Single Stories: Bread, “If”
47 years ago this week, Bread released the second single from their third album, a song that muscled its way up the Billboard Hot 100 â well, you know, inasmuch as a soft-pop single can muscle its way up anything â and settled in the top five.
Produced by David Gates and co-written by Gates and Waleen Johnson, âIfâ followed on the heels of âLet Your Love Go,â the first single from Breadâs MANNA album. While that track was a top-30 hit, climbing to #28, its success wasnât on par with the bandâs previous pair of singles, âMake It With Youâ and âIt Donât Matter to Me,â which hit #1 and #10, respectively. When âIfâ came out, however, it was like the middling success of âLet Your Love Goâ never happened: the song made it to #4 on the Hot 100 and topped the Billboard Easy Listening chart.
âIfâ also went down like gangbusters when Bread performed in concert, which Malcolm C. Searles documented in his book Bread: A Sweet Surrender:
âThe recent Top 10 single, âIf,â would always receive a huge cheer, and loud screams from the many teenage girls present, once the initial quivering guitar chords rang out over the vast arenas and concert halls, and with Mike often appearing on bass for the song â what else could the drummer do on this final ballad? â it would draw the performance to a tumultuous conclusion after 70 or so minutes onstage.â
Surprisingly, the song also found chart-topping success in the UK, except it wasnât Breadâs version of the song that topped the charts, it was a cover version done byâ¦Telly Savalas?
For more information, click the buttons below: