Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

IF 2


Jazz Rock/Fusion

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

If If 2 album cover
3.85 | 59 ratings | 7 reviews | 24% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

Write a review
Buy IF Music
from partners
Studio Album, released in 1970

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Your City Is Falling (5:04)
2. Sunday Sad (8:18)
3. Tarmac T. Pirate And The Lonesome Nymphomaniac (5:12)
4. I Couldn't Write And Tell You (8:23)
5. Shadows and Echoes (4:24)
6. Song For Elsa, Three Days Before Her 25th Birthday (5:11)

Line-up / Musicians

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 ""

Releases information

LP ISLAND ILPS9137 (UK) (1970)
LP CAPITOL CASW676 (US) (1970)

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

Buy IF If 2 Music

If 2If 2
Limited Edition
Repertoire 2006
$9.41 (used)
If 2 by If (2006-03-13)If 2 by If (2006-03-13)
If by If (1997-02-25)If by If (1997-02-25)
IF 2 + If 'Live in Liverpool' by IfIF 2 + If 'Live in Liverpool' by If
Repertoire Records
If/If 2 By If (0001-01-01)If/If 2 By If (0001-01-01)
Lake Eerie

Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Jennifer Lopez - If You Had My Love/Dark Child (radio Edits) -1999 2tk. CD USD $1.61 Buy It Now
2x VIC DANA A Very Good Year For Girls/Looking For Me/If I Never Knew Your Name USD $6.99 Buy It Now 37m 2s
Dawson Smith 45 I Don't Know If I Can Make It Pts 1&2 1974 Soul VG++ USD $20.00 Buy It Now 1h 57m
Something for All of Us.../Spirit If... by Brendan Canning - 2CD USD $4.99 Buy It Now 2h
If I Could Fall In Love Single 2 Songs by Lenny Kravtiz USD $5.00 Buy It Now 3h 10m
GRACE ~ If I Could Fly [ Perfecto ] 2x12" Paul Oakenfold Trance Double-Pack USD $8.70 [0 bids]
3h 14m
The Songs of Pete Seeger, Vol. 2: If I Had a Song... Various Audio CD USD $11.97 Buy It Now 4h 58m
ROD STEWART - IF WE FALL IN LOVE TONIGHT - CD - SPECIAL SALE - $2 for 1 disc USD $2.00 Buy It Now 5h 6m
Gold Digger Very Own Life + IF DESTROYED CD SIGNED BY ARTIST 2 CD LOT USD $10.71 Buy It Now 5h 37m
Atomic Kitten - If You Come To Me (2 Track CD Single 2003). Ex Cond USD $2.00 Buy It Now 5h 38m
City And Colour - If I Should Go Before You Go (2LP) [Vinyl LP] /0* USD $29.99 Buy It Now 5h 52m
LIGHTNING SEEDS - WHAT IF - 1996 UK CD Single (CD2) *FREE UK POSTAGE* USD $4.01 [0 bids]
6h 20m
APPLE MOSAIC Bundle of 2 x 7" Singles - Honey If & Velvet Avenue (1987) USD $2.67 Buy It Now 6h 37m
AUTOMATIC What if 2 UNRELEASED CD Single NICK LAUNAY SEALED USA seller USD $14.99 Buy It Now 6h 38m
HAREM SCAREM-MOOD SWINGS / IF THERE WAS A TIME 2011 cd 2 on 1 USD $4.00 [1 bids]
6h 58m
SMASHING PUMPKINS If It All Goes Wrong EU 2008 PAL Region 2 Cardboard Slip 2DVD USD $9.99 Buy It Now 7h 13m
50'S / 60'S 45 Bobby Darin - 1. If A Man Answers 2. True, True Love / 1. Sermon USD $5.00 Buy It Now 7h 27m
