Header

IF

Jazz Rock/Fusion • United Kingdom


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

If picture
If biography
IF was a seminal jazz-rock band formed in 1969 as Britain's answer to the pioneering US bands Blood, Sweat and Tears and Chicago. The main difference was that IF did not have a trumpet or trombone player and featured two saxes instead. Essentially a live band, true to its strong jazz influences IF was probably the only jazz-rock group, both then and now, to feature solos by all the band members, not just by the lead instruments.

They toured extensively in Europe and the States during the early Seventies, performing at most of the major venues and festivals of the day (Newport, Reading, Fillmores East & West, Whiskey A-Go-Go, The Marquee, etc.) and shared billings with, amongst others, Miles Davis, Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon and Leon Russell as well as many of the classic rock bands of the day, such as Cream, Traffic, Yes, Black Sabbath, Grand Funk Railroad, Ten Years After, KISS, Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show, and Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Like the early Chicago, they were difficult to classify with any of their contemporaries; they seemed out of place wherever they played, and were considered too jazzy when billed with groups with a more rock orientation and too bluesy or loud when billed with more jazz-oriented bands.

IF thus became one of the most highly-acclaimed groups of the Seventies to never quite make the big time, despite good record sales and full venues. The band was managed and its albums produced by Lew Futterman, who had previously produced US jazz/soul stars Brother Jack McDuff and J.J. Jackson, amongst others. Signed on by Chris Blackwell, an enthusiastic early fan, to Island Records in the UK and to Capitol Records in the US, their first album, IF (1970), entered the charts in both the States (Billboard) and the UK, as well as winning a design award for its cover, and was followed that same year by IF 2, also released on Island and Capitol.

The albums IF 3 (1971) and IF 4 aka "Waterfall" (1972) were accompanied by heavy touring schedules in the States and Europe, especially in Britain and Germany, where the band appeared on TV (BBC's Top of the Pops/Old Grey Whistle Test in the UK and one of their tracks was used as a signature tune for the news in Germany). Finally, in the summer of 1972, the band had to come off the road in the middle of a US tour when Dick Morrissey was admitted to hospital for major surgery. As a result of the break-up, the band members went off to work on other projects.


Line-ups
The ...
read more

IF MP3, Free Download (music stream)


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

IF Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Show all IF videos (1) | Search and add more videos to IF

