If You Leave

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For the Daughter album, see If You Leave (album). For the Eleanor McEvoy album, see If You Leave....
"If You Leave"
Single by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
from the album Pretty in Pink soundtrack
Released 28 April 1986
Format 7", 12"
Genre Synthpop, new wave
Length 4:30
Label Virgin Records (U.K.)
A&M Records (U.S.)
Producer(s) Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Tom Lord-Alge
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark singles chronology
"La Femme Accident"
(1985)
"If You Leave"
(1986)
"(Forever) Live and Die"
(1986)

"If You Leave" is a 1986 song by the British synthpop group Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD). It was recorded for the soundtrack to the film Pretty in Pink (1986) where it was played prominently during the final scene.

It is the band's highest-charting single in the United States, where it reached number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in May 1986. The song became an international hit, also reaching the Top 5 in Canada and New Zealand, and charting at number 15 in Australia. It failed to crack the Top 40 of the UK Singles Chart, peaking at number 48, but eventually gained popularity in the band's home country due to its inclusion on the multi-platinum selling The Best of OMD (1988) and the growing cult status of Pretty in Pink.[1]

Composition[edit]

The band wrote "If You Leave" after John Hughes decided to change the ending to Pretty in Pink after poor test audience reactions. Hughes had asked the band for a song for the new ending two days before they were due to begin a tour, and "If You Leave" was written and recorded in under 24 hours as a result.[2] The original ending featured another OMD song, "Goddess of Love", which was released on The Pacific Age later in 1986.[2]

Track listing[edit]

7": Virgin / VS 843 (UK)[edit]

  1. "If You Leave" - 4:30
  2. "88 Seconds in Greensboro" - 4:20

7": A&M / AM 8669 (US)[edit]

  1. "If You Leave" - 4:24
  2. "Secret" - 3:57

12": Virgin / VS 843-12 (UK)[edit]

  1. "If You Leave" (Extended Version) - 5:59
  2. "88 Seconds in Greensboro" - 4:20
  3. "Locomotion" (Live Version) - 3:50

12": A&M / SP-12176 (US)[edit]

  1. "If You Leave" (Extended Version) - 5:59
  2. "La Femme Accident" (Extended Version) - 5:36


Reception[edit]

Critic Mike DeGagne in Allmusic wrote: "Even though 'If You Leave' was the highlight of Pretty in Pink's soundtrack, its adult feel and smooth transition from stanza to chorus makes it their [OMD's] most memorable song".[3] Colleague Tom Schulte described the track as being – along with the previous year's "So in Love" – the "pinnacle" of the band's musical progression.[4] It has been included in various music magazine listings of the best pop songs of the late 20th century,[5][6][7] and pop culture references have appeared in US television shows like The O.C., Modern Family and Degrassi: The Next Generation, as well as the film Not Another Teen Movie (2001). Hugo Lindgren in The New York Times Magazine argued that the US popularity of the song – as well as that of the similarly pop-oriented Crush (1985) – "obscured OMD's legacy as musical innovators" in that country, however.[2]

In popular culture[edit]

The Canadian teen drama Degrassi: The Next Generation, which is known for naming each episode after 1980s hit songs, named an episode after this song. On Modern Family, "If You Leave" is Phil and Claire Dunphy's song, however Claire forgets this and thinks their song is "True" by Spandau Ballet.[8]

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1986) Peak
position
Australian Singles Chart 15
New Zealand Singles Chart 5
UK Singles Chart 48
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 4
U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks 24
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales 31

Other appearances[edit]

Cover versions[edit]

  • A cover version by Nada Surf was used on an episode of The O.C. It is played as a tribute to the John Hughes film Pretty in Pink where the original OMD version of the song appeared. It was released on Music from the OC: Mix 2.
  • It was also covered by Tom Racer on the compilation album Isn't She Still... the Pretty in Pink Soundtrack Revisited

References[edit]

  1. ^ Beale (2005)
  2. ^ a b c Lindgren, Hugo (10 May 2013). "The Plot Against Rock". The New York Times Magazine. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 20 October 2013. 
  3. ^ The Best of OMD at Allmusic.
  4. ^ The OMD Singles review. at Allmusic.
  5. ^ "The 1001 Greatest Songs to Download Right Now!". Blender. October 2003.
  6. ^ Top 500 Songs of the 80's-00's. Blender. 2005. Retrieved 23 October, 2012. Archived at Acclaimed Music.
  7. ^ Terich, Terrance. The Top 200 Songs of the 80's: Part One. Treble. 13 February, 2011. Retrieved 23 October, 2012.
  8. ^ "Modern Family "Great Expectations"". 
  9. ^ Matthew Solarski (19 November 2008). "My Brightest Diamond, Frightened Rabbit Do Covers". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2010-06-26.