Header

IF

If

Jazz Rock/Fusion


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

If If album cover
3.75 | 49 ratings | 10 reviews | 22% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


Write a review
Buy IF Music
from Progarchives.com partners
Studio Album, released in 1970

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. I'm Reaching Out On All Sides - 5:44
2. What Did I Say About The Box, Jack? - 8:22
3. What Can a Friend Say? - 6:56
4. Woman Can You See (What This Big Thing Is All About) - 4:12
5. Raise The Level of Your Conscious Mind - 3:16
6. Dockland - 4:45
7. The Promised Land - 3:44

Lyrics

Search IF If lyrics

Music tabs (tablatures)

Search IF If tabs

Line-up / Musicians

Dennis Elliott - Drums
J.W. Hodgkinson - Vocals
John Mealing - Keyboards, Vocals
Dick Morrissey - Saxophones, Flute
Dave Quincy - Saxophones
Jim Richardson - Bass
Terry Smith - Guitar




Releases information

LP ISLAND ILPS9129 (UK) (1970)
LP CAPITOL CAST539 (US) (1970)
CD REPERTOIRE (2006)

Thanks to Sean Trane for the addition
and to easy livin for the last updates
Edit this entry

IF MP3, Free Download (music stream)


Open extended player in a new pop-up window | Random Playlist (50) | How to submit new MP3s