Buy IF Music


Not Just Another Bunch Of Pretty Faces/Tea Break Is Over-Back On Your 'EadsNot Just Another Bunch Of Pretty Faces/Tea Break Is Over-Back On Your 'Eads
Audio CD$19.89
$26.19 (used)
If 2If 2
Import · Limited Edition
Repertoire 2006
Audio CD$6.92
$6.91 (used)
If 3If 3
Import · Limited Edition · Remastered
Repertoire 2007
Audio CD$7.78
$9.31 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
DERRINGER If I Weren't So Romantic I'd Shoot You [Vinyl LP] Blue Sky JZ 35075 USD $8.95 Buy It Now 30m 9s
FRANK SINATRA i'm a fool to want you / if i forget you COLUMBIA 45 USD $5.99 Buy It Now 30m 13s
JOHN ROWLES - NOW IS THE HOUR - IF I ONLY HAD TIME 7" SINGLE USD $1.48 [0 bids]
30m 52s
THE ROLLING STONES*GOT LIVE IF YOU WANT IT EP*1965*UN-BOXED DECCA*BEAT*EX-/EX USD $51.96 Buy It Now 30m 56s
Country Promo 45 Darrell Mccall - If You Don'T Believe I Love You / Helpless On USD $5.00 Buy It Now 31m 7s
Ron Williams 45 If I Could Stay Away From Me / Top of Old Smoky ~ VG+ USD $6.50 [0 bids]
31m 50s
If You Like Things*You'll Love Mp - Mp (2012, CD New) USD $14.53 Buy It Now 31m 52s
THE SMITHS -Stop Me If You Think You've Heard..- Rare USA Sire Promo 12" /Vinyl USD $51.94 Buy It Now 32m 24s
Country Promo 45 Karen Kelly - Sunday Go To Cheatin' Dress / If Everyone Loved L USD $5.00 Buy It Now 32m 35s
H8-38 Vinyl Record Album 45 Liberty Margie Rayborn Im Available If You Were RARE USD $22.45 Buy It Now 32m 52s
IF THERE WAS A WAY CD BY DWIGHT YOAKAM USD $1.99 [0 bids]
33m 11s
SILVER DOLLARS, RAINBOW / IF I LOST YOU, MERCURY 7inch 45rpm record USD $2.95 [0 bids]
35m 11s
BUCKS FIZZ - IF YOU CAN'T STAND THE HEAT - STEPPING OUT 7 " SINGLE P/S USD $1.48 [0 bids]
35m 18s
David T. Lyon - If That Don't Beat All LP Pop Rock 1982 USD $9.99 [0 bids]
35m 45s
SOMI - IF THE RAINS COME FIRST [DIGIPAK] - NEW CD USD $13.94 Buy It Now 38m 5s
If I Could Make a Living by Clay Walker (CD, Sep-1994, Giant (USA)) USD $1.50 Buy It Now 39m 1s
SPILLER Groovejet (If This Ain't Love) CD Single Positiva 2000 USD $5.92 Buy It Now 41m 52s
The New Establishment 45 Love Will Keep Us Going / If I Don't Find You Promo RCA USD $9.00 Buy It Now 41m 55s
ITA PROMO JUKE BOX THEM MYSTIC EYES IF YOU AND I CLOUD USD $22.74 Buy It Now 42m 16s
DOHERTY,DEBBIE/KATHI SEQUEL 3009 IF I NEEDED SOMEONE VG+ $50.00 USD $50.00 Buy It Now 42m 17s
Janie Fricke - If The Fall Don't Get You 45 1983 USD $0.99 Buy It Now 43m 35s
Jazz 45 Etta Jones - Don'T Go To Strangers / If I Had You On Prestige 8 USD $5.00 Buy It Now 43m 54s
Midge Ure (Ultravox) If I was USD $3.71 [0 bids]
44m 28s
REDDINGS: If Looks Could Kill LP (saw mark) Soul USD $15.00 Buy It Now 45m 9s
Jazz 45 John Gordy - If You Knew Susie Like I Know Susie / Makin' Whoopie On Rca USD $8.00 Buy It Now 45m 16s
LUTHER INGRAM IF LOVING YOU IS WRONG I DONT WANT TO BE RIGHT PROMO w PORTRAIT USD $34.99 Buy It Now 45m 31s
TIMI YURO Great performances Liberty Incl "If I never get to love you" - great v USD $29.69 Buy It Now 46m 35s
LIGHTNING SEEDS What if EASY DISCO DUB & 12 Minute MIX & MATCH CD Single SEALED USD $24.99 Buy It Now 46m 42s
CHEAP TRICK Oh Boy DEMO & If you want my love DEMO 7 INCH VINYL PROMO DJ 45 USD $24.99 Buy It Now 46m 46s
Stephen Jones BABYBIRD back Together REMIX w/ If you'll ACOUSTIC UK 7 INCH VINYL USD $24.99 Buy It Now 46m 46s
SEALED CD TOM NELSON (TRIO) WHO CARES IF DREAMS COME TRUE JAZZ? PIANO SEE ALL USD $8.00 Buy It Now 47m 7s
Jazz 45 Sarah Vaughan - Don'T Blame Me / If You Could See Me Now On Mgm USD $5.00 Buy It Now 47m 57s
