If - If 1 (1970)

by request - 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! - Review by mystic fred (Steve Trowbridge)

Track Listings

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

Dennis Elliott - Drums
J.W. Hodgkinson - Vocals
John Mealing - Keyboards, Vocals
Dick Morrissey - Saxophones, Flute
Dave Quincy - Saxophones
Jim Richardson - Bass
Terry Smith - Guitar
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/If_%28album%29"

Releases information

LP ISLAND ILPS9129 (UK) (1970)
LP CAPITOL CAST539 (US) (1970)

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Meu caro , o cade o album......

21 de setembro de 2008 16:40  

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