Buy IF If Music


If 2If 2
Import · Limited Edition
Repertoire 2006
Audio CD$8.85
$9.47 (used)
If 4If 4
Import · Limited Edition · Remastered · Special Edition
Repertoire 2007
Audio CD$9.40
$12.64 (used)
Europe 1972Europe 1972
Import
Repertoire 1997
Audio CD$7.06
$7.14 (used)
If 3If 3
Import · Limited Edition · Remastered
Repertoire 2007
Audio CD$8.83
$9.47 (used)
Fibonaccis Number / More Live IfFibonaccis Number / More Live If
Import · Remastered
Repertoire 2010
Audio CD$7.55
$9.79 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Ultravox - If I Was (310) US $3.31 Buy It Now 34m 52s
Dean Geyer If You Don't Mean It Rare Australian Signed Autographed CD Single US $40.23 Buy It Now 46m 17s
PATTIE KEITH 7" PS Japan promo ONLY IF YOU WANT TO Aussie pop singer US $23.00 Buy It Now 47m 54s
The Electones 14 Track CD Album 2009 If You'll Be Null, I'll Be Void 2009 US $6.52 Buy It Now 54m 43s
RIFF "IF YOU'RE SERIOUS" RARE 1-TRACK USA PROMO CD (NEW JACK SWING) US $7.81 Buy It Now 55m 8s
DADDY DEWDROP-IF YOU WANNA WANNA /TURN ON THE MOTION-1979-12"-Ship$10.00-EU$9.00 US $9.99 Buy It Now 57m 54s
THE ICICLE WORKS - IF YOU WANT TO DEFEAT YOUR ENEMY SING HIS SONG LP US $4.88 Buy It Now 1h 3m
Val Young: If you should ever be lonely (3 Remixes)/Rick James US $2.45 [0 bids]
1h 4m
Ella Eyre - If I Go - CD MAXI SINGLE - PRE ORDER US $19.00 Buy It Now 1h 5m
PHIL COLLINS - If Leaving Me Is Easy / DRAWINGBOARD VS423 7" VINYL RECORD EX 31 US $6.51 Buy It Now 1h 7m
SIMPLY RED - 12" Single -If You Don't Know Me By Now/Move On Out/Shine, EX+ US $9.77 Buy It Now 1h 8m
Rare OOP U2 If God Will Send His Angels 4 Track Canada Std Jewel Picture Disc CD US $20.00 Buy It Now 1h 16m
VIRGIL GRIFFIN Reginald IF YOU CAN'T GO DON'T HINDER ME US $19.99 Buy It Now 1h 19m
SOLOMON BURKE - IF YOU NEED ME/ROCK 'N' SOUL - NEW CD US $7.77 Buy It Now 1h 22m
The Beatles - Ain't she sweet / If you love me, baby 7" vinyl US $2.66 [2 bids]
1h 22m
TRINI LOPEZ 50's Sheet Music IF I HAD A HAMMER,WORDS BY PETE SEEGER US $22.84 Buy It Now 1h 22m
BILLY OCEAN - STOP ME (IF YOU'VE HEARD IT ALL BEFORE) GT72 7" VINYL RECORD EX 31 US $4.06 Buy It Now 1h 25m
KENNY ROGERS - IF ONLY MY HEART HAD A VOICE [KENNY ROGERS] - NEW CD US $11.48 Buy It Now 1h 26m
JOE GRAVES-IT'S GOT TO BE FOR REAL/BABY IF YOU WERE GONE..U.S RCA PROMO US $24.45 Buy It Now 1h 27m
The Dandy Warhols - Not If You Were The Last Junkie On Earth CD ONE TRACK PROMO US $12.99 Buy It Now 1h 29m
JIMMY WORK....IF I SHOULD LOSE YOU....CAPITOL-78 US $3.99 Buy It Now 1h 29m
Barry Manilow 7" vinyl - If i Should Love Again US $4.08 Buy It Now 1h 30m
IF I SING: THE SONGWRITERS ALBUM - NEW CD US $12.00 Buy It Now 1h 35m
LIL WAYNE - IF I DIE TONIGHT [PA] - NEW CD US $12.47 Buy It Now 1h 35m
HALL & OATES - IF THAT'S WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY (802469070521) - NEW CD US $9.11 Buy It Now 1h 36m
SOUL 45 Sidney Barnes Speedometer-Best Thing / If I Could Only Be Nolan Porter US $16.00 Buy It Now 1h 36m
The Rolling Stones 7" vinyl EP - Got Live if You Want it US $11.60 [7 bids]
1h 38m
PLATTERS on Musicor - With This Ring/If I Had... original release 45 VG+ *LOOK* US $1.99 [0 bids]
1h 39m
Status Quo: If You Can't Stand The Heat - {1978} RARE Cassette US $5.81 Buy It Now 1h 41m