LENNY KRAVITZ LOT PROMO 4 CD CIRCUS/BELIEVE IN ME/BLACK VELVETEEN/IF YOU CAN'T.. USD $24.99 Buy It Now 48m 8s
The Emotions - If I Only Knew - Vinyl 33RPM Album LP Music Record Motown USD $9.99 Buy It Now 48m 11s
Bob Mould SUGAR If I Cant Change PROMO CD Single LYRICS USD $14.99 Buy It Now 48m 20s
VARIOUS Allsorts Track Debonairs - "I'm in love again", Precisions "If this is l USD $29.69 Buy It Now 49m 54s
Connie Smith, I don't have anyplace to go/ If I talk to him RCA47-8663 VG++ USD $7.00 Buy It Now 51m 19s
Jim Nesbitt, Mother in Law / If You Don't Love Me Chart 1100 NM- USD $14.00 Buy It Now 51m 19s
* NANCY WILSON - If I Had My Way LIKE NEW FREE SHIPPING USA USD $6.99 Buy It Now 51m 20s
BARBARA MASON~"IF YOU KNEW HIM LIKE I DO"~ORIGINAL NG-2001~"NEAR MINT"~LP!!! USD $74.99 Buy It Now 51m 31s
Gogi Grant If You Want to Get to Heaven Shout Liberty LRP 3144 RARE USD $5.95 Buy It Now 51m 36s
Ricky Skaggs I Don't Care / If That's The Way You Feel 45 rpm Epic 14-02931 NM USD $3.25 Buy It Now 52m 22s
Ricky Van Shelton Wild Man / If You're Ever In My Arms 7" 45 rpm Columbia NM- USD $2.60 Buy It Now 52m 23s
Tanya Tucker If Your Heart Ain't Busy Tonight / Down To My Last 7" 45 rpm VG+ USD $1.95 Buy It Now 52m 23s
Ricky Van Shelton Where Was I (remix) / If It Weren't For Me 45 rpm Columbia VG+ USD $2.60 Buy It Now 52m 23s
Ronnie Milsap Still Losing You / If You Don't Want Me To 7" 45 rpm RCA VG+ USD $1.62 Buy It Now 52m 23s
Rodney Crowell If Looks Could Kill / I Didn't Know I Could 45 rpm Columbia NM- USD $3.25 Buy It Now 52m 23s
Tommy Overstreet If Love Was A Bottle Of Wine / I Never Really Missed 45 rpm NM USD $3.25 Buy It Now 52m 23s
1969 Buck Owens Johnny B. Goode / Maybe If I Close My Eyes 2485 45 rpm VG+ USD $2.60 Buy It Now 52m 23s
Sean Dunphy - If I Could Choose 7" Single 1967 USD $22.27 Buy It Now 52m 29s
Chico DeBarge 45 If It Takes All Night/Talk To Me Motown Records 1986 #1958MF USD $9.99 Buy It Now 53m 30s
If You're Looking For A Way Out By Odyssey 12 Inch Vinyl Record USD $3.70 [0 bids]
54m 16s
Kenny Dale When It's Just You And Me / If The World Should 7" 45 rpm Capitol NM USD $3.25 Buy It Now 54m 55s
Bob Sandy Remember Me / If You've Got The Money TOPS 45-270 45 rpm VG Vinyl USD $2.60 Buy It Now 54m 55s
Neal McCoy If I Was A Drinkin' Man / You Gotta Love That 7" 45 rpm Atlantic NM USD $2.60 Buy It Now 54m 55s
John Berry I Will If You Will / Love Is Everything 45 rpm Capitol S7-19511 VG+ USD $2.60 Buy It Now 54m 55s
Bobby Bare if You Ain't Got Nothin' / Golden Memories 7" 45 rpm Columbia NM USD $3.25 Buy It Now 54m 55s
Various Artists-If I Had a Song: The Songs of Pete Seeger Vol. 2 CD USD $2.95 [0 bids]
USD $4.95 Buy It Now
56m 27s
Wilson Pickett GOLD If You Need Me and More! Audio Music NEW UNOPENED CD USD $6.50 Buy It Now 56m 57s
1982 John Anderson If A Broken Heart Could Kill / Goin Down Hill 45 rpm VG+ USD $2.60 Buy It Now 57m 33s
1979 Razzy Bailey If Love Has A Face / Natural Love RCA PB-11536 45 rpm NM Vinyl USD $2.60 Buy It Now 57m 33s
1968 Jack Greene You Are My Treasure / If God Can DECCA 32261 45 rpm NM- Vinyl USD $2.60 Buy It Now 57m 34s
Brooks & Dunn You're Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone / If That's The Way 45 rpm VG+ USD $2.60 Buy It Now 57m 34s
1976 Lynn Anderson If All I Have to Do Is Just Love You /Kings Horses 45 rpm NM- USD $2.60 Buy It Now 57m 34s
ALABAMA If I Had You / I Showed You 7" 45 rpm RCA 8817-7-R VG+ Vinyl USD $2.60 Buy It Now 57m 34s
Ricky Skaggs I Wouldn't Change You If I Could / One Way Rider 7" 45 rpm NM- (EX) USD $3.25 Buy It Now 57m 34s
