If You Don't Know Me by Now

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"If You Don't Know Me by Now"
Single by Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes
from the album Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes
B-side "Let Me Into Your World"
Released September 1972
Format 7" 45 RPM
Genre R&B, soul
Length 3:27
Label Philadelphia International Records
Writer(s) Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff
Producer(s) Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff
"If You Don't Know Me by Now"
Single by Simply Red
from the album A New Flame
Released March 27, 1989
Format 7" single, 12-inch single, CD single
Genre Blue-eyed soul, jazz
Length 3:24
Label Elektra
Writer(s) Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff
Producer(s) Stewart Levine
A New Flame track listing
"She'll Have to Go"
(8)
"If You Don't Know Me by Now"
(9)
"Enough"
(10)

"If You Don't Know Me by Now" is a song written by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff and recorded by the Philly soul musical group Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, which became their first hit after being released as a single in 1972 topping the US R&B chart and peaking at number three on the US Pop chart.[1]

The song was originally written for Labelle (a trio led by Patti LaBelle) but they never recorded it. Much like the issue with "I Miss You" and The Dells passing on it, the song's composers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff gave the song to Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, which featured Teddy Pendergrass as lead vocalist. In addition to the single release, the song was included on their eponymous debut album.

Patti LaBelle later made the song as part of her concert repertoire in 1982. A live version appears on her 1985 album, Patti.

It was later covered by the English pop/soul band Simply Red, also becoming their best-known hit after reaching number one on the U.S. Hot 100 on July 15, 1989 and at number thirty-eight on the Hot Black Singles chart.[2] It peaked at number two in the UK Singles Chart. It also topped the Canadian Singles Chart. Seal recorded the song for his 2008 album Soul, and, in April 2009, it became his first top-ten Adult Contemporary hit since "Love's Divine" in 2004;[3] the song was subsequently nominated for the Best Male Pop Vocal Performance Grammy.

Rod Stewart also included this song on his 2009 album Soulbook.

The song was chosen as one of the Songs of the Century by the RIAA. It was featured at the end of Michael Apted's movie Class Action.

Simply Red version[edit]

This version of the song appears on the game Karaoke Revolution Presents:American Idol. It is also available to download for the Xbox 360 game Lips and contains the music video. This version won Grammy Awards for the Best R&B Song in 1989.

Track listings[edit]

7" single
  1. "If You Don't Know Me by Now" – 3:23
  2. "Move on Out" (recorded Live Manchester on February 22, 1989) – 5:18
12" single
  1. "If You Don't Know Me by Now" – 3:23
  2. "Move on Out" (recorded live Manchester on February 22, 1989) – 5:18
  3. "Shine" (recorded live Manchester on February 22, 1989) – 3:30
3" CD single
  1. "If You Don't Know Me by Now" – 3:23
  2. "Move on Out" (recorded live Manchester on February 22, 1989) – 5:18
  3. "Shine" (recorded live Manchester on February 22, 1989) – 3:30
  4. "Sugar Daddy" – 3:30

Charts[edit]

Chart (1989)[4][5][6][7][8][9] Peak
position
Australian Singles Chart 1
Austrian Singles Chart 12
Canadian Singles Chart 1
French Singles Chart 11
German Singles Chart 19
Irish Singles Chart 4
Italian Singles Chart 16
New Zealand Singles Chart 1
Norwegian Singles Chart 2
Swedish Singles Chart 2
UK Singles Chart 2
US Billboard Hot 100 1
US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs 38
US Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks 1

Other cover versions[edit]

A cover by American country music artist Joe Stampley peaked at number 59 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart in 1989.[10]

British actor/comedian Ricky Gervais covered the song as his character David Brent. A music video was produced and released with the BBC's The Office DVD set.

American Idol contestant LaToya London additionally covered the song in the season compilation album American Idol Season 3: Greatest Soul Classics. In 2004, saxophonist Gerald Albright covered the song for the album Kickin' It Up.[11][12]

R&B singer Ciara interpolated the chorus of the song for her 2009 single, "Never Ever", featuring Young Jeezy. The single is from her third album Fantasy Ride.

The Voice of Holland contestant Ben Saunders covered this song for the 2010-2011 competition. His recorded version went straight to number one in the Netherlands.

American Idol season 10 contestant Stefano Langone interpreted a cover on an episode in which contestants were required to sing songs from the year they were born. Langone was born in 1989.

Hong Kong Canto-pop artist, Sandy Lam released her cover on "The Story of Sandy Lam So Far" in 2002.

Country music artist, Martina McBride released a cover version on her studio album Everlasting in 2014.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 393. 
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 528. 
  3. ^ Chart Beat, Billboard.com, April 15, 2009.
  4. ^ "Good Thing", in various Singles Chart Lescharts.com (Retrieved April 7, 2008)
  5. ^ German Singles Chart Charts-surfer.de (Retrieved April 7, 2008)
  6. ^ Irish Single Chart Irishcharts.ie (Retrieved April 7, 2008)
  7. ^ Italian Single Chart Hit parade Italia (Retrieved May 31, 2008)
  8. ^ UK Singles Chart Chartstats.com (Retrieved April 7, 2008)
  9. ^ Billboard Billboard.com (Retrieved April 7, 2008)
  10. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2013). Hot Country Songs 1944–2012. Record Research, Inc. p. 319. ISBN 978-0-89820-203-8. 
  11. ^ "Kickin' It Up overview". Allmusic.com. 
  12. ^ "Gerald Albright Biography". VerveMusicGroup.com. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"I'll Be Around" by The Spinners
Billboard Best Selling Soul Singles number-one single (Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes version)
November 18–25, 1972
Succeeded by
"You Ought to Be With Me" by Al Green
Preceded by
"Everlasting Love" by Howard Jones
Billboard Adult Contemporary (chart) number-one single (Simply Red version)
June 24, 1989 (6 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Right Here Waiting" by Richard Marx
Preceded by
"Good Thing" by Fine Young Cannibals
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single (Simply Red version)
July 15, 1989
Succeeded by
"Toy Soldiers" by Martika