"If You Leave Me Now" is the title of a popular hit ballad by the American rock group Chicago, from their album Chicago X. It was written and sung by bass guitar player Peter Cetera and released as a single on July 31, 1976. It is also the title of a Chicago compilation album released by Columbia Records (Columbia 38590) in 1983.
The single topped the US charts on October 23, 1976, and stayed there for two weeks, making it the first number one hit for the group as well as hitting number one on the Easy Listening charts. "If You Leave Me Now" was also Chicago's biggest hit internationally, topping the charts in other countries such as the UK, Australia, Ireland, Canada, and Netherlands. In the UK it maintained the number one position for three weeks. It was one of only five "non-disco" songs to make it to number one in the US in a nine-month period of 1976. According to writer Zachary Houle of PopMatters, "The song was so pervasive on radio upon its release that, reportedly, those tuning in in New York could hear the song playing on four different stations, each with varying formats, simultaneously."
The song won Grammy Awards for Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s) (strings) for arranger Jimmie Haskell and producer James William Guercio and Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo, Group or Chorus, the first Grammy Award won by the group. It also received a Grammy nomination for Record of the Year. In addition, by August 1978 it had sold 1.4 million copies in the United States alone. It has been certified gold and platinum by the RIAA.
In 2010 Chicago teamed with the American Cancer Society and offered the opportunity to bid on the chance to sing their hit, "If You Leave Me Now" with them on stage live at their concerts, with proceeds going to the American Cancer Society to fight breast cancer. The fund raising effort has continued in succeeding years.
Peter Cetera originally wrote "If You Leave Me Now" at the same time as Chicago VII's "Wishing You Were Here", and composed it on a guitar. According to information on the sheet music for the song at MusicNotes, "If You Leave Me Now" is written in the key of B major, and Cetera's vocal range varies between F sharp 4 (F?4) and D sharp 6 (D?6).
|US Billboard Hot 100
|US Billboard Easy Listening 
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There have been over 100 versions of "If You Leave Me Now" recorded by artists throughout the world, among them:
Live cover performances
- Daft Punk used a sample from the Viola Wills 1981 cover of the song for their track "Fresh", released on the 1997 album Homework.
- A sample of the song is used by British electronica duo Lemon Jelly on the "Nice Weather For Ducks" B-side "Soft" (2003).
Use in popular culture
The song has been featured in the movies Three Kings (1999),Shaun of the Dead (2004),A Lot Like Love (2005),Happy Feet (2006), and Daddy's Home 2 (2017); the television series Sex and the City and South Park; and the video game Grand Theft Auto V. A sock puppet sang a version of the song in a 2000 Super Bowl commercial for Pets.com that was ranked as the number one Super Bowl commercial that year by the USA Today Ad Meter.
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- ^ "Grammy-Winning Band Chicago and the American Cancer Society Create Extraordinary Fan Experience to Fight Breast Cancer" (Press release). American Cancer Society. March 16, 2010. Retrieved .
- ^ Cain, TIM (Oct 6, 2011). "Tim Cain column: Chicago keeps sniping after split". Herald-Review.com. Decatur, Illinois U.S.A. Retrieved .
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- ^ Cetera, Peter (September 28, 2015). "Peter Cetera/September 28" (audio). Humble & Fred Radio.Com (Interview). Interviewed by Howard Glassman and Fred Patterson. Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Humble and Fred Radio. Event occurs at 51:09. Retrieved 2017.
- ^ Cetera, Peter. "Chicago "If You Leave Me Now" Sheet Music in B Major (transposable) - Download & Print". Musicnotes.com. MusicNotes. Retrieved .
- ^ David Kent's "Australian Chart Book 1970-1992" Archived 2016-03-05 at Archive.is
- ^ "Chicago - If You Leave Me Now - Austriancharts.at". austriancharts.at (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2013.
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- ^ "Top Singles". RPM. 26 (2): 23. October 9, 1976. ISSN 0315-5994. Retrieved 2013.
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- ^ "The Irish Charts - Search Results - If You Leave Me Now". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
- ^ "If You Leave Me Now". HitParadeItalia (in Italian). Creative Commons. Retrieved 2013.
- ^ "Norwegiancharts.com - Chicago - If You Leave Me Now". norwegiancharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2013.
- ^ "Charts.org.nz - Chicago - If You Leave Me Now". charts.org.nz. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2013.
- ^ "Swedishcharts.com - Chicago - If You Leave Me Now". swedishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2013.
- ^ "Chicago - If You Leave Me Now - Hitparade.ch". hitparade.ch (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2013.
- ^ Cash Box Top 100 Singles, October 23, 1976
- ^ Australian-charts.com Archived 2014-10-06 at the Wayback Machine.
- ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved .
- ^ "Top Selling Singles of 1976 | The Official New Zealand Music Chart". Nztop40.co.nz. 1963-12-08. Retrieved .
- ^ "Top 100 1976 - UK Music Charts". Uk-charts.top-source.info. Retrieved .
- ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1976/Top 100 Songs of 1976". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved .
- ^ "Top 50 Adult Contemporary Hits of 1976". www.45cat.com. Retrieved 2017.
- ^ Cash Box Year-End Charts: Top 100 Pop Singles, December 25, 1976
- ^ Swiss Year-End Charts, 1977
- ^ "Canadian single certifications - Chicago - If You Leave Me Now". Music Canada. Retrieved 2013.
- ^ "British single certifications - Chicago - If You Leave Me Now". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2013. Select singles in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Enter If You Leave Me Now in the search field and then press Enter.
- ^ "American single certifications - Chicago - If You Leave Me Now". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2013. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
- ^ Taylor, Chuck (July 12, 1997). "For former Chicago crooner Cetera, making hits is a hard habit to break". Billboard. 109 (28). p. 85. Retrieved 2017.
- ^ Reuters Staff (August 31, 2007). "Billboard CD reviews: Lil' Mo, Patti Scialfa" Artist: Suzy Bogguss". Reuters. Retrieved 2017.
- ^ "Love Songs". Billboard. February 5, 2005. p. 64 (Full page advertisement for album). Retrieved 2017.
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- ^ "AFI|Catalog: Happy Feet". catalog.afi.com. American Film Institute. Retrieved 2017.
- ^ Melis, Matt; Young, Killian; Kaye, Ben (September 11, 2017). "The Top 100 South Park Songs". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 2017.
- ^ Andrews, Stuart (January 26, 2017). "GTA 5 PC - Xbox 360 and PS3". Trusted Reviews. Time. Retrieved 2017.
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