If I Was

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"If I Was"
Single by Midge Ure
from the album The Gift
B-side "Piano"
"The Man Who Sold the World"
Released 13 September 1985[1]
Format 7" vinyl, 12" vinyl
Recorded July 1985
Genre Synthpop, new wave
Length 4:46 (single version)
5:20 (album version)
6:45 (extended mix)
Label Chrysalis
Writer(s) Danny Mitchell, Midge Ure
Producer(s) Midge Ure
Midge Ure singles chronology
"After a Fashion" (with Mick Karn)
"If I Was"
"That Certain Smile"

"If I Was" is a popular song written by Midge Ure and Danny Mitchell. It reached #1 on the UK singles chart for a single week in October 1985.[2] This was Ure's third number one, coming after his success with Slik in 1976 ("Forever and Ever")[3] and Band Aid in 1984 ("Do They Know It's Christmas?").[4] The song features Mark King of Level 42 on bass guitar.[citation needed]

In the sleeve notes for the 2001 compilation If I Was: The Very Best of Midge Ure & Ultravox Ure wrote:

"This song is pure Danny Mitchell. I found a demo of it on a cassette Danny had sent me for his band The Messengers. I grabbed it with both hands, messed around with it, sprinkled it with fairy dust and the rest is history."

Music video[edit]

The music video featured Ure's face patterns on a Pin Art pinscreen.


The instrumental "Piano" was released on the B-side of the 7" and 12" singles. The 12" single featured a second track: a cover of David Bowie's "The Man Who Sold the World", originally released on the film soundtrack of Party Party (1983).[5] Both songs were added as bonus tracks to the CD reissue of The Gift in 1996.[6]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1985/1986) Peak
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[2] 1
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[7] 6
Ireland (IRMA)[8] 1
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[9] 16
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[10] 8
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[11] 16
Preceded by
"Dancing in the Street" by David Bowie and Mick Jagger[12]
UK number one single
5 October 1985[2]
Succeeded by
"The Power of Love" by Jennifer Rush[13][14]
Preceded by
"Part-Time Lover" by Stevie Wonder[14]
Irish IRMA number-one single
6 October 1985


  1. ^ "Midge Ure - If I Was (12")". Discogs. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  2. ^ a b c "Midge Ure" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  3. ^ "Chart Stats - Slik - Forever And Ever". Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  4. ^ "Chart Stats - Band Aid - Do They Know It's Christmas?". Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  5. ^ "Party Party (1983) - Soundtracks". IMDb. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  6. ^ "Midge Ure - The Gift (CD, Album, RM, RE)". Discogs. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  7. ^ "Midge Ure – If I Was – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  8. ^ "irishcharts.ie search results for Midge Ure". Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  9. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 46, 1985" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  10. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Midge Ure – If I Was". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  11. ^ "Midge Ure – If I Was – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  12. ^ "Chart Stats - Singles Chart For 28/09/1985". Archived from the original on 2012-07-24. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  13. ^ "Chart Stats - Singles Chart For 12/10/1985". Archived from the original on 2012-07-30. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  14. ^ a b "The Irish Charts - Birthday no 1's search page". Retrieved 2010-06-28. 

External links[edit]