PEGGY LEE Latin Ala Lee;If You Go 1960/1961 2 CAPITOL LP LOT excellent USD $9.99 Buy It Now 7h 30m
HEART AND SOUL: If 2:55-Afterthought 2:35-U.S. 7" Strive Records STR 829,Psych. USD $174.98 Buy It Now 7h 53m
5TH GENERATION: If I See Her 2:40- You Lied To Me-U.S. 7" 68 Fone- Booth Fb-1001 USD $348.98 Buy It Now 8h 16m
BUDGIE~"IF I WERE BRITTANIA I'D WAIVE THE RULES"~AMLH 68377~A2/B2 1st~76'~ EX/EX USD $40.15 Buy It Now 8h 21m
HOPPY KAMIYAMA If I Were The Piano JAPAN CD MKCD-002 2007 USD $42.10 Buy It Now 8h 27m
Drake - If You're Reading This It's Too Late 2LP NEW USD $34.99 Buy It Now 9h 10m
EDWYN COLLINS Keep On Burning CD UK Setanta 1996 4 Track Part 2 B/W If You USD $2.80 Buy It Now 10h 3m
JOHN COUGAR MELLENCAMP What If I Came Knocking CD UK Mercury 1993 2 Track Promo USD $4.21 Buy It Now 10h 3m
LENNY KRAVITZ If You Can't Say No CD European Virgin 1998 2 Track Radio Edit USD $6.69 Buy It Now 10h 3m
HIDING PLACE What If CD UK Rca 2004 1 Track Promo In Special Card Sleeve (Hope2) USD $5.62 Buy It Now 10h 3m
BABYBIRD If You'll Be Mine CD UK Echo 1998 3 Track Part 2 B/W Memorise And I USD $5.62 Buy It Now 10h 3m
A.M. If I Was The Sheriff CD UK Storm 2003 2 Track B/W Revoluta With Promo Info USD $2.80 Buy It Now 10h 3m
DINA CARROLL Only Human CD UK Mercury 1996 4 Track (Dccd2) B/W Run To You, If I USD $5.62 Buy It Now 10h 4m
A.M. If I Was The Sheriff CD UK Storm 2003 2 Track B/W Revoluta (Stmccds6) USD $3.20 Buy It Now 10h 27m
NAKED APES Extreme/If You See Kay CD UK Airplay 2004 2 Track Limited Edition USD $5.62 Buy It Now 10h 27m
HELENA If You Should Go CD UK Grinning Rat 2003 2 Track B/W Upside Down (Cdgrr1) USD $6.69 Buy It Now 10h 27m
GABRIELLE Forget About The World CD UK Go Beat 1996 4 Track Part 2 B/W If You USD $5.62 Buy It Now 10h 28m
IVE MENDES If You Leave Me Now CD UK Mr Bongo 2003 2 Track B/W Natural High In USD $9.10 Buy It Now 10h 28m
LENNY KRAVITZ If I Could Fall In Love CD Dutch Virgin 2002 2 Track Single USD $3.20 Buy It Now 10h 28m
JENNIFER LOPEZ If You Had My Love CD European Columbia 1999 2 Track Radio Edit USD $2.82 Buy It Now 10h 29m
WET WET WET If I Never See You Again CD UK Mercury 1997 4 Track Part 2 Limited USD $4.21 Buy It Now 10h 29m
BROMHEADS JACKET What If's And Maybes CD UK Marquis Cha Cha 2005 2 Track In USD $6.69 Buy It Now 10h 29m
TERRI WALKER Alright With Me CD European Dekkor 2006 2 Track B/W If That Was USD $2.82 Buy It Now 10h 29m
LOT of 2 Jeff Foxworthy cds totally committed you might be a redneck if comedy USD $1.99 Buy It Now 10h 31m
II 2 D Extreme If I Knew Then (What I Know Now) PROMO Music CD w/ Art GAS5P-3558 USD $17.99 Buy It Now 10h 53m
MICA PARIS If I Love U 2 Nite 7" VINYL UK Island 1991 Nellee's Club U 2 Nite USD $5.62 Buy It Now 11h 14m
KELLEE PATERSON If It Don't Fit Don't Force It 12" VINYL UK Emi 1977 2 Track USD $5.62 Buy It Now 11h 14m
IF ? Saturday's Angels 12" VINYL UK Mca 1990 2 Track Theatre Of Dreams Mix USD $5.62 Buy It Now 11h 14m
