If You Don't Know Me by Now

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"If You Don't Know Me by Now"
Single by Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes
from the album I Miss You
B-side "Let Me Into Your World"
Released September 1972
Format 7" 45 RPM
Genre R&B, soul
Length 3:27
Label Philadelphia International Records
Songwriter(s) Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff
Producer(s) Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff
Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes singles chronology
"I Miss You"
(1972)
"If You Don't Know Me by Now"
(1972)
"Yesterday I Had the Blues"
(1973)

"I Miss You"
(1972)
"If You Don't Know Me by Now"
(1972)
"Yesterday I Had the Blues"
(1973)

"If You Don't Know Me by Now" is a song written by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, and recorded by the Philly soul musical group Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes. It became their first hit after being released as a single in 1972, topping the US R&B chart and peaking at number 3 on the US Billboard Hot 100.[1]

"If You Don't Know Me by Now" was originally written for Labelle (a trio led by Patti LaBelle) but they never recorded it. Much like the issue with "I Miss You" and The Dells passing on it, the song's composers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff gave it to Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, which featured Teddy Pendergrass as lead vocalist. In addition to the single release, the track was included on their debut album I Miss You.

Patti LaBelle later made the song as part of her concert repertoire in 1982; a live version appears on her 1985 album, Patti.

"If You Don't Know Me by Now" has since been covered by a number of other artists, most notably the English pop/soul band Simply Red, who took their version to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1989.

The song was chosen as one of the "Songs of the Century" by the RIAA.[citation needed]

Simply Red version[edit]

"If You Don't Know Me by Now"
If you don't know me by now.jpg
Single by Simply Red
from the album A New Flame
B-side "Move on Out"
Released March 27, 1989
Format 7" single, 12-inch single, CD single
Genre Blue-eyed soul, jazz
Length 3:24
Label Elektra
Songwriter(s) Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff
Producer(s) Stewart Levine
Music video
"If You Don't Know Me by Now" on YouTube

Simply Red's version of "If You Don't Know Me by Now" was a major commercial success on the charts in 1989, giving the band their second US number one (also topping the Adult Contemporary chart), and peaking at number 38 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.[2] This version also won the Grammy Award for the Best R&B Song of 1989.[3]

The track was also a number one hit in Australia and New Zealand; in the latter, it was the best-selling single of 1989. It peaked at number 2 in the UK; the band's second Top 10 hit after the re-issue of "Holding Back the Years" in 1986, which also reached number 2.

According to the producer Stewart Levine, he didn't want too much orchestration on the record, and went with a two part-harmony instead of a three part-harmony. Mick Hucknall admitted he loved Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes' version, and stated he danced to their music when he was 13.[4]

This version can be heard in the film American Psycho (2000), and appears in the game Karaoke Revolution Presents: American Idol. It is also available to download for the Xbox 360 game Lips, which contains the music video.

Track listings[edit]

7" single
  1. "If You Don't Know Me by Now" – 3:23
  2. "Move on Out" (recorded Live Manchester on February 22, 1989) – 5:18
12" single
  1. "If You Don't Know Me by Now" – 3:23
  2. "Move on Out" (recorded live Manchester on February 22, 1989) – 5:18
  3. "Shine" (recorded live Manchester on February 22, 1989) – 3:30
3" CD single
  1. "If You Don't Know Me by Now" – 3:23
  2. "Move on Out" (recorded live Manchester on February 22, 1989) – 5:18
  3. "Shine" (recorded live Manchester on February 22, 1989) – 3:30
  4. "Sugar Daddy" – 3:30

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
New Zealand (RMNZ)[24] Gold 5,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[25] Silver 200,000^
United States (RIAA)[26] Gold 500,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Other cover versions[edit]


References[edit]

  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 393. 
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 528. 
  3. ^ "Winners - 32nd Annual GRAMMY Awards (1989)". Recording Academy. Retrieved 24 March 2018. 
  4. ^ Bronson, Fred (1992). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits. p. 736. ISBN 0-8230-8298-9. 
  5. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Simply Red – If You Don't Know Me by Now". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  6. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Simply Red – If You Don't Know Me by Now" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  7. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 6403." RPM. Library and Archives Canada.
  8. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 6438." RPM. Library and Archives Canada.
  9. ^ "Lescharts.com – Simply Red – If You Don't Know Me by Now" (in French). Les classement single.
  10. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Simply Red – If You Don't Know Me by Now". GfK Entertainment Charts.
  11. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – If You Don't Know Me by Now". Irish Singles Chart.
  12. ^ "Charts.nz – Simply Red – If You Don't Know Me by Now". Top 40 Singles.
  13. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Simply Red – If You Don't Know Me by Now". VG-lista.
  14. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Simply Red – If You Don't Know Me by Now". Singles Top 100.
  15. ^ "Simply Red: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company.
  16. ^ "Simply Red Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  17. ^ "Simply Red Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard.
  18. ^ "Simply Red Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard.
  19. ^ "ARIA Charts - End Of Year Charts - Top 50 Singles 1989". ARIA. Retrieved 24 March 2018. 
  20. ^ "JAHRESHITPARADE 1989" (in German). Retrieved 24 March 2018. 
  21. ^ "Top 100 Singles of '89". RPM (magazine). Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved July 22, 2018. 
  22. ^ "End Of Year Charts 1989". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 24 March 2018. 
  23. ^ "Top 100 Songs of 1989 - Billboard Year End Charts". Retrieved 24 March 2018. 
  24. ^ "New Zealand single certifications – Simply Red – If You Don't Know Me by Now". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved July 22, 2018. 
  25. ^ "British single certifications – Simply Red – If You Don't Know Me by Now". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved July 22, 2018.  Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Enter If You Don't Know Me by Now in the search field and then press Enter.
  26. ^ "American single certifications – Simply Red – If You Don't Know Me by Now". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved July 22, 2018.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  27. ^ "Zap Pow - If You Don't Know Me By Now". YouTube. 2012-02-17. Retrieved 2016-10-07. 
  28. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2013). Hot Country Songs 1944–2012. Record Research, Inc. p. 319. ISBN 978-0-89820-203-8. 
  29. ^ "Kickin' It Up overview". Allmusic.com. 
  30. ^ "Gerald Albright Biography". VerveMusicGroup.com. 
  31. ^ Chart Beat, Billboard.com, April 15, 2009.

External links[edit]