If That's What It Takes (album)

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If That's What It Takes
If That's What It Takes (Michael McDonald album).jpg
Studio album by Michael McDonald
Released August 1982
Recorded 1981-82
Studio Warner Bros. Recording Studio, North Hollywood, CA and Sunset Sound Recorders, Hollywood
Strings recorded at Ocean Way Recording, Hollywood
Genre Pop, rock, funk, blue-eyed soul
Length 39:59
Label Warner Bros. Records
Producer Ted Templeman, Lenny Waronker
Michael McDonald chronology
If That's What It Takes
No Lookin' Back
(1985)No Lookin' Back1985
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[2]
The Village Voice C+[3]

If That's What It Takes is the debut studio album by American singer-songwriter Michael McDonald. The album was released in August 1982.

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Playin' by the Rules" McDonald, Ed Sanford 4:55
2. "I Keep Forgettin'" McDonald, Ed Sanford, Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller 3:39
3. "Love Lies" McDonald, Randy Goodrum 3:21
4. "I Gotta Try" McDonald, Kenny Loggins 3:53
5. "I Can Let Go Now" McDonald 2:54
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
6. "That's Why" McDonald, Randy Goodrum 4:24
7. "If That's What It Takes" McDonald, Jackie De Shannon 4:17
8. "No Such Luck" McDonald, Grady Walker, Harry Garfield 3:44
9. "Losin' End" McDonald 4:11
10. "Believe in It" McDonald 4:41



  • Produced By Lenny Waronker & Ted Templeman
  • Engineers: Ken Deane, Bobby Hata, Lee Herschberg, James Isaacson, Donn Landee, Mark Linett, Steve McManus
  • Overdub Engineers: Lee Herschberg, James Isaacson, Donn Landee, Mark Linett
  • Mixing: Lee Herschberg
  • Mastering: Bobby Hata at Warner Bros. Recording Studio
  • Horn arrangements: Jerry Hey
  • String arrangements: Marty Paich
  • Keyboard Technician: Paul Mederios
  • Production Coordinators: Joan Parker, Kathy Walker and Vicki Fortson
  • Art Direction and Design: Jeff Adamoff
  • Photography: Jim Shea
  • Direction: Irving Azoff


Chart (1982) Peak
US Billboard 200[4] 6
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)[5] 10


  1. ^ Jason Elias. "If That's What It Takes - Michael McDonald | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-09-21. 
  2. ^ "If That's What It Takes : Michael McDonald : Review : Rolling Stone". Web.archive.org. 1982-09-30. Archived from the original on December 8, 2008. Retrieved 2015-09-21. 
  3. ^ Christgau, Robert (November 2, 1982). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved February 15, 2017. 
  4. ^ "Michael McDonald – Chart history" Billboard 200 for Michael McDonald. Retrieved September 21, 2015.
  5. ^ "Michael McDonald – Chart history" Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums for Michael McDonald. Retrieved September 21, 2015.