If You Leave Me Now
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If You Leave Me Now

"If You Leave Me Now"
Chicago-if you leave me now.jpg
Single by Chicago
from the album Chicago X
"Together Again"
ReleasedJuly 31, 1976 (1976-07-31)[1]
RecordedMarch – April 1976[1]
GenreSoft rock[2][3]
Peter Cetera
James William Guercio
Chicago singles chronology
"Another Rainy Day in New York City"
"If You Leave Me Now"
"You Are On My Mind"

"If You Leave Me Now" is the title of a 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.[4] "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.[5] 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.[6] 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."[7]

The song won Grammy Awards for Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s) (strings) for arranger Jimmie Haskell[8] and producer James William Guercio[9] and Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo, Group or Chorus,[10] 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.[11] It has been certified gold and platinum by the RIAA.[12]

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.[13] The fund raising effort has continued in succeeding years.[14][15][16]


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.[17] 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).[18]


Chart performance


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Canada (Music Canada)[43] Gold 5,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[44] Gold 500,000^
United States (RIAA)[45] Platinum 1,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

Cover versions

There have been many cover versions of "If You Leave Me Now" recorded by artists throughout the world, among them:

Live cover performances

In popular culture

The song has been featured in the movies Three Kings (1999),[49]Shaun of the Dead (2004),[50]A Lot Like Love (2005),[51]Happy Feet (2006),[52] and Daddy's Home 2 (2017); the television series Sex and the City and South Park[53]; and the video game Grand Theft Auto V.[54] 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.[55]

