If I Could Turn Back Time

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"If I Could Turn Back Time"
Standard artwork (U.S. vinyl single pictured)
Single by Cher
from the album Heart of Stone
B-side "Some Guys"
Released June 1, 1989
Recorded 1989
Genre Pop rock
Length 4:00
Label Geffen
Writer(s) Diane Warren
Producer(s) Diane Warren, Guy Roche
Cher singles chronology
"After All"
(1989)
"If I Could Turn Back Time"
(1989)
"Just Like Jesse James"
(1989)
Audio sample
file info · help

"If I Could Turn Back Time" is a song by American recording artist Cher. Written by Diane Warren and co-produced along with Guy Roche, the pop rock track was included on Cher's nineteenth album, Heart of Stone (1989). The song was released on June 1, 1989 as the second North American and first European single release from the album. The song also appears on the greatest hits compilations The Greatest Hits (1999) and The Very Best of Cher (2003). It was certified Gold by the RIAA for the sales of 500,000 copies.[1] In November 2011, Billboard reported the digital sales of "If I Could Turn Back Time" to be 394,000 in the US.[2]

Highly successful around the globe, "If I Could Turn Back Time" was seen as a major comeback for Cher in the late 1980s. It charted at number one in Australia and Norway, and reached number three in the United States and number six in the United Kingdom, respectively. It also became Cher's second consecutive solo number one hit on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart.[3] Gary Hill of Allmusic said that the song "has a crunchy texture to it, albeit in a poppy, '80s Starship sort of arrangement."[4]

Background[edit]

"If I Could Turn Back Time" was written by Diane Warren, who produced the song along with Guy Roche.[5] While the soft rock track was not specifically written for Cher, the singer initially disliked the song upon hearing a demo and turned it down. Speaking of its recording, Warren elaborated in 1991: "I got on my knees and pleaded. I told her I wasn't going to leave the room until she said yes, and finally, just to get rid of me, she did."[6] In 2014, she further added: "She really hated [it], but I held her leg down during a session and said, 'You have to record it!'." According to Warren, Cher reportedly responded: "'Fuck you, bitch! You're hurting my leg! OK, I'll try it.' She gave me this look like, 'You were right'."[7]

Music video[edit]

Cher on tour 1989 singing "If I Could Turn Back Time".

The music video for "If I Could Turn Back Time", directed by Marty Callner, takes place on board the battleship USS Missouri. It depicts Cher and her band performing a concert for the ship's crew. The video was filmed in Los Angeles on July 1, 1989, while the ship was stationed at the former Long Beach Naval Shipyard at Pier D. In the video, the band plays on the foredeck, and the ship is rigged with spotlights, light racks and strobes. Cher's son, Elijah Blue Allman, only twelve at the time, appears as one of the band's guitarists (he wears dark glasses and a Jimi Hendrix T-shirt).

Cher's outfit for the original video, a fishnet body stocking under a black one-piece bathing suit that left most of her buttocks exposed, proved very controversial, and many television networks refused to show the video. MTV first banned the video, and later played it only after 9 PM. A second version of the video was made, including new scenes and less overtly sexual content than the original. The outfit and sexual nature of the video were not expected by the US Navy when they had originally granted permission for filming. The USS Missouri liaison, Steve Honda, asked Callner to prevent Cher from wearing the outfit when he saw it on-set, but Callner refused. The Navy also received criticism for the video, and has since refused to allow any music videos to be filmed aboard its ships.[8]

In 2003, Cher released her Living Proof: Farewell Tour concert on DVD which included an official "If I Could Turn Back Time" remix video.

Personnel[edit]

  • Drums, Percussion: Mark T. Williams
  • Bass: John Pierce
  • Keyboards: Guy Roche, Alan Pasqua
  • Guitars: Steve Lukather, Glenn Sciurba, Gene Black
  • Backing vocals: Desmond Child, Michael Anthony, Robin Beck, Jean McClain, Jimmy Demers

Live performances[edit]

Cher performing "If I Could Turn Back Time" during the 2014 Dressed to Kill Tour.

Cher performed the song on the following concert tours:

Formats and track listings[edit]

In 2000, Cher released a promotional double-pack vinyl in the UK with 3 new remixes of "If I Could Turn Back Time", with vocal which was recorded during her "Do You Believe?" tour. The Almighty remix was used as the opening track for the "Living Proof: Farewell Tour" which also featured the intro to "Dark Lady" and elements of "A Different Kind of Love Song".[9]

If I Could Turn Back Time US Promo CD Single[10]

  1. If I Could Turn Back Time (Remix)
  2. If I Could Turn Back Time (Original Mix)
  3. If I Could Turn Back Time (Rock Mix)
  4. If I Could Turn Back Time (AC Mix)

If I Could Turn Back Time European CD Single[10]

