If (Bread song)
|Song by Bread from the album Manna|
"If" is a pop-rock song written by American singer-songwriter David Gates in 1971. Originally popularized by his group Bread, the song charted at number four on the Billboard Hot 100 when released as a single in 1971. The song also spent three weeks at number one on the Easy Listening chart.
It has been covered by other singers and musicians, including Petula Clark, Sergio Franchi, Cleo Laine, Perry Como, Frank Sinatra, Tom Jones, Jack Jones, Shirley Bassey, Herbie Mann, Julio Iglesias, Joe Pass, Ryoko Moriyama, Westlife, Olivia Newton-John, Dolly Parton, Scott Walker, Andy Williams, Frankmusik, and Damien Leith.
Telly Savalas recorded a mostly-spoken version which reached number one on the UK Singles Chart for two weeks in March 1975 and has the shortest title of any song to reach number one in the UK. A parody version of the Savalas version, recorded by voiceover artists Chris Sanford and Bill Mitchell performing as Yin and Yan, reached number 25 in the UK.
"If" has been a perennial favorite at weddings (for example, as a first-dance song) ever since it was released.
This song is often of interest to guitarists because of the unique tremolo/wah-wah effect on the electric guitar in the intro. One San Diego, California radio station in the early 1970s reported that the effect took months to produce. However, Bread used that effect live when playing the song in their concerts.
- Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 39.
- Weddings: First Dance Songs, About.com.
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|Billboard Easy Listening number-one single (Bread version)
April 24, 1971 (3 weeks)
"Me and You and a Dog Named Boo" by Lobo
"Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)" by Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel
|UK number-one single (Telly Savalas version)
March 8, 1975 (2 weeks)
"Bye Bye Baby" by Bay City Rollers
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