See also


  1. ^ a b The Very Best Of: Only the Beginning (Media notes). Chicago. Rhino. 2002. pp. 10, 13. R2 76170.
  2. ^ Larry Starr; Christopher Alan Waterman; Jay Hodgson (2009). Rock: A Canadian Perspective. Oxford University Press. p. 203. ISBN 978-0-19-542761-5. Retrieved 2015.
  3. ^ "VH1's 40 Most Softsational Soft-Rock Songs". Stereogum. SpinMedia. May 31, 2007. Retrieved 2016.
  4. ^ a b c Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 55.
  5. ^ a b "1976 The Number One Singles | Official Charts". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2013.
  6. ^ Grein, Paul (October 23, 1976). "Discomania: Market Study Show Craze in Impact Akin to British of '60s". Billboard. 88 (43): 5. Retrieved 2017 – via Google Books.
  7. ^ Houle, Zachary (October 8, 2010). "Exploring Chicago: 'Chicago X'". PopMatters. Retrieved 2017.
  8. ^ "Jimmie Haskell". GRAMMY.com. May 4, 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  9. ^ "James Guercio". GRAMMY.com. May 14, 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  10. ^ "Chicago". GRAMMY.com. May 14, 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  11. ^ Grein, Paul (August 26, 1978). "Platinum Singles Top '76-'77 Years". Billboard. 90 (34). p. 114. Retrieved 2013 – via Google Books.
  12. ^ "Gold & Platinum - RIAA Chicago If You Leave Me Now". RIAA. Retrieved 2017.
  13. ^ "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 2017.
  14. ^ Cain, TIM (Oct 6, 2011). "Tim Cain column: Chicago keeps sniping after split". Herald-Review.com. Decatur, Illinois U.S.A. Retrieved 2017.
  15. ^ Coker, Eric (August 24, 2012). "Chicago continues to make audiences smile - Inside Binghamton University". www.binghamton.edu. Binghamton University. Retrieved 2017.
  16. ^ Byrne, Terry (August 20, 2013). "Chicago at Wolf Trap by Terry Byrne". DCMetroTheaterArts. Retrieved 2017.
  17. ^ 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.
  18. ^ Cetera, Peter. "Chicago "If You Leave Me Now" Sheet Music in B Major (transposable) - Download & Print". Musicnotes.com. MusicNotes. Retrieved 2016.
  19. ^ David Kent's "Australian Chart Book 1970-1992" Archived March 5, 2016, at Archive.today
  20. ^ "Chicago - If You Leave Me Now - Austriancharts.at". austriancharts.at (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2013.
  21. ^ "Ultratop.be - Chicago - If You Leave Me Now". Ultratop (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2013.
  22. ^ "Top Singles". RPM. 26 (2): 23. October 9, 1976. ISSN 0315-5994. Retrieved 2013.
  23. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. October 9, 1976. Retrieved 2018.
  24. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl - Chicago - If You Leave Me Now". GfK Dutch Charts (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2013.
  25. ^ "Single - Chicago, If You Leave Me Now". charts.de (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 2013.
  26. ^ "The Irish Charts - Search Results - If You Leave Me Now". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
  27. ^ "If You Leave Me Now". HitParadeItalia (in Italian). Creative Commons. Retrieved 2013.
  28. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com - Chicago - If You Leave Me Now". norwegiancharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2013.
  29. ^ "Charts.org.nz - Chicago - If You Leave Me Now". charts.org.nz. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2013.
  30. ^ "SA Charts 1965-March 1989". Retrieved 2018.
  31. ^ "Swedishcharts.com - Chicago - If You Leave Me Now". swedishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2013.
  32. ^ "Chicago - If You Leave Me Now - Hitparade.ch". hitparade.ch (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2013.
  33. ^ Cash Box Top 100 Singles, October 23, 1976
  34. ^ Australian-charts.com Archived October 6, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
  35. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 2016.
  36. ^ "Top Selling Singles of 1976 | The Official New Zealand Music Chart". Nztop40.co.nz. December 8, 1963. Retrieved 2016.
  37. ^ "Top 100 1976 - UK Music Charts". Uk-charts.top-source.info. Retrieved 2016.
  38. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1976/Top 100 Songs of 1976". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved 2016.
  39. ^ "Top 50 Adult Contemporary Hits of 1976". www.45cat.com. Retrieved 2017.
  40. ^ Cash Box Year-End Charts: Top 100 Pop Singles, December 25, 1976
  41. ^ "Top 20 Hit Singles of 1977". Retrieved 2018.
  42. ^ Swiss Year-End Charts, 1977
  43. ^ "Canadian single certifications - Chicago - If You Leave Me Now". Music Canada. Retrieved 2013.
  44. ^ "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. Type If You Leave Me Now in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  45. ^ "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.
  46. ^ 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.
  47. ^ Reuters Staff (August 31, 2007). "Billboard CD reviews: Lil' Mo, Patti Scialfa" Artist: Suzy Bogguss". Reuters. Retrieved 2017.
  48. ^ "Love Songs". Billboard. February 5, 2005. p. 64 (Full page advertisement for album). Retrieved 2017.
  49. ^ Hyden, Steven (June 10, 2007). "Eleven songs in search of a soundtrack". AV/Music. The A. V. Club. Retrieved 2017.
  50. ^ Borders, Meredith (August 23, 2013). "The Winchester, The Crown And THE WORLD'S END: Film's Unforgettable Pubs". Birth.Movies.Death. Retrieved 2017.
  51. ^ Lowry, Brian (April 20, 2005). "A Lot Like Love". Variety. Retrieved 2017.
  52. ^ "AFI|Catalog: Happy Feet". catalog.afi.com. American Film Institute. Retrieved 2017.
  53. ^ Melis, Matt; Young, Killian; Kaye, Ben (September 11, 2017). "The Top 100 South Park Songs". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 2017.
  54. ^ Andrews, Stuart (January 26, 2017). "GTA 5 PC - Xbox 360 and PS3". Trusted Reviews. Time. Retrieved 2017.
  55. ^ Alex Moazed; Nicholas L. Johnson (May 31, 2016). Modern Monopolies: What It Takes to Dominate the 21st Century Economy. St. Martin's Press. pp. 20-. ISBN 978-1-250-09190-1 – via Google Books.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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