LAURA OSNES - IF I TELL YOU: THE SONGS OF MAURY YESTON - NEW CD US $16.93 Buy It Now 1h 43m
PETER AND GORDON-A WORLD WITHOUT LOVE-IF I WERE YOU US $0.16 [0 bids]
1h 45m
AC/DC. IF YOU WANT BLOOD. ALBERT/FESTIVAL MUSHROOM RECORDS 2002 PIC CD 335432 US $21.44 [1 bids]
1h 46m
SEAN WEBSTER - IF ONLY (NEW & SEALED) CD Blues Matters US $4.88 Buy It Now 1h 48m
DANIEL AGUST - IF YOU LEAVE ME NOW - MIXES 7" SINGLE US $3.25 Buy It Now 1h 50m
ROD LAUREN - IF I HAD A GIRL - IRELAND PRESSING - VINYL 45' US $81.54 Buy It Now 1h 56m
MIKE FURBER BRING YOUR LOVE BACK HOME / IF YOU NEED ME OZ GARAGE BEAT SUNSHINE US $11.40 [2 bids]
2h
Hades ?- If At First You Don't Succeed / CD US $20.00 Buy It Now 2h 2m
ROCKY SHARPE and the REPLAYS UK 1983 7" Single IF YOU WANNA BE HAPPY US $4.88 Buy It Now 2h 2m
John Cougar - Nothin Matters and What if it Did - Mercury (Australia) CD (1980) US $4.47 [0 bids]
2h 4m
45 rpm JOE HENDERSON Snap Your Fingers/If You See Me Cry TODD US $11.00 Buy It Now 2h 5m
MIKE BERRY If I Could Only Make You Care 7" vinyl single EXCELLENT CONDITION US $8.55 Buy It Now 2h 8m
45 RECORD, JACK CASDEN. NOTICE ME / IF I HAD A LITTLE TIME. US $10.00 Buy It Now 2h 9m
OMD If You Want It 2010 German 2-track CD single SEALED / NEW US $9.77 Buy It Now 2h 10m
LAWSON & 4 MORE - SMART BIRD/IF YOU WANT ME YOU CAN FIND ME (UK) NEW VINYL US $23.59 Buy It Now 2h 10m
DANIELLE TELL ME IF YOU LIKE IT * CD SINGLE * US $11.62 Buy It Now 2h 10m
BEE GEES, STAYIN' ALIVE / IF I CAN'T HAVE YOU, 7"x45rpm SINGLE RECORD US $5.36 Buy It Now 2h 13m
Johnny Adams 45 "Reconsider Me / If I Could See You one More Time" US $4.49 Buy It Now 2h 15m
(we ship worldwide) CAMERON CARPENTER - IF YOU COULD READ MY MIND CD 2014 US $16.99 Buy It Now 2h 15m
Dane Cook - Harmful If Swallowed [Vinyl New] US $16.15 Buy It Now 2h 18m
(we ship worldwide) CAMERON CARPENTER - IF YOU COULD READ MY MIND 2CD DELUXE US $19.99 Buy It Now 2h 19m
Rocky Sharpe & The Replays - If You Wanna Be Happy 5607" VINYL RECORD EX/VG 31 US $6.18 Buy It Now 2h 25m
DAVID ROTH - IF YOU CAN'T FLY - NEW CD US $9.09 Buy It Now 2h 26m
If You Come to Me [CD 1] [CD 1], Atomic Kitten, Good Single US $4.44 Buy It Now 2h 28m
The Revelations If I called you on the telephone Promo CD Single US $5.45 Buy It Now 2h 29m
Ernest Tubb/Loretta Lynn "If We Put Our Heads../I Chased..." #732570 7" 45 VG+/M US $6.99 Buy It Now 2h 30m
ASWAD - IF I WAS (RARE DELETED CD SINGLE) US $4.06 Buy It Now 2h 31m
Embrace If You've Never Been cd US $6.99 Buy It Now 2h 33m
CANADA 1962 DOO WOP 45 RPM DREAMLOVERS : IF I SHOULD LOSE YOU + I MISS YOU US $9.99 [0 bids]
US $14.99 Buy It Now
2h 37m
Sting - If You Love Somebody Set Them Free - Picture Sleeve - 45 RPM US $0.99 [0 bids]
2h 39m
1971 Bread IF / Take Comfort Elektra EKM-45720 45 rpm VG+ Vinyl US $3.00 Buy It Now 2h 42m
Hank Ballard: Let's Go Let's Go Let's Go / If You'd Forgive Me 7" 45 VG++ Canada US $7.49 Buy It Now 2h 43m
Spiller feat. Sophie Ellis-Bextor - Groovejet (If This Ain't Love) - CD Single US $4.78 Buy It Now 2h 43m
Reba McEntire CD " WHAT IF IT'S YOU " ... 10 tracks LIKE NEW US $6.66 Buy It Now 2h 46m
Wet Wet Wet If I Never See You Again 3 Trk CD Single US $3.25 Buy It Now 2h 47m
James Taylor: Your Smiling Face / If I Keep My Heart Out Of Sight 7" 45 VG++ US $3.99 Buy It Now 2h 50m