  1. If I Could Turn Back Time (Rock Guitar Version)
  2. If I Could Turn Back Time
  3. I Found Someone

If I Could Turn Back Time Remix[10]

  1. Believe (Almighty Definitive Mix)
  2. If I Could Turn Back Time (Almighty Definitive Mix)
  3. If I Could Turn Back Time (TNT Vocal Mix)
  4. If I Could Turn Back Time (TNT Dub)
  5. One By One (Junior Vasquez Vocal Remix)

Official versions and remixes[edit]

  • Original Mix (3:59)
  • AC Mix (3:59)
  • Remix (3:59)
  • Rock Mix [aka Rock Guitar Version] (4:06)[11]
  • Almighty Definitive Remix (7:45)[12]
  • Almighty Radio Edit (4:29)[13]
  • TNT Vocal Mix (6:46)[9]
  • TNT Dub (6:47)

Charts and certifications[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "American single certifications – If I Could Turn Back Time". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  2. ^ "Ask Billboard: Cher Information, Yes?". Billboard. 2011-11-05. Retrieved 2012-03-11. 
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 54. 
  4. ^ Review by Allmusic Retrieved October 14, 2013
  5. ^ Heart of Stone (Media notes). Cher. Geffen Records. 1989. 
  6. ^ Sanz, Cynthia (1991-07-22). "They're Playing Her Song". People. Retrieved 2014-09-26. 
  7. ^ Ginsberg, Merle (2014-07-23). "Diane Warren Reveals Cher's Reaction to 'If I Could Turn Back Time': 'F--- You, Bitch!'". Billboard. Retrieved 2014-09-26. 
  8. ^ Marks, Craig; Tannenbaum, Rob (2011). I want my MTV the uncensored story of the music video revolution. New York: Dutton. ISBN 978-1-101-52641-5. 
  9. ^ a b "Cher - If I Could Turn Back Time / Believe / One By One". Discogs. 
  10. ^ a b c "If I Could Turn Back Time Single". 
  11. ^ "Cher - If I Could Turn Back Time". Discogs. 
  12. ^ "Cher - If I Could Turn Back Time (Almighty Mix)". Discogs. 
  13. ^ "Various - Almighty Remixes". Discogs. 
  14. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Cher – If I Could Turn Back Time". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  15. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Cher – If I Could Turn Back Time" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  16. ^ "Ultratop.be – Cher – If I Could Turn Back Time" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  17. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 6564." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  18. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 6561." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  19. ^ "Hits of the World" (PDF). Billboard. Retrieved November 2, 2015. 
  20. ^ "Hits of the World" (PDF). Billboard. Retrieved November 2, 2015. 
  21. ^ "Cher - Top Titel" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved November 2, 2015. 
  22. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – If I Could Turn Back Time". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  23. ^ a b "I singoli più venduti del 1989". Hit Parade Italia. Retrieved November 2, 2015. 
  24. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 42, 1989" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  25. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Cher – If I Could Turn Back Time" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  26. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Cher – If I Could Turn Back Time". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  27. ^ Fernando Salaverri (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  28. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Cher – If I Could Turn Back Time". Singles Top 100. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  29. ^ "Cher: Artist Chart History" Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  30. ^ "Cher – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Cher. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  31. ^ "Cher – Chart history" Billboard Adult Contemporary for Cher. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  32. ^ "ARIA Charts - End Of Year Charts - Top 50 Singles 1989". ARIA. Retrieved November 2, 2015. 
  33. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1989" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved November 2, 2015. 
  34. ^ "Top 100 Singles of '89". RPM. Retrieved November 2, 2015. 
  35. ^ "Single Top 100 Van 1989" (PDF) (in Dutch). Stichting Nederlandse Top 40. Retrieved November 2, 2015. 
  36. ^ "Jaaroverzichten - Single 1989" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved November 2, 2015. 
  37. ^ "End of Year Chart - Top 50 Singles of 1989". OCC. Retrieved November 2, 2015. 
  38. ^ a b "The Year in Music: 1999" (PDF). Billboard. Retrieved November 2, 2015. 
  39. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988-2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing. 
  40. ^ "American single certifications – Cher – If I Could Turn Back Time". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  41. ^ "American single certifications – Cher – Believe". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  42. ^ "Ask Billboard: Cher Information, Yes?". Billboard. 2011-11-05. Retrieved 2012-03-11. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"One" by Bee Gees
Billboard Adult Contemporary (chart) number-one single
September 30, 1989
Succeeded by
"Cherish" by Madonna
Preceded by
"Right Here Waiting" by Richard Marx
"Swing the Mood" by Jive Bunny and the Mastermixers
Australian ARIA Singles Chart number-one single
October 9, 1989
November 6, 1989 – December 25, 1989
Succeeded by
"Swing the Mood" by Jive Bunny and the Mastermixers
"Love Shack" by The B-52's