If This World Were Mine

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"If This World Were Mine"
Single by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell
from the album United
A-side"If I Could Build My Whole World Around You"
ReleasedNovember 14, 1967
RecordedHitsville USA; 1967
GenreR&B, soul
Songwriter(s)Marvin Gaye
Producer(s)Harvey Fuqua, Johnny Bristol
Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell singles chronology
"Your Precious Love"
"If I Could Build My Whole World Around You" / "If This World Were Mine"
"Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing"

"If This World Were Mine" is a 1967 song by soul music duo Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell from their album United. Written solely by Gaye, it was one of the few songs they recorded without Ashford & Simpson writing or producing. When it was released as a single in November 1967 as the B-side to the duo's "If I Could Build My Whole World Around You", it hit the Billboard pop singles chart, peaking at number sixty-eight, and peaked at number twenty-seven on the Billboard R&B singles chart. Gaye would later put the song into his set list during his last tours in the early-1980s as he performed a medley of his hits with Terrell. The song was covered a year later by Joe Bataan on the 1968 Fania Allstars LP Live at the Red Garter, Vol. 2, and in 1969 by Ambrose Slade (pre-Slade) on their album Beginnings.


Chart (1967) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 68
U.S. Billboard Hot R&B Singles 27

Cover versions[edit]

Luther Vandross and Cheryl Lynn version[edit]

"If This World Were Mine"
Single by Luther Vandross & Cheryl Lynn
from the album Instant Love and The Wood (soundtrack)
Released1982 (US)
GenreR&B, soul
LabelColumbia Records
Songwriter(s)Marvin Gaye
Producer(s)Luther Vandross & Marcus Miller
Cheryl Lynn singles chronology
"Instant Love"
"If This World Were Mine"
"Look Before You Leap"
Luther Vandross singles chronology
"Don't You Know That?"
"If This World Were Mine'"
"Bad Boy/Having a Party"

Fifteen years after the original recording, Luther Vandross and Cheryl Lynn re-recorded it for her album Instant Love and made the song a R&B top five smash peaking at number four in 1982 on the Billboard Hot R&B Singles chart.


Chart (1982-1983) Peak
U.S. Billboard 100 Hot 100[1] 30

Other versions[edit]

A decade later, Coko of SWV and rising R&B singer Tyrese recorded it for her 1999 solo album Hot Coko. The song is featured on John Legend's 2004 live album Solo Sessions Vol. 1: Live at the Knitting Factory, with Imani Uzuri singing the female lead.

In 2005, Alicia Keys and Jermaine Paul recorded it for the Luther Vandross tribute album So Amazing: An All-Star Tribute to Luther Vandross. The song was nominated Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals at the Grammy Awards.[2] They did not win; instead, the Grammy was awarded to Beyoncé Knowles and Stevie Wonder for their cover "So Amazing," which appeared on the same Vandross tribute album.

In 1973, Jerry Butler and Brenda Lee Eager recorded the song on their album The Love We Have, the Love We Had.


R&B singer Tweet sampled the Gaye/Terrell original for the intro of her 2005 single "Turn Da Lights Off", featuring Missy Elliott. In 2013, American house music producer Chris Malinchak sampled the song on "So Good to Me".[3]


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top Billboard Hot 100 Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 368.
  2. ^ RCA Music Group (8 December 2005). "RCA Music Group Artists Earn 28 Nominations for the 48th Annual Grammy". prnewswire.com.
  3. ^ "Chris Malinchak - 'So Good To Me' (Official Video)". Capital FM. 22 March 2013. Retrieved 2 April 2018.