David Houston, Wonders of the Wine ? If God Can Forgive Me on Epic 10643 in VG+ USD $4.00 Buy It Now 57m 39s
June Carter, The Heel / If I Ever See Him Again on Liberty F55385 VG++ to NM- USD $8.00 Buy It Now 57m 39s
Polka 45 The "Pole" Cats - All The Girls Want Me / If I Had A Chance On Tac USD $8.00 Buy It Now 57m 46s
GUERILLAS~LAWDY ROLLA~NEAR MINT~IF YOU GO AWAY~KING 6269~ FUNK 45 USD $24.99 Buy It Now 58m
Pop 45 Andy Russell - (You'Re Driving Me To) Someone Else'S Arms / If My Heart H USD $5.00 Buy It Now 58m 24s
The Shells If You Were Gone From Me Misty Candlelite Clifton 45 7 USD $14.99 Buy It Now 59m 25s
Alan Jackson (Who Says) You Can't Have It All / If It Ain't One Thing 45 rpm NM- USD $2.60 Buy It Now 59m 28s
DWIGHT YOAKAM: "IF THERE WAS A WAY" by Dwight Yoakam (CD, Oct-1990, Reprise) USD $3.54 Buy It Now 1h
BROOKS AND DUNN: "IF YOU SEE HER" by Brooks & Dunn (CD, Jun-1998, Arista) HDCD USD $2.94 Buy It Now 1h
FRESH MEAT 7" VINYL HOBO IF YOU CAN'T LIVE RAFT 18504 1973 EX USD $19.22 Buy It Now 1h
Sundown (Indiana rock 1976) 45 In The Midst Of My Life / I Feel As If ~ VG++ USD $15.00 Buy It Now 1h 2m
Pearl Bailey 45 rpm Mame / If My Friends Could Col 4-43588 NM USD $7.00 Buy It Now 1h 3m
Sure Be Cool If You Did [Single] by Blake Shelton (CD, Feb-2013, Warner Bros.) USD $1.99 [0 bids]
USD $2.99 Buy It Now
1h 5m
Chad & Jeremy 45 Willow Weep For Me / If She Were Mine~World Artists VG+ to VG++ USD $6.80 Buy It Now 1h 5m
HADES If At First Yu Don' ORIG 88 GERMANY Roadrunner CD USD $51.00 Buy It Now 1h 5m
SOLILLAQUISTS OF SOUND As If We Existed LP NEW VINYL USD $20.99 Buy It Now 1h 6m
precisions.if this isnt love.drew.. .northern soul.crossover soul USD $33.64 [5 bids]
1h 6m
(FJ854) The Revelations, If I Called You On The Telephone - 2007 DJ CD USD $3.64 [0 bids]
1h 6m
Pop 45 Jenny Jamison - If I Can Stay Away Long Enough / All In The Name Of Love USD $5.00 Buy It Now 1h 6m
JACKIE ROSS "ATOMIC LOVE c/w IF IT WAS ME" NORTHERN / MODERN SOUL LISTEN! USD $17.80 Buy It Now 1h 6m
ONE THOUSAND VIOLINS - IF I WERE A BULLET 12" ps 1987 indie USD $5.94 [0 bids]
1h 7m
ELVIS PRESLEY "IF I CAN DREAM" RED VINYL LISTEN USD $14.83 Buy It Now 1h 7m
Pop 45 Kirk Stuart - If Love'S Not Ours / Fraternity Pin On Jubilee USD $5.00 Buy It Now 1h 8m
Gilbert O'Sullivan - No Matter How I Try / If I Don't Get You (Back Again) MAM53 USD $5.92 Buy It Now 1h 10m
BLACK & JAY Affiliated 4 Life IF YA SCARED Rare SEALED G-Funk LP Tenn HIP HOP USD $24.99 Buy It Now 1h 10m
SMOKE GETS IN YOU EYES, IF I HAD YOU, CARMEN CAVALLARO, DECCA, 18820 USD $5.88 Buy It Now 1h 11m
Manfred Mann 45 If You Gotta Go, Go Now/Stay Around His Master's Voice 1466 UK USD $6.00 Buy It Now 1h 12m
JAMIE RECORDS CLIFF NOBLES THE HORSE/BARBARA MASON IF YOU DON'T 45 RPM RECORD USD $8.99 Buy It Now 1h 12m
If I Could Make A Living by Clay Walker (CD) USD $1.00 Buy It Now 1h 12m
ROGER RICKER & BILLIE JO SPEARS 45rpm VINYL "If Your Leaving..." Nashville, TN USD $39.95 Buy It Now 1h 12m
HAROLD MELVIN & THE BLUENOTES IF YOU DON'T KNOW ME BY NOW 7IN VINYL RECORD USD $7.42 Buy It Now 1h 14m
Stevie Wonder - Lately / If It's Magic, Motown TMG-1226 Ex A1/B1 Press USD $5.18 Buy It Now 1h 14m
SEALED 1990 12" EP U.T.F.O. If You Don't Wanna Get Pregnant.. 1402-1-JD USD $9.99 Buy It Now 1h 15m
Cher - If I Could Turn Back Time / Some Guys, Geffen GEF-59 Ex+ Jukebox Ready USD $5.92 Buy It Now 1h 16m
LP 2
IF
~ USD $17.07
CD if 2
IF
~ USD $12.55
CD if 3
IF
~ USD $12.55
CD if4
IF
~ USD $13.65


