If (Bread song)

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"If"
Single by Bread
from the album Manna
Released 27 March 1971
Genre Folk rock, soft rock
Length 2:36
Label Elektra
Writer(s) David Gates
Producer(s) Bread
Bread singles chronology
"Let Your Love Go"
(1971)
"If"
(1971)
"Mother Freedom"
(1971)

"If" is a 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.[1]

In the U.S., Bread's version was the shortest song title to become a top ten hit until 1993, when Prince hit No. 7 with "7", later matched by Britney Spears' No. 1 hit "3" in 2009.

"If" has been a perennial favorite at weddings (for example, as a first-dance song) ever since it was released.[2]

Cover versions[edit]

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,[3] and has the shortest title of any song to reach number one in the UK.[4] A parody version of the Savalas version, recorded by voiceover artists Chris Sanford and Bill Mitchell performing as Yin and Yan,[5] reached number 25 in the UK.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 39. 
  2. ^ "First Dance Songs for Weddings". Weddings.about.com. Retrieved 2014-03-27. 
  3. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 311. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  4. ^ Rice, Jo (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. p. 166. ISBN 0-85112-250-7. 
  5. ^ "About | Chris Sandford - Actor. Presenter. Angler. Writer. Flytyer". Chris Sandford. Retrieved 2014-03-27. 
  6. ^ "Yin And Yan - If (Vinyl) at Discogs". Discogs.com. 2009-08-18. Retrieved 2014-03-27. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"(Where Do I Begin?) Love Story" by Andy Williams
Billboard Easy Listening number-one single (Bread version)
April 24, 1971 (3 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Me and You and a Dog Named Boo" by Lobo
Preceded by
"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)
Succeeded by
"Bye Bye Baby" by Bay City Rollers