If You Asked Me To

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"If You Asked Me To"
Single by Patti LaBelle
from the album Be Yourself & Licence to Kill
Released June 12, 1989 (1989-06-12)
Format CD single, cassette single, 7" vinyl single
Recorded 1989
Genre Soft rock, adult contemporary, soul
Length 3:58
Label MCA
Writer(s) Diane Warren
Producer(s) Stewart Levine, Aaron Zigman
Patti LaBelle singles chronology
"Kiss Away the Pain"
(1986)
"If You Asked Me To"
(1989)
"Yo Mister"
(1989)
Music video
"If You Asked Me To" on YouTube

"If You Asked Me To" is a song written and originally released as the lead single for Patti LaBelle's seventh solo studio album, entitled Be Yourself, and for the James Bond 007 motion picture Licence to Kill soundtrack. The song is a ballad written by critically acclaimed songwriter Diane Warren. The lyrics are from the point of view of a woman who pleads to her significant other:

"If you asked me to
I just might change my mind
And let you in my life forever."

Patti LaBelle (James Bond) version[edit]

"If You Asked Me To" was first featured on the soundtrack of the 1989 James Bond movie, Licence to Kill. LaBelle's version peaked at number 79 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, at number 10 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs,[1] and at number 11 on the Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks.

The music video was filmed shortly after Jacqueline "Jackie" Padgett died of lung cancer at age 43, and just one day after her funeral. (She was the third of Patti LaBelle's sisters to die; all three of Patti's sisters died before age 44.) As such, the context of the song changed dramatically, as a mourning LaBelle, dressed in black, sings the song in a church (with candles and mourning lilies), intercut with shots of her in tears.

Despite being a Top 10 hit on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts,[2] the song did not crossover to the pop charts until Céline Dion covered it three years later. Regarding the subject, LaBelle once explained during an interview used for the liner notes of her 1999 Greatest Hits album what she believed to be the reason for this fact: "I knew the song was a hit when I recorded it, and I was happy that Celine did it and did so well with it. But the arrangements are so close and we both have pretty powerful voices...so who knows why my version didn't take off. Maybe it was timing..."[3]

Céline Dion version[edit]

"If You Asked Me To"
Single by Céline Dion
from the album Celine Dion
B-side "Love You Blind"
Released April 6, 1992 (1992-04-06)
Format CD single, cassette single, vinyl single
Recorded 1991—1992 Criterion Studios, Village Recorders, Music Grinder, Oceanway Studios
Genre Soft rock
Length 3:56
Label Columbia, Epic
Writer(s) Diane Warren
Producer(s) Guy Roche
Céline Dion singles chronology
"Je danse dans ma tête"
(1992)
"If You Asked Me To"
(1992)
"Nothing Broken But My Heart"
(1992)
Music video
"If You Asked Me To" on YouTube

Céline Dion covered "If You Asked Me To" and released it as the second single from her eponymous album. It was produced by Guy Roche and was released on April 6, 1992 in the United States, and later the same year in the rest of the world.[4]

The single's non-album B-side was "Love You Blind", written by Jay Oliver and Sheryl Crow and produced by Walter Afanasieff.

The music video for the song was directed by Dominic Orlando and filmed in Chatsworth and Hollywood, Los Angeles. It was released in April 1992 and included later on Dion's 2001 DVD video collection All the Way… A Decade of Song & Video.

The song was a hit in the United States and Canada. "If You Asked Me To" reached number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 (number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay and number 11 on the Hot 100 Singles Sales) and did even better on the Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart, spending three weeks at number 1. Also in Canada, it reached number 1. The single had moderate success elsewhere. "If You Asked Me To" was released twice in the United Kingdom: first, in June 1992, when it peaked at number 60, and the second time in December 1992, when it reached number 57. According to Nielsen SoundScan, the single has sold 415,000 copies in the U.S.

In 1993, "If You Asked Me To" won an ASCAP Pop Award for most performed song in the United States.[5] It was also nominated for the Billboard Music Award for Hot Adult Contemporary Single of the Year and Juno Award for Single of the Year (the latter was won by Dion's "Beauty and the Beast").[6]

"If You Asked Me To" was included on the North American versions of Dion's greatest hits All the Way… A Decade of Song in 1999 and My Love: Essential Collection in 2008.

Critical reception[edit]

AllMusic senior editor Stephen Thomas Erlewine picked it as one of standout songs together with "Beauty and the Beast" and "Introduction/Love Can Move Mountains."[7]

Formats and track listings[edit]

U.S. CD single

  1. "If You Asked Me To" – 3:55
  2. "Where Does My Heart Beat Now" – 4:33

Worldwide CD single

  1. "If You Asked Me To" – 3:55
  2. "Love You Blind" – 4:35

Australian/European CD maxi single

  1. "If You Asked Me To" – 3:55
  2. "Love You Blind" – 4:35
  3. "Halfway to Heaven" – 5:05

UK CD maxi single

  1. "If You Asked Me To" – 3:55
  2. "Where Does My Heart Beat Now" – 4:33
  3. "Love You Blind" – 4:35

Charts[edit]

Other cover versions[edit]

In 2006, Filipino band MYMP covered this song for their live album MYMP Live at the Music Museum and released it as single. In 2012, Filipino singers Erik Santos and Angeline Quinto recorded their version of the song for the film Unofficially Yours.[19]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 337. 
  2. ^ Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs
  3. ^ Patti LaBelle Biography
  4. ^ Glatzer, Jenna (2005). Céline Dion: For Keeps. Andrews McMeel Publishing. ISBN 0-7407-5559-5. 
  5. ^ "ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards: 1993". IMDb. Retrieved 15 February 2014. 
  6. ^ "Awards: Artist Summary". CARAS. Retrieved 8 January 2014. 
  7. ^ Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
  8. ^ Australian Singles Chart
  9. ^ a b Lwin, Nanda (1999). Top 40 Hits: The Essential Chart Guide. Music Data Canada. ISBN 1-896594-13-1. 
  10. ^ Top Singles - Volume 55, No. 23, June 06 1992. Retrieved May 16, 2010.
  11. ^ Adult Contemporary - Volume 55, No. 26, June 27 1992. Retrieved May 16, 2010.
  12. ^ Dutch Singles Chart
  13. ^ New Zealand Singles Chart
  14. ^ UK Singles Chart
  15. ^ Billboard Hot 100
  16. ^ Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks
  17. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1992". Retrieved 2010-07-30. 
  18. ^ "Charts Search". Retrieved 2009-09-15. 
  19. ^ "If You Asked Me To" music video UnOfficially Yours Theme Song on YouTube via Star Cinema's YouTube
Preceded by
"Hold on My Heart" by Genesis
Billboard Adult Contemporary number-one single (Celine Dion version)
June 20 - July 4, 1992
Succeeded by
"I'll Be There" by Mariah Carey