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 shows & tickets


IF has no upcoming shows, according to LAST.FM syndicated events and shows feed

IF discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

IF top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.76 | 52 ratings
If
1970
3.83 | 36 ratings
If 2
1970
3.86 | 26 ratings
If 3
1971
3.42 | 21 ratings
If 4
1972
3.96 | 28 ratings
Waterfall
1972
3.15 | 11 ratings
Double Diamond
1973
3.96 | 15 ratings
Tea Break Is Over....
1974
3.42 | 8 ratings
Not Just Another Bunch Of Pretty Faces
1975

IF Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.75 | 4 ratings
If 4 on Tour in Germany, April '72
1972
3.48 | 14 ratings
Europe 1972
1997
4.00 | 1 ratings
Fibonacci's Number: More Live
2010

IF Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

IF Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 1 ratings
This Is If
1973
0.00 | 0 ratings
Gold Rock
1974
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Classic British Rock Scene
1975
0.00 | 0 ratings
Forgotten Roads - The Best Of IF
1995
0.00 | 0 ratings
Not Just Another Bunch Of Pretty Faces / Tea Break Is Over-Back On Your 'Eads
2005
4.50 | 2 ratings
Anthology 1970-72 (What Did I Say About The Box Jack?)
2008

IF Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Raise the Level of Your Conscious Mind
1970
0.00 | 0 ratings
Forgotten Roads
1971
0.00 | 0 ratings
Far Beyond
1971
0.00 | 0 ratings
You in Your Small Corner
1972
0.00 | 0 ratings
Waterfall (Promo Single)
1972
0.00 | 0 ratings
I Believe In Rock And Roll
1974

IF Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 If 2 by IF album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.83 | 36 ratings

BUY
If 2
If Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars I am such an ass! Going through 45 years without hearing something as marvelous as British jazz-rock legends IF is a crying shame. If I only knew IF! LOL. So what did it take to get me up to speed after such a long period of inertia? A stupendous review by my Aussie music mate Michael reminded me that I had been missing out on something quite delicious in view of my profound adoration of Nucleus, Soft Machine, Isotope, Traffic, Sunbirds, Wigwam and even Tasavallan Presidentti! I was perhaps misguided in hearing comments about similarities with Chicago and Blood, Sweat & Tears , both of which are not exactly in my range of goodies.

I opted for the deluxe DVD/CD package of the IF "2" release, a beauty that has a live DVD recording as well as the studio effort, all nicely put together with an amazing booklet, artwork etc?I was already familiar with keyboard whiz John Mealing (who later graduated to Passport and the Strawbs) as well as accomplished drummer Dennis Elliott who of course became a famous Foreigner. Dick Morrisey is a sax legend, so I knew enough to be at least conscious of their existence but the big surprise for me was guitarist Terry Smith, a wicked stylist with amazing technique a la Steve Cropper (blues and a distinct RnB country feel), a rock solid bass player in Jim Richardson and a real cool vocalist in J.W. Hodgkinson. I had never heard of these three, so I was in for a thrill. Though this is late 60s music , it stills smokes quite brightly and is a joy ride from beginning to end, it got me thinking that we would need some upbeat stuff like this in our currently apathetic/doom-laden culture. (Sorry Pharell but "Happy" is not quite enough to heal the world).

Things begin in radiant fashion with a sprightly "Your City is Falling", Hodgkinson grabbing the mike stand and showing who is the boss, while the lads pummel mightily in the background. The mood is balmy, warm and inviting, a really faultless opening salvo that sets the tone perfectly.

An extended platform for improvisation is the 8 minute+ "Sunday Sad", a Spanish guitar motif finds itself escorted by a flute caress which then quickly merges into a slick rambler that fumes, smokes, smolders and rages with torrid passion, fueled by the loaded double brass assault of Quincy and Morrissey on saxophones and another fine vocal performance by J.W. Bassist Richardson carves some manic grooves while Terry Smith does a splendid job on his axe, a gritty and sulphurous affair that is just awe-inspiring. Mealing's grumpy organ is shoved along by Elliott's sturdy drumming and lo and behold, this is such exhilarating music!

The Brits love their weird song titles (hello Canterbury lads) and "Tarmac T and the Lonesome Nymphomaniac" (what year? 1969, hmmm, pretty racy, wot?) certainly qualifies, a bluesy trippy ditty with a manic vocal that has a definite Traffic/BST feel, spread-eagled by a sick sax flirting overtly with the fuzzy wuzzy organ (that is innuendo-laden wordplay for you), sensual and sexual jazz-rock with some serious soul.

Driving your vintage MG or Triumph Spitfire, propelled by a bass-mad "I Couldn't Write and Tell You", gives the music a down to earth meaning, surprising the listener with inimitable genius, a flute from nowhere, a consistently believable vocal delivery , a solid beat and some glittering solos all within its 8 minute sinews. Terry Smith glitters on his axe, a blistering technique that nears supersonic speeds, frenzied and acidic. Wow! Has anyone noticed where my jaw landed? Yeah, baby!

