If It Isn't Love
|"If It Isn't Love"|
|Single by New Edition|
|from the album Heart Break|
|Released||June 9, 1988|
|Format||Cassette single, CD single, Vinyl single|
|Genre||New jack swing|
5:10 (album version)3:48 (single version)
|Writer(s)||James Harris, Terry Lewis|
|Producer(s)||Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis|
|New Edition singles chronology|
"If It Isn't Love" is a 1988 song by American R&B quintet New Edition, and the first single from their fifth studio album, Heart Break. The song became the biggest hit from the aforementioned album, reaching the top ten of the US Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number seven, and reached the second position on the Hot Black Singles chart. It's chart performance and well-received music video garnered the quintet their first nomination for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals at the 31st Grammy Awards in February 1989. The song and video is also notable for being the introduction of fellow R&B singer Johnny Gill as a new member of the R&B quintet.
Written and produced by Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, the song spoke of a man who left a troubling relationship because he didn't want to fall in love, only to find out that he was in fact in love with his former girlfriend but is still in a dilemma over it: if it isn't love/why do I feel this way/why does she stay on my mind? The song has a memorable breakdown similar to that of The Jackson 5, where lead singer Ralph Tresvant admits that he made a mistake and he realizes he does love her, though his resolve is crushed as his band mates then retort: You love her, what?! Though he is optimistic that he will get her back.
Release and reaction
This song returned New Edition to the top ten of both the pop and R&B singles charts, peaking at number seven and two, respectively. Ironically, they would be held off from #1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs by the same person that was voted out of the group just two years prior, Bobby Brown with his hit "Don't Be Cruel." The music video for the song showcased the group (and longtime manager Brooke Payne) going over rehearsal for a concert, which has the band gearing up to hit the stage. The video ended with the group running towards the stage, and transitioned them into their next music video; a concert performance for the follow-up single, "You're Not My Kind of Girl."
- If It Isn't Love (12" Club Mix) - (7:42)
- If It Isn't Love (Instrumental) - (5:10)
- If It Isn't Love (Low Key Mix) - (4:30)
- Beyoncé's video for her single "Love on Top" was inspired by the music video for "If It Isn't Love"
- Brooke Payne appears as the group's choreographer in the video.
- Sampled on rap group Kidz In The Hall 2008 release song "Whattup Wit Me".
- Sampled by Trick Daddy on his song "Ain't a Thug" from his album Thug Matrimony: Married to the Streets.
- Sung by Romeo, Bullethead and their singing group for a talent show on an episode of The Steve Harvey Show.
- Ronnie DeVoe: background vocals
- Ricky Bell: background vocals
- Michael Bivins: background vocals
- Ralph Tresvant: lead vocals & background vocals
- Johnny Gill: background vocals
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