CLAUDJA BARRY If I Do It To You 12" VINYL UK Ensign 1982 2 Track B/W Up All USD $6.69 Buy It Now 11h 14m
PATTI LABELLE If Only You Knew 12" VINYL UK Philadelphia 1983 2 Rack B/w I'll USD $6.69 Buy It Now 11h 14m
BONNIE TYLER Married Men 12" VINYL UK Rca 1979 2 Track B/W If You Ever Need USD $6.69 Buy It Now 11h 14m
JUNIOR C REACTION If It Don't Fit Don't Force It 12" VINYL UK Chrysalis 1986 2 USD $6.69 Buy It Now 11h 14m
OMD If You Want It CD UK 100 2 One 2010 1 Track Promo In Card Sleeve (100Cd8P1) USD $6.69 Buy It Now 11h 14m
SHAKATAK If You Could See Me Now 12" VINYL UK Polydor 1983 2 Track B/W Fly The USD $6.69 Buy It Now 11h 14m
UB40 If It Happens 12" VINYL UK Dep International 1984 2 Track Dance Mix USD $5.62 Buy It Now 11h 14m
U2 If God Will Send His Angels CD UK Island 1997 4 Track Single Version USD $5.62 Buy It Now 11h 14m
LEROY SMART AND TRINITY If You Should Take Me 12" VINYL UK Dread Hot 1977 2 USD $17.55 Buy It Now 11h 14m
U2 Beautiful Day CD UK Island 2000 3 Track Part 2 B/W Discotheque And If You USD $6.69 Buy It Now 11h 15m
SIMPLE KID Truck On 7" VINYL UK 2M 2003 Limited Edition Blue Vinyl B/W If USD $5.62 Buy It Now 11h 15m
AVERAGE WHITE BAND If I Ever Lose This Heaven 7" VINYL UK Atlantic 1975 2 Track USD $2.80 Buy It Now 11h 15m
WHISTLER (INDIE GROUP) If I Give You A Smile 7" VINYL UK Wiiija 1998 2 Track In USD $2.80 Buy It Now 11h 17m
LONNIE LISTON SMITH If You Take Care Of Me 12" VINYL UK Doctor Jazz 1984 2 USD $9.10 Buy It Now 11h 17m
A1 If Only 12" VINYL UK Columbia 2000 2 Track Almighty Club Mix Promo In USD $6.69 Buy It Now 11h 17m
KAREN RAMIREZ If We Try 12" VINYL UK Manifesto 1998 2 Track Promo In Special USD $4.21 Buy It Now 11h 17m
PETE SHELLEY No One Like You 12" VINYL UK Genetic 1983 2 Track B/W If You Ask USD $4.21 Buy It Now 11h 17m
BAND AKA If You Want To Know 12" VINYL UK Epic 1983 2 Track B/W Men Of The USD $6.69 Buy It Now 11h 17m
RONNY If You Want Me To Stay 12" VINYL UK Polydor 1982 2 Track Dance Mix USD $11.92 Buy It Now 11h 17m
RICHARD QUIN Last Leviathan 12" VINYL UK Denver 1978 2 Track B/W If Only...Is USD $2.80 Buy It Now 11h 17m
PRETENDERS If There Was A Man 12" VINYL German Warner Bros 1987 2 Track USD $6.69 Buy It Now 11h 17m
NITEFLYTE (80'S) If You Want It 12" VINYL UK Ariola 1980 2 Track B/W I Wonder USD $6.69 Buy It Now 11h 17m
EARTHA KITT If I Love Ya CASSETTE UK Rca 1994 2 Track B/W Just An Old Fashioned USD $6.69 Buy It Now 11h 18m
BONNIE TYLER Married Men 12" VINYL UK Rca 1979 2 Track B/W If You Ever Need Me USD $6.69 Buy It Now 11h 18m
RONNY If You Want Me To Stay 12" VINYL UK Polydor 1981 2 Track Dance Mix USD $10.51 Buy It Now 11h 18m
LLOYD CHARMERS If Leaving Me Is Easy 12" VINYL UK Radioactive 1981 2 Track USD $6.69 Buy It Now 11h 18m
EUSEBE If Masser Says CASSETTE UK Mamas Yard 1995 2 Track Radio Edit Card USD $6.69 Buy It Now 11h 18m
EAST 17 FEATURING GABRIELLE If You Ever CASSETTE UK London 1996 2 Track Smoove USD $4.21 Buy It Now 11h 18m