Smooth? You want some velvety class , well it does not get creamier than the suave breeze heard on "Shadows and Echoes", sounding like some jazz toone from the 50s movies, a cool cat skinning his brushes, upright bass bopping along while the crisp and clear guitar does some marauding. A wide mouthed vocal again does the trick, versatile and groovy.

Hey, you wanna another oddball song title, look no further than the quirky "A Song For Elsa, Three Days Before her 23rd Birthday", I mean, C'mon! Doggone it when Brits can out soul the Yanks, and that's including the 'brothers'! At least in musical terms, British blues and jazz bands of the 60s and 70s certainly played a part in emancipating white crowds into getting off on black music (Hey, Jimi, How ya doin'?). Here Quincy and Morrissey play majestically, a pure joy and total marvel to witness and revel in.

What a great record and I can bury my ignorance now by pursuing the entire catalogue!

Merci, Michael!

4.5 Rudyard Kiplings

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).

Forum user
Forum password
 If 2 by IF album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.83 | 36 ratings

BUY
If 2
If Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

5 stars Released in the same year as their first album in 1970, `If 2' saw English jazz/fusion/rock band If deliver a follow-up album that was just as good, if just a little more instantly approachable than the debut. One of the things that makes this album such a winner is that, in addition to the obviously top-notch musical displays and improvisational skills of the musicians, the band have crafted those elements to a selection of accessible and melodic tunes, without really being any more overly commercial. Soul, psych, funk, jazz and heavy R&B styles are all blended seamlessly with a hard rocking sound, with thrilling instrumental runs carefully executed between strong vocal passages. Oh, and it also happens to groove like a mutha-effer the whole time!!

`Your City is Falling' opens the album in gutsy and up-tempo fashion. A catchy tune sung with bellowing conviction by lead singer J.W Hodgkinson is powered by Dennis Elliott's snappy drumming, John Mealing's nimble Hammond organ ripples and relentless dual saxophone attacks from Dave Quincy and Dick Morrissey. The scathing lyric seem to be condemning watching the city you love change around you, the line "Half religious mockeries that robbed the man who died" is especially vivid, and the repeated exasperated mention of "All the restaurants?" just drives the message home perfectly. The gently melancholic `Sunday Sad' is psychedelic and drowsy, with lovely dreamy flute giving way to Terry Smith's Spanish-style slow-burn guitar solo in the middle that bubbles under and eventually erupts with lusty splintering fire, Jim Richardson's chasing bass stalking the whole time. `Tarmac T. Pirate' (check out the full nonsense title!) is a compact shorter vocal rocker dominated by Hodkinson, but the whole band offering quick little instrumental fills around him throughout.

`I couldn't Write and Tell You' opens the second side, with relentless bass, confident sax blaring and nimble jazzy guitar licks that turn into a psychedelic storm, but a sympathetic heartfelt restrained vocal in the middle over wistful flute is a nice break. `Shadows and Echoes' is a smooth soul ballad, showing that the band was equally convincing on slower, thoughtful numbers as the high energy ones. Reflective flute, lovely harmonies, a warm croon from Hodgkinson and Terry's unexpected nimble-fingered fretboard run in the center is the highlight. `I believe this girl's about to fly...' declares J.W on closer `A Song For Elsa', and fly it damn well does! It's a honking R&B stomper with a roaring vocal, furious propulsive instrumental jamming that alternates with smoky bluesy sax ruminations.

Especially worthwhile is the recent Repertoire Records CD/DVD reissue. Not only is the main album sounding absolutely wonderful, but a short bonus DVD of live vintage footage from 1971 is included. While visually it's fairly average quality, the energy of the live performance from the band is intoxicating, and, not surprising to discover, singer J.W Hodgkinson is a stocky mountain of a man, performing with power and finesse. Several of the tracks from `If 2' are performed, and it's interesting to note just how tightly written they are, as they're not all that different from the studio versions, just with a little added urgency the live environment brings.

Running just over 35 minutes, there's not enough time for any filler material to emerge, as `If 2' races through a range of fusion styles and sounds, expertly played by a bunch of top- notch musicians. It's one of the damn coolest albums in my collection, and just as special to me as If-offshoot Zzebra's second album `Panic', and it never fails to lift my mood. It's been in my collection for some years now, and after dozens upon dozens of listens, it still sounds like sheer musical perfection to my ears!

Five stars.

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).

