If

If was an English sax-rock band from London that released two albums on Island in 1970, followed by a second pair of titles on U.A.–Metromedia in 1972–73 and a further pair on Gull during the mid-1970s. Saxophonist Dick Morrissey later formed a prolific partnership with ex-Piblokto!Oblivion guitarist Jim Mullen in the duo Morrissey Mullen.

Members: Dick Morrissey (saxophone, flute), Lionel Grigson (keyboards, vocals, 1969), Tony Allen [J. W. Hodkinson] (lead vocals, 1969-73), Dave Quincy (saxophone, 1969-73), Daryl Runswick (bass, 1969), Terry Smith (guitar, 1969-73), Spike Wells (drums, 1969), Dennis Elliott (drums, 1969-72), John Mealing (keyboards, 1969-72), Jim Richardson (bass, 1969-73), Cliff Davies (drums, 1972-75), Dave Greenslade (keyboards, 1972-73), Dave Wintour (guitar, acoustic guitar, bass, vocals, 1972-73), Peter Arnesen (keyboards, 1973-74), Kurt Palomacki (bass, 1973-74), Steve Rosenthal (guitar, lead vocals, 1973-74), Fiachra Trench (keyboards, 1973-74), Gabriel Magno (keyboards, clarinet, 1974-75), Walt Monaghan (bass, vocals, 1974-75), Mike Tomich (bass, 1974-75), Geoff Whitehorn (guitar, vocals, 1974-75)


Background

If inaugurated the UK branch of brass-rock along with Galliard, Heaven, Brainchild, and The Greatest Show on Earth. The main difference is that If featured two saxophonists but no actual brass (trumpet, trombone). Guitarist Terry Smith formed If in 1969 with saxophonists Dick Morrissey and Dave Quincy.

Terry Smith (b. 1943) played as a backing musician for Georgie Fame, the Walker Brothers, and jazz pianist Tony Lee. In 1969, Smith issued the Philips big band album Fall Out with an ensemble that included Australian saxophonist Ray Warleigh and Canadian trumpeter Kenny Wheeler. That same year, he interacted with Morrissey on The Greatest Little Soul Band In the Land by American soul singer J. J. Jackson. The two joined Jackson’s soul-psych backing band Dilemma for a 1970 self-titled release on RCA/Perception, which also features Quincy.

Dick Morrissey (1940–2000) released four albums between 1961 and 1967 with his namesake hard-bop quartet. Intermittently, he played on albums by Johnny Dankworth, Jimmy Witherspoon, and Georgie Fame. In 1965, Morrissey partook (alongside Wheeler and Ian Carr) in a big band version of The Animals for an appearance at the 5th Annual British Jazz & Blues Festival in Richmond upon Thames.

Dave Quincy (b. 1939) backed ex-Shadows bassist Jet Harris in the early ’60s and served two years (1965–67) in Chris Farlowe and the Thunderbirds, where he interacted with keyboardist Dave Greenslade, who briefly joined If in 1972 (between his time in Colosseum and Greenslade). Just prior to Dilemma and If, Quincy played on the 1969 debut album by Manfred Mann Chapter Three. Concurrently, he backed the soul-rock duo Babylon (featuring Carol Grimes of Delivery) on their one-off Polydor single. Quincy wrote the a-side, “Into the Promised Land,” which If rerecorded as “The Promised Land.”

Smith, Morrissey, and Quincy formed If with guidance by American music mogul Lew Futterman, who became their manager–producer and secured them a deal with Island Records. They enlisted vocalist J.W. Hodkinson (1942–2013), who once performed as “teen idol” Johnny Goode under the auspices of ’50s pop Svengali Larry Parnes. In 1966, Hodkinson sang the theme song to the spy thriller Triple Cross starring Christopher Plummer and Yul Brynner.

The initial septet featured keyboardist Lionel Grigson, bassist Daryl Runswick, and drummer Spike Wells, all journeymen of the UK jazz scene. Before If entered the studio, the three musicians were replaced, respectively, by John Mealing, Jim Richardson, and Dennis Elliott. Mealing played piano in the Don Rendell-Ian Carr Quintet. Elliott drummed for soul-rockers Ferris Wheel (the starting vehicle for singer Linda Lewis.)


If

If released their self-titled debut album in July 1970 on Island Records.

1. “I’m Reaching Out on All Sides” (Quincy, Fishman) – 5:14
2. “What Did I Say About the Box, Jack?” (Dick Morrissey) – 8:20
3. “What Can a Friend Say?” (Dave Quincy) – 6:28

4. “Woman Can You See (What This Big Thing Is All About)” (J. W. Hodkinson) – 4:01
5. “Raise the Level of Your Conscious Mind” (Fishman, Marsala) – 3:11
6. “Dockland” (Daryl Runswick) – 5:21
7. “The Promised Land” (Dave Quincy) – 4:31

Recorded February, March and April 1970
Studio Island Studios, London
Producer Lew Futterman

J. W. Hodkinson – lead vocals, percussion
Dick Morrissey – tenor and soprano saxophones, flute
Dave Quincy – tenor and alto saxophones, flute
Terry Smith – guitar
John Mealing – organ, backing vocals, piano
Jim Richardson – bass
Dennis Elliott – drums
Frank Owen – Sound

29 May 1970
A: Raise The Level of Your Conscious Mind
B: I’m Reaching Out On All Sides


If 2

If released their second album, If 2, on December 11, 1970, on Island Records. In the US, If 2 appeared in January 1971 on Capitol.

1. “Your City Is Falling” (Dave Quincy) – 5:04
2. “Sunday Sad” (Dick Morrissey) – 8:18
3. “Tarmac T. Pirate and the Lonesome Nymphomaniac” (John Mealing, Trevor Preston) – 5:12

4. “I Couldn’t Write and Tell You” (Dave Quincy) – 8:23
5. “Shadows and Echoes” (Margaret Busby, Lionel Grigson) – 4:24
6. “Song for Elsa, Three Days Before Her 25th Birthday” (J. W. Hodkinson) – 5:11

Recorded The Hit Factory, NY

J. W. Hodkinson – lead vocals, percussion
Dick Morrissey – tenor and soprano saxophone, flute
Dave Quincy – tenor and alto saxophones, flute
Terry Smith – guitar
John Mealing – organ, backing vocals, electric piano
Jim Richardson – bass
Dennis Elliott – drums

Production
engineer – Frank Owen, Jon Child
producer – Lew Futterman

A: Your City Is Falling
B: “Woman Can You See (What This Big Thing Is All About)?”


If 3

If released their third album, If 3, in August 1971 on United Artists (UK) and Capitol (US).

1. “Fibonacci’s Number” (Quincy) – 7:38
2. “Forgotten Roads” (Quincy, Preston) – 4:23
3. “Sweet January” (Quincy, Preston) – 4:30
4. “Child of Storm” (Quincy, Hodkinson) – 3:39

5. “Far Beyond” (Mealing, Preston) – 4:57
6. “Seldom Seen Sam” (Smith, Hodkinson) – 4:50
7. “Upstairs” (B. Morrissey, D. Morrissey) – 4:52
8. “Here Comes Mr. Time” (Mealing, Preston) – 4:43

Producer Jon Child, If

J.W. Hodkinson – lead vocals, percussion
Dick Morrissey – tenor and soprano saxophones, backing vocals, flute
Dave Quincy – tenor and alto saxophones, flute
Terry Smith – guitar
John Mealing – organ, backing vocals, electric piano
Jim Richardson – bass
Dennis Elliott – drums

6 Aug 1971
A: Far Beyond
B: Forgotten Roads


If 4

If released their fourth studio album, If 4, in May 1972 on United Artists.

1. “Sector 17” (Quincy) – 10:34
2. “The Light Still Shines” (Quincy, Humphrey) – 5:06
3. “You in Your Small Corner” (Quincy, Humphrey) – 3:49

4. “Waterfall” (D. Morrissey, B. Morrissey) – 5:27
5. “Throw Myself to the Wind” (D. Morrissey, B. Morrissey) – 4:51
6. “Svenska Soma” (Jonsson-Smith) – 7:09

Producer Lew Futterman
Dennis Elliott – drums
J.W. Hodgkinson – vocals, percussion
John Mealing – keyboards
Dick Morrissey – saxophones, flute
Dave Quincy – saxophones
Jim Richardson – bass
Terry Smith – guitar

14 Apr 1972
A: You In Your Small Corner
B: Waterfall

If 4 went unreleased in North America, where four tracks (“Waterfall,” “Sector 17,” “The Light Still Shines,” “Throw Myself to the Wind”) appeared with two newer songs (“Paint Your Pictures,” “Cast No Shadows”) on the September 1972 Metromedia release Waterfall

Paint Your Pictures” (D. Morrissey, B. Morrissey) – 5:18
Cast No Shadows” (Davies) – 7:30)

If recorded both songs with new drummer Cliff Davies and temp bassist Dave Wintour.

