If You Gotta Go, Go Now
|"If You Gotta Go, Go Now"|
|Single by Bob Dylan|
|Recorded||January 15, 1965|
|Studio||Columbia Recording Studios, New York City|
|Bob Dylan singles chronology|
|"Si Tu Dois Partir"|
|Single by Fairport Convention|
|from the album Unhalfbricking|
|B-side||"Genesis Hall" (Richard Thompson)|
|Studio||Sound Techniques, London|
|Producer(s)||Joe Boyd, Simon Nicol and Fairport Convention|
|Fairport Convention singles chronology|
"If You Gotta Go, Go Now" (sometimes subtitled "(Or Else You Got to Stay All Night)") is a song written by Bob Dylan in 1964. The first released version was as a single in the US by the UK group The Liverpool Five in July 1965, but this went uncharted in the US despite receiving much airplay, particularly in the Pacific Northwest. Another English band, Manfred Mann, then issued the song as a single in September 1965; this version reached number 2 on the UK charts.
Dylan began the recording for "If You Gotta Go, Go Now" on January 13, 1965, during the first session for Bringing It All Back Home. Of the two acoustic takes completed, neither was used. He recorded the song again on January 15, producing four takes. On May 21, 1965, producer Tom Wilson brought in several unidentified musicians to overdub various parts onto the takes recorded on January 15. From these overdubbing sessions, two takes were eventually released: take 5, released as a single in The Netherlands in 1967, and take 7, released on The Bootleg Series Volumes 1–3 (Rare & Unreleased) 1961–1991 in 1991.
Dylan's Netherlands single-only release failed to chart. No Dylan version was released in the U.S. or the UK until the appearance of The Bootleg Series, which, as noted above, featured a different version of the song from the single. The song also appears on The Bootleg Series Vol. 6: Bob Dylan Live 1964, Concert at Philharmonic Hall, albeit in an acoustic, live form.
Additional versions from Dylan's 1965–1966 recording sessions are included on the Deluxe and Collector's Editions of The Bootleg Series Vol. 12: The Cutting Edge 1965–1966.
Fairport Convention's version
Fairport Convention also took the song onto the charts, albeit in an unusual fashion: the group translated the song into French (partially, retaining the English "...you gotta stay all night" as the end of a line beginning in French for comic effect) as "Si Tu Dois Partir". Recorded for the Unhalfbricking album, the song was issued as a single in 1969. This was the band's only charting single, reaching number 21 and staying in the British Chart for nine weeks.
Non-charting cover versions
- The Liverpool Five, RCA VIctor single 47-8660 (July 1965)
- Johnny Hallyday – French version "Maintenant ou jamais" (EP, 1966)
- Pavel Novak – Czech singer (1967)
- Rick Nelson & The Stone Canyon Band, single a-side (1970)
- The Flying Burrito Brothers, Burrito Deluxe (1970)
- Bijou – French version "Si tu dois partir" (EP, 1977)
- The Pontiac Brothers, Big Black River (1985)
- Cowboy Junkies, Southern Rain CD, Single RCA – 06192-10616-2 Canada (1992)
- Lyme and Cybelle, US Single (1966)
- J. Tillman, Subterranean Homesick Blues tribute (2010)
- The Bone-Rubbers – French/English version "If you gotta go, go now" (2017)