Forum user
Forum password
 If 3 by IF album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.86 | 26 ratings

BUY
If 3
If Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Anon-E-Mouse

5 stars With the abundance of new Prog releases it's easy to forget about groundbreaking works of Jazz-Rock pioneers from the early 70's. Especially when a younger generation were not even born at that time. This piece is intended to bring attention to this generally excellent work of this band from the UK.

The band started out strongly - for that era - before reaching their peak here on "If 3" that was maintained on follow up works, then changes in line-up and a nod towards more commercial approaches saw them - rightly - fade away. (Shortly after, their partial reincarnation as Zzebra had some better moments, but never reached their former best.)

The music on "If 3" is a team effort by very capable musicians who are masters of their respective instruments. This is no one-man band with hired hands helping out. No. here everyone is not only permitted, but compelled to shine - and they all do.

Very tight, well crafted compositions from beginning to end represent a fine blend of vocals alternating with great solos. Not surprisingly, band leader Dick Morrissey's excellent sax and flute stands out, but not at the expense of others, more like an element that bonds things together. And Terry Smith on guitar must be heard to be believed. To date (43 years later) few could be compared with his fluid delivery that's bordering on orgasmic. But really, the whole band are collectively great.

Tight, rhythmic and sometimes melodic tunes delivered in a dynamic and compact way, speckled with great solos. Not a single second of filler material here. The band could be likened to Colosseum (not Colosseum II) at their best and fans of that group would find this album very pleasing. Highly recommended.

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).

Forum user
Forum password
 If 2 by IF album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.83 | 36 ratings

BUY
If 2
If Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars If were trully creative during their brief stint in the 70's and shortly after the release of their debut, who had entered the charts worldwide and even won a prize for its front cover artwork, a second album saw the light in 1970.''If 2'' was now recorded both at the Hit Factory in New York and the Island Studios in London with Lew Futterman as a producer.The album was released, of course, on Island in UK and on Capitol in the US.

''If 2'' is again characterized by inventive and tight songwriting, combining the technical aspects of Jazz and Psychedelic Rock with Pop flourishes and Soul melodies.The first side of the LP is quite cool, maybe too much relying in the mix of psych organs, electric guitars and smooth sax melodies in just about the same motive, but the tracks contain good melodies, fine instrumental jamming parts and certainly J. W. Hodkinson's excellent voice.''Sunday day'' is propably the best cut with its dominant 60's influences, the doomy sax lines of Dick Morrissey and the loose guitar work of Terry Smith.The second side opens with the best piece of the whole album and one of If's better compositions, ''I couldn't write and tell you'', which lyrically is rather weak, but the music is more than rewarding.Very rich Jazz Rock with psychedelic grooves and dynamic Hammond organ, that rise as the track unfolds, and great KLAUS DOLDINGER-like wind instrumental parts, while Hodkinson's voice is absolutely great.The remaining two tracks explore the boundaries of smooth or more energetic Jazz Rock with commercial vibes and catchy choruses with less instrumental inventiveness but nevertheless tight performances by the band.

Another nice release by this intelligent British combo.Hardly you is able find a group, that can combine virtuosity and accesibility with such comfort and ''If 2'' is such an album, especially rewarding for fans of late-60's Proto Prog or Jazz Rock.Recommended.

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).

Forum user
Forum password
 If by IF album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.76 | 52 ratings

BUY
If
If Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by presdoug

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 been that favorable to interest in this amazing band, because musically, they were of the highest caliber, and this debut album an excellent effort, all the way around.

If-If was released in the days of pioneering jazz-rock, and opened doors for the band- rightly so, as it is a strong and cohesive effort, with no weak songs or weak musicians playing in the lineup. This debut tells of a true band, a collaborative effort, where all musicians and lead singer are equally important to the music being conveyed, with the result that they keep you interested and musically stimulated all the way through every track on this record.

Vocalist J.W. Hodgkinson is quite good, and has a strong delivery without a lot of screaming or shrieking the way some vocalists do. All instrumentalists blossom individually without ever loosing touch with the overall cohesive spirit being conveyed, and the result is music that is exciting and fascinating to follow. There are drums, two sax players, keys, flute, guitar, and bass here and they do some really interesting things that are much more appealing than their colleagues Chicago or B,S and T. Whereas i have grown tired of those two bands, not so with If, who for me, have stood the test of time well. This group are in finest form in the first album here, and also If 3, their greatest oeuvre. The music on If's debut is so stimulating and pleasing to hear, i often find myself forgetting that it is over four decades old!

And like Colosseum, the band had a legendary live appeal that must have been a sight to behold back in the day. Well, this great record is the next best thing to being there. I highly recommend it, and give it five stars.

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).

