemietz – Jason Chen – Tyler Ward – Sungha Jung – Sarah Gernimo – Shila Amzah – Jannine Weigel – Lindsey Hager – Other Youtubers covered this song.