Robert John & Micheal Gately 45 "Don't / If You Don't Want My Love" ~ VG++ US $3.99 Buy It Now 2h 50m
Blue enhanced Cd- If You Come Back ft video + live Melbourne version "too close US $5.36 Buy It Now 2h 52m
Mamas & Papas If You Can Believe Japan LP RED OBI INSERT NM US $19.99 [0 bids]
2h 53m
JOE BURKE - Vintage Sheet Music - IF IT RAINS WHO CARES? - By Edgar Leslie US $19.57 Buy It Now 2h 53m
FAULTY Chicago If you leave me now 7" 1976 S CBS 4603 Island Music UK made US $3.25 Buy It Now 2h 53m
AC/DC IF YOU WANT BLOOD Atlantic 78 UK A2 Orig EX US $19.56 Buy It Now 2h 54m
Heart - If Looks Could Kill (album)(live)- US DJ 12" US $13.99 Buy It Now 2h 56m
K.D. Lang If I Were You Orange Viny US Dj 12" US $12.99 Buy It Now 2h 57m
Firefly - If You Ever Stopped Calling Me Your Baby - Promo - 45RPM US $0.99 [0 bids]
2h 58m
BARENAKED LADIES 'STOP US IF YOU'VE HEARD THIS ONE BEFORE!' CD US $19.49 Buy It Now 2h 58m
Jamal Trice - If Love Is Not The Answer - Promo - 45 RPM US $0.99 [0 bids]
2h 59m
HURRAH IF LOVE COULD KILL 12" single US $9.77 Buy It Now 3h
Alan Sorrenti: Non So Che Darei / If You Need Me Now 7" 45 NM Italy CBO CBN 106 US $14.99 Buy It Now 3h 3m
Alabama 45 Tar Top / If I Could Just See You Now w/ts US $2.00 Buy It Now 3h 4m
Billy Joe Royal - Perfect Harmony/If this is the last time MGM 7022 US $3.99 [0 bids]
3h 10m
If Looks Could Kill - Eeprom,Danton New & Sealed LP Free Shipping US $32.49 Buy It Now 3h 12m
JAMIE WILDE bay ciry rollers 7" PS Japan IF THIS IS LOVE rare s0803 US $20.00 Buy It Now 3h 12m
CHRISTMAS Gene Autry 78, Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer, If It Doesnt V US $6.49 [0 bids]
3h 18m
Royals - If You Want Good 7" Reggae 45" US $22.50 Buy It Now 3h 21m
James Darren "If I Could Only Tell You" Rare US 7" US $5.36 Buy It Now 3h 24m
Thrice - If We Could See Us Now [DVD] (2CDs) (2005) US $15.98 Buy It Now 3h 29m
Various Artists : If You Take Me Back: Document Shortcuts, Vol. 2 CD (2009) US $10.36 Buy It Now 3h 33m
If I Were Your Woman - Stephanie Mills - MCA 5996 US $8.99 Buy It Now 3h 34m
WET WET WET - IF I NEVER SEE YOU... (CD1) (3 TRK CD SINGLE) (REF D7) US $6.51 Buy It Now 3h 36m
WET WET WET - IF I NEVER SEE YOU... (CD2) (4 TRK CD SINGLE) (REF D7) US $6.51 Buy It Now 3h 36m
BRUCE CHANNEL Number One Man If Only I Had Known 1962 Smash Records 7152 US $4.75 Buy It Now 3h 40m
ALBUM 1974 OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN If You Love Me Inner Sleeve LP Vinyl EUC (C) US $9.99 [0 bids]
US $12.99 Buy It Now
3h 41m
ROD STEWART - IF LOVING YOU IS WRONG RIVA 23 7" VINYL RECORD EX 31 US $4.88 Buy It Now 3h 44m
Geri Halliwell : Scream If You Wanna Go Faster CD (2005) US $2.25 Buy It Now 3h 45m
DANIEL BEDINGFIELD, IF YOU'RE NOT THE ONE, PROMOTIONAL US $3.00 [0 bids]
3h 46m
Love/Hate Let's Rumble inc If You Believe in Miracles + Cassette Tape - TESTED US $4.89 Buy It Now 3h 50m
Ed Ball - If A Man Ever Loved A Woman (CD 1995) ex cond US $1.61 [0 bids]
3h 50m
1978 Curtom/WB "Linda Clifford - If My Friends Could See Me Now" Record (33) US $0.99 [0 bids]
3h 53m
TERENCE TRENT D'ARBY - If You Let Me Stay (UK 2 Tk 1987 7" Single PS) US $3.74 Buy It Now 3h 53m
1950s 78 Georgia Gibbs "Seven Lonely Days" "If You Take My Heart Away" MERCURY US $7.36 Buy It Now 3h 54m