Forum user
Forum password
 If by IF album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.76 | 52 ratings

BUY
If
If Jazz Rock/Fusion

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).

Forum user
Forum password
 Waterfall by IF album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.96 | 28 ratings

BUY
Waterfall
If Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Easy Livin
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

4 stars The new and improved fourth album

Unlike the band's first three albums, "If 4" was not released in North America, reportedly due to management and contractual issues. Later the same year though (1972), this album appeared in its place in those territories. As can be seen from the track listing, no less than four of the tracks on this album also appeared on "If 4" with two ("You in your small corner" and "Svenska Soma") being replaced by "Paint your pictures" and "Cast no shadows". The track order too is completely different, with "Sector 17", which seems to have been pruned back a bit, losing its headline spot to this album's title song. The two new tracks were recorded by a a slightly different line up with a new rhythm section and without John Mealing.

The re-ordering of the tracks means that the album gets off to a much more satisfactory start, with two in your face slices of jazz rock ("Waterfall" and "The light still shines") providing a tight, brass fuelled, attention grabbing first 10 minutes or so. "Sector 17" retains the extended guitar noodling of "If 4", but the sax excesses are kept in check.

"Paint your pictures" is one of the two tracks unique to this album. The song leans on the blues side of the band, the simple backing rhythm supporting an extended lead guitar break and some fine brass. From the keyboards work, it sound like John Mealing may in fact still have been around for this recording. "Cast No Shadows" has a distinctly The Who feel to it in the Roger Daltrey like vocals. The track otherwise has more in common with Chicago than BS&T, being reminiscent of "Does anybody really know what time it is" (to these ears at least!). The album closes with "Throw Myself to the Wind", a straightforward jazz rock number with a toe-tapping rhythm.

For me, this is a far more satisfactory configuration of "If 4" than the UK release. The bland fusion experiments are kept firmly in check, with the album benefiting from a feel much more in line with If's previous releases.

The 2003 re-release of the album has three bonus tracks. The first two of these are a single A and B side which contained an edited version of "Waterfall" and "You in your small corner", the most commercial track on "If 4". The final track is a superfluous mono version of the radio edit of "Waterfall".

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).

Forum user
Forum password
 If 4 by IF album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.42 | 21 ratings

BUY
If 4
If Jazz Rock/Fusion

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.

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).

Forum user
Forum password
 If 2 by IF album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.83 | 36 ratings

BUY
If 2
If Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Easy Livin
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

3 stars Tarmac T. Pirate's not as bad as he sounds

In an age when band seem to take several years between albums, it may seem strange that If should have released this their second album in the same year as their first. Back in 1970 though, such an event was far from unusual, many bands working on a six month cycle of touring and recording. We should of course remember that back then around 40 minutes was the norm for an album, but even so, the workload on a band was intense.

"If 2" is very much a continuation of the eponymous début, the unchanged line up moving at times into more commercial territories while retaining the jazz rock tenets on which their sound was based.

"Your city is falling" is the first of the six tracks here, the album opening with a delightful up tempo number which sees pretty much all aspects of the band's make up taking centre stage. Dick Morrissey's "Sunday sad" is an unusual song for the band, setting out as a slower, more reflective piece. J.W. Hodkinson offers a fine vocal performance on this 8 minute classic, which also features some dynamic guitar work by Terry Smith. As the track develops, the sax section pick things up nicely transforming the track completely. The oddly named "Tarmac T. Pirate and the Lonesome Nymphomaniac" is very much in the Blood Sweat and Tears vein, the actual song being far better than its title.

The second side (of the LP) is in some ways a mirror image of the first. The opening Dave Quincy song "I Couldn't Write and Tell You" though is not as frantic as its peer on side one. The vocals here are very Roger Daltrey (Who) like, Quincy delivering a surprisingly rock orientated song where his sax talents are kept largely in the background. "Shadows and Echoes" was co-written by Lionel Grigson with his then partner Margaret Busby. The late Grigson was well known during the early jazz/fusion scene, and was in fact a a member of If prior to the recording of their first album. The songs focuses on the band's softer, lighter side, featuring flute and a fine vocal.

The closing Hodgkinson composed "Song for Elsa, Three Days Before Her 25th Birthday" once again has similarities with the work of Blood Sweat and Tears around the same time, especially in the David Clayton-Thomas like vocals.

In all, an album which for my money matches up well beside the band's fine début. There is a good variety of styles and sound here, the songs are strong, and the performances first rate.

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).

Forum user
Forum password
 If by IF album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.76 | 52 ratings

BUY
If
If Jazz Rock/Fusion

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).

Forum user
Forum password
Thanks to Sean Trane for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | 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: 1.24 seconds