BERES HAMMOND Try If You Want 12" VINYL Star Trail 2 Track B/W Cant Stop Me Dub USD $6.69 Buy It Now 11h 18m
POINTER SISTERS Heart To Heart 12" VINYL UK Planet 1982 2 Track B/W If You USD $5.62 Buy It Now 11h 18m
FREDDIE WAITE Love Me 12" VINYL UK Virgin 1983 2 Track B/W If You Want My Love USD $6.69 Buy It Now 11h 18m
LEWIS (UK 80'S ARTIST) If The Love Fits 12" VINYL UK Riva 1986 2 Track Extended USD $6.69 Buy It Now 11h 18m
ROD STEWART If We Fall In Love Tonight CASSETTE European Warner Bros 1996 2 USD $6.69 Buy It Now 11h 18m
JON SECADA AND SHANICE If I Never Knew You CASSETTE European Walt Disney 1995 2 USD $8.70 Buy It Now 11h 18m
HOTHOUSE FLOWERS Give It Up CASSETTE UK London 1990 2 Track B/w If You're Happy USD $5.62 Buy It Now 11h 18m
JON SECADA If You Go CASSETTE UK Emi 1994 2 Track In Card Slipcase B/W Spanish USD $5.62 Buy It Now 11h 18m
GLORIA ESTEFAN If We Were Lovers CASSETTE European Epic 1993 2 Track B/W Con USD $5.62 Buy It Now 11h 18m
RON FRANCOIS If You Love Me 12" VINYL UK Cbs 1982 2 Track B/W I Like It USD $6.69 Buy It Now 11h 18m
PAULA DESMOND If It Feels Good 12" VINYL UK Flamingo 1980 2 Track B/W Have USD $2.80 Buy It Now 11h 18m
PREFAB SPROUT If You Don't Love Me CASSETTE UK Kitchenware 1992 2 Track USD $5.62 Buy It Now 11h 18m
GIORGIO MORODER If You Weren't Afraid 12" VINYL UK Oasis 1979 2 Track B/W E USD $10.51 Buy It Now 11h 18m
TAFFY If You Feel It 12" VINYL Dance Yard 1988 2 Track In A Company Sleeve USD $6.69 Buy It Now 11h 18m
RICHARD QUIN Last Leviathan 12" VINYL UK Denver 1978 2 Track B/W If Only...I USD $4.21 Buy It Now 11h 18m
DODGY If You're Thinking Of Me CASSETTE UK A&M 1996 2 Track B/W In A Room USD $6.69 Buy It Now 11h 18m
RON FRANCOIS If You Love Me 12" VINYL UK Cbs 1982 2 Track In Title Stickered USD $6.69 Buy It Now 11h 18m
A PERFECT FIT If You Only Knew 12" VINYL UK Move 1986 2 Track B/W Heartbreaking USD $6.69 Buy It Now 11h 18m
ROY ALTON If You Want Me 12" VINYL UK Island 1982 2 Track Featuring Long USD $5.63 Buy It Now 11h 18m
SENSES If You Can Count 12" VINYL UK West End 1984 2 Track B/W Boy Trick Mix USD $5.62 Buy It Now 11h 18m
PETE WYLIE If I Love You 12" VINYL UK Siren 1987 2 Track Special Steve Peck USD $4.21 Buy It Now 11h 18m
JACKSON MOORE If Its Love 12" VINYL UK 2 Track Test Pressing B/W Dub (Ercl201) USD $4.21 Buy It Now 11h 18m
O'CHI BROWN Why Can't We Be Friends 12" VINYL Dbm 1985 2 Track B/w If I'm USD $2.82 Buy It Now 11h 18m
RORY BLOCK You're The One 12" VINYL UK Chrysalis 1979 2 Track B/w If I Can't USD $4.21 Buy It Now 11h 18m
U2 Mofo CD UK Island 1997 3 Track Remixes B/W Mothers Mix And If God Will Send USD $6.69 Buy It Now 11h 18m
NONA HENDRYX If Looks Could Kill 7" VINYL UK Rca 1985 B/W The Heat Part 2 USD $2.80 Buy It Now 11h 18m
PEOPLE'S CHOICE If You Gonna Do It 7" VINYL US Columbia 1977 Part 1 B/W Part 2 USD $6.69 Buy It Now 11h 18m

