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IF 4

If

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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If If 4 album cover
3.48 | 27 ratings | 3 reviews | 19% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential


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Studio Album, released in 1972

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Sector 17
2. Light Still Shines
3. You In Your Small Corner
4. Waterfall
5. Throw Myself To The Wind
6. Svenska Soma

Line-up / Musicians

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

Releases information

LP United Artist TSUAG29315 (UK) (1972)
CD Repertoire REPUK1098 (2007)

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

Buy IF If 4 Music


If 4If 4
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Repertoire 2007
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IF If 4 ratings distribution


3.48
(27 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(19%)
19%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(41%)
41%
Good, but non-essential (41%)
41%
Collectors/fans only (0%)
0%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

IF If 4 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 After their more commercial If 3 this mainly live album If 4 follows the more jazz orientated meanderings of their earlier albums, but with a more heavy guitar sound, typified by the first track the amazing ten minute live instrumental "Sector 17", a real album highlight. As the band were essentially more at home playing this type of music live this makes sense, but still sounds great in the studio. "The Light Still Shines", another live track, features a nice keyboard solo and strong bass, but starts to sound like a hundred other jazz rock bands, as is the next track "You in Your Small Corner". Opening side 2 is a great song "Waterfall", a folkish rock song with guitar, sax, tom-toms and Tull-style flute but firmly back in very enjoyable If territory again - it is this varied style of music and choice of instruments that make them special. "Throw Myself to the Wind" swings in, jam-like, not an album highlight but warms up with a guitar/sax exchange (not sure whether the applause is canned or real in places). The last track, strangely titled live seven-minute "Svenska Soma", a great blues instrumental featuring some good organ and sax solos, backed by some solid bass and drums.

Another worthy addition to any jazz-rock collection, not If's best but still goes further and is more innovative than most.

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

If's discography is not that simple because of the different release not getting the same artwork on simply not getting a release, this phenomenon reaches its apex with their fourth release, which is more or less the "Waterfall" European release (not sure of this though) and this album sports at least two different artworks (one black/silver and one red/white, that I've seen so far). In either case, the line-up has remained stable; including the present album, but it will soon suffer its first and only change (but a major one) after the release of this one. . . In itself the succession of tracks is already a bit bizarre, as there are some live tracks and studio tracks and the way they get stuck together is highly disputable

The opening Sector 17 track (a 10-mins+ instrumental) is probably the one most likely to please progheads with its fuzzed out bass, searing guitar, excellent alternating sax solos, and not forgetting the usual brass section, etc.. we could be in a Soft Weather Nucleus Mahavishnu Forever album. Maybe If's best track with Fibonacci on the previous album and ending in a Colosseum-esque fashion. The following Light Still Shines is bringing us back down to earth after such tremendous start, with the average sung track that brings us back almost to BS&T (well I said almost) and slightly lengthy as well. The track Your Small Corner doesn't have the full-horn section aggression of its predecessor, but it's not that strong a tune either, some parts in the chorus sounding lifted, but I fail to see where.

The flipside starts with the flute-laden Waterfall, which will directly please progheads better, but it's also a more challenging songwriting we face here and its cool psychy flute solo. Up next is Throw Myself To The Wind, which is rather pedestrian in its construction, but the middle section is good. The closing cover of Svenska Soma (I image Swedish Summer) is the second highlight of the album with Mealing's organ drawing the glory here, but the whole band is shining, but not as hard as in Sector 17. Please note that two tracks on the flipside were apparently recorded live, including the closing one.

After the release of their best albums, If will implode and leaving the two sax players Morrissey and Quincy to rebuilt from scratch, and looking for a record deal. They will succeed , releasing two further albums (on Gull Records) with unlikely names under a fairly different sounding line-up (including future Procol member Geoff Whitehorn and Magno on keys), but the charm was broken. Returning to their fourth album, this is their better album, and it's a shame things broke down at this point. While it's difficult to give a "better' album to start with, it's clearly the UA label albums that are the better ones.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Hope you like our new direction

"If 4" would prove to be the last album recorded by what was by and large the original line up of the band, before they disbanded and a new group using the same name was formed. Unlike the band's first three albums, "If 4" was not released in North America, but please see the entry for the album "Waterfall" for a North American release the same year. The tracks here were recorded live in the studio in front of an audience having been developed by the band at various gigs. The recordings are reportedly devoid of post production overdubs.

As a whole, the album represents the band's jazzier side, the opening 10+ minute "Sector 17" being a hope you like our new direction fusion style jam. There is plenty of energy in the performance, with guitarist Terry Smith and saxophonist Dave Quincy (who wrote the song) both being afforded plenty of space to display their talents. For me through, the track is very ordinary and indeed anonymous. This could be any of a number of bands and artists who resorted to rambling nonsense when the inspiration ran out.

Fortunately, things get back on track with the jazz rock of "The Light Still Shines", a song which reminded me of some of Alan Price's work. Here things are much tighter, J.W. Hodgkinson adding one of his fine vocals. "You in Your Small Corner" is the shortest track on the album and the last of the trio of Quincy compositions. Here we have the album's most accessible song, very much inspired by the anthems of Blood Sweat and Tears and complete with David Clayton Thomas like scat, plus a female backing vocal. I love it!

Side two of the LP sees the late Dick Morressey taking control, the opening "Waterfall" featuring plenty of his flute playing backed by a frantic rhythm and a good vocal refrain. "Throw Myself to the Wind" has a bit of a swing feel to it, the Blood Sweat and Tears similarities once again coming through. The album closes with Svenska Soma, the only song not to include a member of If in the writing credits. I have to admit defeat in my attempts to track down information on the composer (named as "Jonsson-Smith"). The track is another of the instrumental fusion jams, primarily focused on the sax section.

Overall, a bit of an up and down album (Iffy?!) by the band. The two extended jams aside, there is some decent material here. I can only assume that material was in short supply.

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