Released today in 1989: If You Don’t Know Me By Now



In 2001, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) announced the results of their “Songs of the Century” project, a nationwide educational initiative intended to promote a better understanding of America’s musical and cultural heritage in schools. Ballots had been sent out to music lovers from all sections of society across the US who were asked to vote for songs of historical significance from a master list of over 1,100 recordings: they identified 365 key recordings, of which #199 was If You Don’t Know Me By Now.

This being the RIAA, of course, it wasn’t the version by Mick Hucknall’s Simply Red that was listed in the report, but the original recording by soul group Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, made in the early 1970s. Written by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, the song was one of the definitive recordings of the ‘Philly sound’ (Gamble and Huff were based in Philadelphia) and it made #3 on the Hot 100 singles chart. Perhaps some of the people voting were recalling the British recording though: it was one of Simply Red’s biggest hits Stateside and did even better than the original, going to the top of the chart. (It was their second #1 in America, following their chart topper Holding Back The Years in 1986. Coincidentally, over here both singles peaked at #2.)

NEW SINGLES on sale from Mar. 27
The CURE (Robert Smith) Primary (Fiction FICS12)
GRADUATE (Tears For Fears) Shut Up (Precision PAR117)
PUBLIC IMAGE LIMITED (John Lydon) Flowers Of Romance (Virgin VS397)
The STYLE COUNCIL Have You Ever Had It Blue (Polydor CINE1)
INXS Mystify (Mercury INXS13)
SIMPLY RED (Mick Hucknall) If You Don’t Know Me By Now (WEA YZ377)


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