If Ever I See You Again

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"If Ever I See You Again" is the title of a 1978 hit single by Roberta Flack.

The song was composed by Joe Brooks and served as title song for the eponymous 1978 film which Brooks directed and also starred in with Shelley Hack as his leading lady: male vocalist Jamie Carr sang the theme song on the film's soundtrack.

Brooks directorial debut You Light Up My Life had become successful largely on the strength of its title song which as recorded by Debby Boone had spent ten weeks at #1 on the Hot 100 in Billboard in 1977. With Brooks producing, Debby Boone had subsequently recorded the If Ever I See You Again title song plus four other songs heard in the film: "California", "Come Share My Love", "It Was Such a Good Day" and "When It's Over", at the Hollywood recording studio the Record Plant in January 1978, with the track "California" being issued as Boone's follow-up single to "You Light Up My Life" in February 1978 to reach #50 on the Hot 100.

With the mild success of "California" evincing the failure of Boone's hitmaking potential to extend further than "You Light Up My Life", Brooks arranged for veteran hitmaker Roberta Flack to record the If Ever I See You Again title song for single release. Flack would later describe "If Ever I See You Again" as "a song I couldn't stand" which the president of her label Atlantic Records insisted she record; Flack added: "I had a very clever lawyer who made a huge money deal for [my recording] that song".[1] Brooks produced Flack's version of "If Ever I See You Again" at A&R Studios (NYC) in a session which also yielded Flack's versions of "Come Share My Love" and "When It's Over". For Flack's single of "If Ever I See You Again", a track from her 1977 Blue Lights in the Basement album: "I'd Like To Be Baby To You", served as B-side.

Released as a single in April 1978 preparatory to the May 1978 opening of the film, Flack's version of the If Ever I See You Again theme was unable to buoy the fortunes of its parent film which was a massive flop. "If Ever I See You Again" did afford Flack a #1 hit on Billboard magazine's Easy Listening chart which it topped for three weeks in July 1978 but overall represented a drop in her popularity with a Billboard Hot 100 peak of #24 and R&B chart peak of #37.[2][3]

Debby Boone's version of the If Ever I See You Again title song, plus the four other songs from the film that she'd recorded, were included on her July 1978 album release Midstream. Roberta Flack's August 1978 self titled album release included her version of "If Ever I See You Again" plus the two other tracks cut with Joe Brooks at A&R Studios: "Come Share My Love" and "When It's Over", the two latter tracks being issued on a single in September 1978 with the A-side "When It's Over" reaching #82 on the R&B chart.

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  1. ^ Vibe Vol. 11 #1 (January 2003) p.40
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 207. 
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 93.