In Germany, UA issued the album as If 4: On Tour in Germany – April 72. This version features the same studio tracklist as the UK release with the title suffixed to promote their spring German tour.


Double Diamond

If released their fifth album, Double Diamond, in July 1973 on Brain and Metromedia.

1. “Play, Play, Play” (D. Morrissey, K. Palomaki) – 3:45
2. “Pebbles on the Beach” (D. Morrissey, B. Morrissey) – 4:34
3. “Pick Me Up (And Put Me Back on the Road)” (Davies) – 5:03
4. “Another Time Around (Is Not for Me)” (Davies) – 6:57

5. “Groupie Blue (Every Day She’s Got the Blues)” (D. Morrissey, T. Preston) – 4:09
6. “Fly, Fly, The Route, Shoot” (Palomaki) – 4:27
7. “Feel Thing Part 1” (Arnesen) – 4:18
8. “Feel Thing Part 2” (Arnesen) – 4:54
9. “Feel Thing Part 3” (Arnesen) – 3:18

Recorded The Manor Studios
Producer Lew Futterman

Dick Morrissey – tenor and alto saxophones, lead and backing vocals, flute
Steve Rosenthal – guitar, lead and backing vocals
Pete Arnesen – piano, backing vocals, organ, synthesizer
Fi Trench – piano, backing vocals
Kurt Palomaki – bass, backing vocals
Cliff Davies – drums, backing vocals, percussion


Not Just Another Bunch of Pretty Faces

If released their sixth album, Not Just Another Bunch of Pretty Faces, in October 1974 on Capitol (US), Gull (UK), and Brain Records (Germany).

1. “In the Winter of Your Life” – 4:59
2. “Stormy Every Weekday Blues” – 6:07
3. “Follow That with Your Performing Seals” – 5:51

4. “Still Alive” – 4:29
5. “Borrowed Time” – 4:30
6. “Chiswick High Road Blues” – 5:17
7. “I Believe in Rock & Roll” – 4:53

Recorded between October 1973 – February 1974 at:
Sleepy Hollow Recording, Ithaca, N.Y.
Majestic Sound, London, England.
The Sound Pit, Atlanta, GA.
Allen-Martin Studios, Louisville, KY.
Producer Lew Futterman, assisted by Jon Child and Cliff Davies

Dick Morrissey – saxes and flute, lead vocals (4)
Geoff Whitehorn – electric and acoustic guitars, lead (1, 7) and backing vocals
Gabriel Magno – Hammond organ, electric and acoustic pianos, electric harpsichord
Walt Monaghan – bass (all but 1), lead (5, 7) and backing vocals
Cliff Davies – drums, lead vocals (2, 6), congas, vibes
Mike Tomich – bass (1)

A: I Believe In Rock ‘N’ Roll
B: Still Alive


Tea-break Over – Back on Your ‘Eads

If released their seventh and final studio album, Tea-break Over – Back on Your ‘Eads, on March 7, 1975, on Capitol, Gull, and Brain Records.

1. “Merlin the Magic Man” (Davies) – 5:05
2. “I Had a Friend” (Davies) – 4:30
3. “Tea Break Over, Back on Your ‘Eads” (Whitehorn, Davies, Monaghan) – 6:05

4. “Ballad of the Yessirrom Kid” (Davies) – 5:20
5. “Raw Sewage” (Davies) – 6:13
6. “Song for Alison” (Morrissey) – 3:55
7. “Don Quixote’s Masquerade” (Davies) – 7:50)

Recorded July & August 1974 at Pyramid Sounds. Mixed at The Hit Factory.
Producer Jon Child, Cliff Davies, Lew Futterman

Geoff Whitehorn – electric and acoustic guitars, lead vocals
Dick Morrissey – electric & acoustic tenor, alto & soprano saxes; flute
Gabriel Magno – keyboards, organ, piano, synthesiser
Walt Monaghan – bass, backing vocals
Cliff Davies – drums, vibraphone, backing vocals

Carlos Martinez – percussion


Discography:

  • If (1970)
  • If 2 (1970)
  • If 3 (1971)
  • Waterfall [aka If 4] (1972)
  • Double Diamond (1973)
  • Not Just Another Bunch of Pretty Faces (1974)
  • Tea-break Over – Back on Your ‘Eads (1975)

Sources:

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