More places to buy IF music online Buy IF & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
  • AmazonMP3: Search for IF DRM-Free MP3 Downloads @ AmazonMP3 (USA Only) | AmazonMP3 (UK Only)

IF If ratings distribution


3.75
(49 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(22%)
22%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
43%
Good, but non-essential (22%)
22%
Collectors/fans only (10%)
10%
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)
2%

IF If reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by mystic fred
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars If only..

If were essentially regarded as Britain's answer to Chicago and maybe Blood Sweat & Tears, mixing rock, blues and jazz - but originally with the emphasis on jazz as they were a 7 piece band featuring organ, saxes, flute and drums, bass and lead guitar. The band toured with such diverse artists including Miles Davis, Cream, Traffic and Black Sabbath but never really hit the big time, apparently too jazzy for rock fans but a bit too rock for jazzers. Though they were compared to and sounded much like Chicago and B S & T in places they generally went further in their music and were more innovative than those commercially successful bands, and as a result were less well known outside the UK.

On this their debut album, the opening track "Reaching Out on All Sides" has a very bluesey feel and features the vocals of JW Hodgkinson. The next song "What Did I Say About the Box" which is an outstanding eight-minute instrumental giving each member a chance to show off their solo skills- a Chicago style sound and includes a very Tull sounding flute solo, in my opinion the best track on the album. "What Can a Friend Say" includes good sax solo, builds up to a great guitar solo and finishes off side 1 on my brilliant sounding pink Island album - at the time of writing the band's first four albums have been remastered and reissued on CD so are now easily available.

A big band-sounding "Woman Can You See (What This Big Thing is All About)" kicks off on side 2 , followed by a poppy Chicago- sounding song called "Raise the Level of Your Conscious Mind" and the slow reflective "Dockland". The last track on the album "The Promised Land" has a more typical If sound and has a catchy chorus - this may have been a good choice for a single, as it seems to me to be the second best song on the album. The album overall is strong on musicianship but better songs came along on later albums - but a fabulous debut nevertheless!

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to mystic fred (BETA) | Report this review (#132956) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, August 13, 2007

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
4 stars If is England's answer to Chicago or the much less proggy Blood Sweat & Tears, and with no small surprise the UK answer approaches Chicago's quality and easily surpasses BS&T. But comparing If to Chicago is at best unsatisfactory and at worst is misleading: not more instrumental than Chicago (and no trumpet or trombone), If is also less of a straight brass rock outfit, and more of a real jazz rock group, often coming close to Colosseum or Brian Auger's Oblivion Express, than the pure mushy garbage R'nB of BS&T or Electric Flag. The septet is based around wind players Dave Quincy and Dick Morrissey, the main songwriters. The original line-up on this album will remain unchanged much like their US alter-ego Chicago for quite a while.

Starting out on the absolutely delightful Reaching Out On All Sides (also issued as a single), the group shows a real knack for writing inventive jazzy tunes that have a rock edge, while making it interesting for demanding music fans. All Sides comes with a good searing guitar solo, underlined by Mealing's organ, then the saxes come in a very Heckstallian fashion. Hodgkinson's voice is fairly close to Chicago's singer. The lengthy instrumental About The Box is probably the A-side's highlight, with Morrissey's flute drawing a long solo before the two saxes cut away in a Heckstall manner, allowing for Smith's guitar to wallow much like Clempson's did. This second track is probably the most Colosseum-like of the album. Rounding off the first side is the 7-mins What Can A Friend Say, which boasts a very brassy rhythm'n blues, in this case reminiscent of Chicago or The Flock, but boasting yet another stellar electric guitar.

The flipside is made of four shorter tracks, with the rapid 100 mph soul number "Woman, Can You See?" track, where the repeating sax riffs and chorus and a sizzling solo of the same instrument. Conscious Mind did not steal its name, as it is easily the easiest track on the album, this being the attempt at mass exposure via the single. Best forgotten if you ask me. Dockland is a strange and slow (almost doomy) track, which seem to emphasize dark atmospheres, but Smith's guitar is again the main solo instrument, again a bit reminiscent of Hiseman's tribe. The closing Promised Land is an upbeat funky track that contains plenty of intricate arrangements, but cannot escape a pop feel, but positively said. The bonus tracks are no added value as they are the single version of two album tracks, therefore only adding a déjà-entendu feel.

Recently, Repertoire records just re-issued the first two in a mini-lp format, and I only wish they'd get the license to do the same with the next two, but whether this is likely is difficult to say since the first two were issued on Island records, while the next two were on United Artists. In either case, this first album is an absolute must for those wanting to find the perfect link between brass-rock (since If did not have brass instrument proper, but woodwind instruments) and jazz-rock.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#154431) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, December 06, 2007

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Neo Prog Team
3 stars Important name of the UK jazz rock scene,IF were formed in 1969 by a bunch of experienced jazz musicians,headed by saxophonists Dave Quincy and Dick Morrisey and guitarist Terry Smith.Following the steps of BLOOD SWEAT & TEARS and CHICAGO,the band started rehearsing,mixing sounds of brass rock,jazz and early prog in one pack.Finally 1970 sees the band releasing their first eponymous LP (on Island in the UK and Capitol in the US) and touring extensively.

Very much a product of its time,the one foot of ''If'' lies in late-60's jazz and soul,while the other steps intensively into the prog/psych territory.It's rather a work of two different styles packaged in one:most of the vocal parts,led by the strong vocal lines of J.W.Hodgkinson,are close to brass rock and soul with tons of saxes and light basses and an almost pop feeling.The instrumental passages are stunning,regarding the time of the release,with very good interactions,characterized bt driving flutes and sax solos.Terry Smith leads often the way with excellent jazzy chords and not only,there are also plenty of trembling psyc guitars around.Though it might sound a little bit dated to many of you,''If'' is actually an album which will satisfy every fan of early 70's:from the average rocker to the jazz fans and the lovers of psych/prog.An essential forgotten pearl.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to apps79 (BETA) | Report this review (#159747) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, January 25, 2008

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Strong debut of brass-rock band If is coming from year 1970, what means they were almost British pioneers of brass-rock, besides US bands Chicago and B,S & T. Interesting, If had two sax players, but no trombone or trumpet on board, so their brass sound is different from American bands of the same time.

Another difference - they, even having slight blues roots, in fact are much more jazz band, especially in great high vocals and electric guitar. And they had more space for jazzy improvs in their music as well.

Possibly, their place could be found somewhere between early Chicago and less progressive B,S & T, but with another US brass-rock band - Dreams - jazzy improvs atmosphere. Very competent musically, but possibly a bit lightweight in time ( for rock standards), they were quite successful in UK, but didn't win a US market.

Their debut is possibly their best work, every brass rock fan will listen it with interest and pleasure.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to snobb (BETA) | Report this review (#277890) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Review by Matti
COLLABORATOR Neo-Prog Team
2 stars Perhaps, if (!) I was more objective, I couldn't rate this so low, but I can't help that this album was a disappointment to me. I have found and enjoyed many Fusion artists recently (including COLOSSEUM which is one of the groups IF are compared to) and naturally I expected to like this British vintage debut too. But I found quite a little here that I wanted to listen multiple times. The problem is not with the music per se, but with my taste which just happens not to favour funky, brassy, souly, bluesy jazz-rock. Neither was I very fond of the vocals.

There were a couple of tracks with the flute up front rather than the saxes, which I liked more, but the whole album just didn't turn me on at all. No wonderful compositions, some OK at best. Skillful playing, definitely, but the aesthetics of this band didn't meet mine very well. So, take my humble opposite opinion (against the six praisings here) just as a notice that you may not enjoy this band as much as you might expect. It's not very progressive, for starters. But if you like (sorry to repeat the names jumping up again and again in previous reviews) the bands such as BLOOD SWEAT & TEARS and CHICAGO, forget my words and hear this yourself.

(I'm not always this subjective in my ratings; that is, for strong musicianship I sometimes give more stars than I actually enjoy the music personally, but I do think that we need shameless subjectivity when we rate albums here. It's the matter of our OWN feelings of the music. Naturally one has to know enough about the musical style/genre in question to make a worthy statement. Fusion IS one of the genres I enjoy. Brass-rock ain't, I admit, and had I known better that it's this style more precisely, I probably wouldn't have borrowed the CD at all - which, on the other hand, is prejudicious...)

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Matti (BETA) | Report this review (#428253) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars They "moved the (rock) world just one step on"

Formed in 1969, If had already seen a change of line up (on the drum stool) by the time they came to record their début album released in 1970. Conveniently pigeon-holed as Britain's answer to the jazz rock of Chicago and Blood Sweat and Tears, there are in fact noteable differences between If and those bands. The twin saxophones in an otherwise standard rock line up give obvious hints of the band's leanings, but If were perhaps less concerned with catchy hooks and hit singles than their peers from across the pond. That said, there are echoes of David Clayton-Thomas in the fine vocals of J.W. Hodkinson.

The opening "I'm reaching out on all sides" (a track I first came across many years ago on the superb "Bumpers" sampler) actually features the lead guitar of Terry Smith more, the saxes being used to provide colours rather than as a lead instrument. The song makes for a superb introduction to the band. John Mealing, who would later go on to join the Strawbs, lays down a solid Hammond organ base for the instrumental "What Did I Say About the Box, Jack", the longest track on the album. The track offers Dick Morrissey (subsequently Average White band) the chance to display his skills on flute as part of what is a largely jazz workout.

"What Can a Friend Say" reminds me a bit of the Ides of March song "Vehicle". The rock side of the band returns, driven on by some fine gravel vocals, the centre piece of the song being a lengthy sax workout.

The second side of the original LP has four tracks to the first side's three. As might be implied, this means that the songs on this side are generally slightly tighter, although very much in the same vein. "Woman Can You See (What This Big Thing Is All About)" is an upbeat affair, with frantic vocals driven on by a pounding rhythm section and punchy saxes. There are suggestions here of songs such as Chicago's superb "25 or 6 to 4".

The three minute "Raise The Level of Your Conscious Mind" is by far the most accessible song on the album, and might have made a successful single. The track boasts a Guess Who type sing-a-long chorus and a wall of sound backing. "Dockland" slows things down somewhat, the track offering a Traffic like folk/fusion take on painting a picture of a "Dockland scene". The track offers Hodkinson the opportunity to really emphasise his vocal prowess.

The album closes with "The promised land", a track which does lean heavily on Blood Sweat and Tears for its inspiration. Mealing gets a final opportunity to add to fine keyboards to another pulsating jazz rock number.

In all, a fine début from a band who made some excellent music. In some ways, If were unlucky to be around when so many other great bands were trying to make their mark. It is perhaps time now for a reassessment of their excellent music, it deserves far more recognition that it gets.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#457953) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Review by stefro
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Charting the same jazz-rock course as the likes of Chicago, Blood Sweat & Tears, Satisfaction and Trifle and featuring future Foreigner drummer Dennis Elliot amongst their ranks, Britain's If were a talented seven-piece who produced handful of noteworthy albums during the early part of the 1970s, though overall their style was somewhat poppier than the fusion groups who were re-popularizing the jazz genre at that time, the likes of Nucleus, Soft Machine and John McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra. The First album, titled simply 'If', is undoubtedly their best, with catchy hooks adorning the softly-played jazz rhythms and a strong focus on structured song-writing as opposed to improvisational jams. However, that's not to say If are a pop band per se, far from it, and tracks such as the lengthy, eight-minute 'What Did I Say About The Box Jack?' and the cool instrumental 'Dockland' are testament to If's melding of styles and tones. Their real ace, though, lies in the shape of frontman J. W. Hodgkinson, whose deep, bassy vocals add a whole new dimension to the jazz-rock formula. Vocals in fusion or jazz-rock are difficult to pull of, hence the poppier nature of this material, yet here the combination works beautifully, adding a rich lyrical layer to proceedings. Subsequent albums would repeat the sonic trick with slightly diminishing returns, though both If2 and If3 are still recommended. A graceful, enjoyable and extremely well-crafted debut, this unique mixture of jazz, rock, pop and orchestral flourishes proves a delightful surprise indeed.

STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to stefro (BETA) | Report this review (#708724) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, April 05, 2012

Latest members reviews

5 stars British seventies jazz-rock group If are not focused on now, not even as much as their contemporaries like Colosseum and Chicago, partly, i think, because the original band split in 1972 unlike Chicago, and did not enact a high profile reunion, like Colosseum did. It is a shame that time has not ... (read more)

Report this review (#902326) | Posted by presdoug | Tuesday, January 29, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Well, the first album of "If" brings probably the best jazz rock album from that early era (when the fusion like Mahavishnu Orchestra was just planned). Great debut and one of my favourite albums begins slowly with unusual rhytm, but later it rises to the agressive, yet beautyful song. All music ... (read more)

Report this review (#133212) | Posted by Hejkal | Wednesday, August 15, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 'IF 1' started short but sparkling story of this british jazz/rock band formed by Dick Morrissey and Terry Smith. It offered kind of music I liked from the very first beats. It's jazzy oriented, but whenever you might feel that they'll go to the pure jazz flow, they'd turn back to more firm roc ... (read more)

Report this review (#130101) | Posted by bsurmano | Tuesday, July 24, 2007 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of IF "If"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | GeoIP Services by MaxMind | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — the ultimate jazz music virtual community | MetalMusicArchives.com — the ultimate metal music virtual community


Server processing time: 0.69 seconds