More places to buy IF music online Buy IF & Prog Rock Digital Music online:

IF If 2 ratings distribution

(59 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(24%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(55%)
Good, but non-essential (19%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

IF If 2 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 If's second album perfectly complements the first, the songwriting generally isn't as strong but includes one of their best songs "Sunday Sad".

The first track "Your City is Falling" is very up-tempo fast jazz playing and includes a great sax solo, and also good keyboards from John Mealing and drums from Dennis Elliot. The slower eight-minute "Sunday Sad" has a spanish guitar style and flute intro, with a haunting vocal from JW Hodkinson. The song builds into a Chicago style jam and features some good keyboard and heavy guitar solos, very reminiscent of early King Crimson dare I say. Not such a sad song at all. The next track the up-tempo "Tarmac T Pirate and the Lonesome Nymphomaniac" features some great interplay between the band members. Another oustanding eight-minute track, the rock orientated "I Couldn't Write and Tell You" ebbs and flows around solid keyboards and drums . The AOR sounding "Shadows and Echoes" changes pace and builds into a much more jazz orientated sound, and includes a very fast jazzy guitar solo. The last track, the odd sounding "A Song for Elsa, Three Days Before Her 25th Birthday", fast jazz alternating with slow bluesy sax solos.

A good follow-up to If 1, released the same year and includes the same high standard of playing.

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!

Coming in an impressive gatefold psych cover (this album like most of their earlier albums received different artworks and sometimes names, rendering their discography difficult to find your way through), If's second album is certainly their crowning achievement of sorts, but I personally prefer their debut. With an unchanged line-up, but a few tours (including US tour with Black Sabbath and Rod Stewart), they even recorded this album in NY, with Morrissey and Quincy again taking the lion's share of the songwriting to them.

Opening up on the soulful Your City Is Falling, the track's best moments are the excellents drum breaks around the end of the track. The following Sunday Sad starts on a pastoral electric Spanish-sounding guitar mixed with a quiet flute, soon joined by Hodgkinson's soulful vocals, but Smith's psych guitar solo takes the show, excellently underlined by the pulsing and flamencoing bass of Richardson. Lonesome Nymphomaniac (a rare Mealing composition) is not my fave on this album, partly because it's a bit messy in the recording, most notably the very shallow space allotted for most of the instruments in the stereo space.

The flipside starts on the lengthy Motown-like track, but soon digresses into a series of excellent solos, including an epic guitar solo. Fellow British jazzer writes the next Shadows And Echoes, where after a full-fledged jazz tour of the group, the guitar gets very jazzy this time around. The closing Song For Elsa is much more of a Colosseum track than most of the rest of the album, with the two saxes again pulling a Heckstallian trick every now and then.

The Repertoire mini-Lp reissue is a little beauty but didn't add any bonus material (no single taken from this album, unlike for the debut and their third), thus leaving a rather short disc. Nevertheless this album is yet another classic brass rock album that deserves 100 times more its inclusion in the PA, rather than those bloody sweaty tearful excuses for albums.

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.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
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.

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.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
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

Latest members reviews

5 stars What had been impressively started up on first IF album, found its cosequent development and maturity in their second,called 'IF2' . I really can not find single weak point on this release, but I would like to excerpt my favourites - from A side of the record that's Morrissey's 'Sunday sad' with ... (read more)

Report this review (#127899) | Posted by bsurmano | Sunday, July 8, 2007 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of IF "If 2"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


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

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives