If Your Girl Only Knew
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If Your Girl Only Knew
"If Your Girl Only Knew"
Single-ifyourgirlonlyknew.jpg
Single by Aaliyah
from the album One in a Million
ReleasedJuly 12, 1996
Format
Recorded1996;[1] Pyramid Studios
(Ithaca, New York)
Genre
Length4:50
Label
Timbaland
Aaliyah U.S. singles chronology
"Are You Ready?"
(1996)
"If Your Girl Only Knew"
(1996)
"One in a Million"
(1996)
Aaliyah Eurasian singles chronology
"The Thing I Like"
(1995)
"If Your Girl Only Knew"
(1996)
"Got to Give It Up"
(1996)
Audio sample
"If Your Girl Only Knew"

"If Your Girl Only Knew" is a song by American singer Aaliyah from her sophomore studio album One in a Million (1996). The song was written by both Missy Elliot and Timbaland with the latter producing the song. Musically "If Your Girl Only Knew" is a Funk and Pop song that features keyboard and organ work along with guitar licks. Lyrically the song is about chiding a man for hitting on them when he already has a girlfriend. The song was released as the albums lead single by Blackground and Atlantic records on July 12, 1996. Upon its release the song was met with generally positive reviews from critics, with many praising Aaliyah's vocal delivery on the record.

Commercially "If Your Girl Only Knew" performed well, peaking at number 11 on the US Billboard Hot 100 on the week ending on October 19, 1996. The song was just as successful on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart topping the charts at number 1 for two consecutive weeks. The song also charted well on the US Rhythmic chart peaking within the top 10 at number 6, during the week ending on November 2, 1996. Towards the end of 1996, it was reported by Billboard that the song had sold over 600,000 copies in the United States.

Internationally "If Your Girl Only Knew" performed moderately well peaking within the top 20 at number 20 on the Recorded Music NZ chart in New Zealand. In Europe the song peaked within the top 40 at number 21 on the UK official charts on the week ending on August 24, 1996. In 1997 the song was re-released in the UK as a double single with "One in a Million" and the song reached a new peak position within the top 20 on the Official charts. On the UK official R&B charts the song was performed even better peaking within the top 5 at number 4. According to the UK Official Chart company the originally released single of "If Your Girl Only Knew" is Aaliyah's tenth best selling single in that region.

Background

While discussing the musical direction for her second studio album "One In A Million" Aaliyah stated in an interview with Billboard, "I wanted to maintain my smooth street musical image but wanted to be funky and hot yet sophisticated".[4] "If Your Girl Only Knew" was described by Atlantic product development director Eddie Santiago as "a very funky mid-tempo track with lots of heavy keyboard and organ work along with live drums and a thumping bass line".[4] The song was produced by Timbaland and it was one of the earliest songs that she recorded for the album with him along with "One in a Million".[4][5] Promotional copies for the single was serviced to R&B and cross over stations on July 12, 1996 and the song was also digitally uploaded to those same stations that following Monday.[4]

Composition and lyrical interpretation

"If Your Girl Only Knew" is a funk[2] and pop[3] song and it has been described by critics as being "teasingly witchy" and "sassy".[6][7] The production on the song features a "a slap bass melody over boom bap drums accentuated by hand claps over the snares and clattering cymbals and hi hats".[8] In addition the song's production features "retro" guitar licks and an organ which are prominent throughout the song.[3][7]

On "If Your Girl Only Knew" Aaliyah "reveals a more assured vocal style, as well as a more flexible range".[3] Also on the song she utilizes her lower register more as she chides a man for hitting on her when he already has a girlfriend.[3][2] "The content is raw, with melodies aplenty throughout, with key lyrics like 'She would probably leave you alone/She would probably curse you out and unplug her phone/I bet she'd be glad that you was gone/And then she wouldn't have to worry'".[9] According to Quentin B. Huff, "Aaliyah's narration isn't completely disinterested in his advances ("If your girl only knew / that I would want to kick it with you") but something tells me this guy is running the risk that she'll tell his girlfriend what's been going on".[10]

Critical reception

In his review of the song, Larry Flick from Billboard described it as a "wickedly infectious jeep chugger" and felt that Aaliyah's break from public view in between albums was "well spent". He also praised Aaliyah's vocal styling, saying: "She reveals a more assured and fully realized vocal style as well as a more flexible note range".[3] Dimitri Ehrlich of Entertainment Weekly described the song as a "low-key funk tune" and commended the overall message of the song, writing: "The message is an enduring one and the sparse, robotic rhythm is entrancing".[2] In a review of One in a Million, Connie Johnson of the Los Angeles Times called the song "teasingly witchy".[6] Shannon Marcec from Complex felt that Aaliyah delivered her sweet but haunting vocals on one of Timbaland's best beats. Marcec also mentioned that the lyrics made the song one of Aaliyah's hottest song.[11] Quentin B. Huff from PopMatters felt that on the song that "Aaliyah sounds amused, playful even, and if his girlfriend didn't already know about his shenanigans, I gotta believe she would have figured it out when she heard the song in heavy radio rotation (smirk). When you think about it that way, this is a nightmare for this guy, but funny for us -- he tries to "kick it" with Aaliyah and gets his attempt at being a player broadcast in one of her songs".[10]

Chart performance

"If Your Girl Only Knew" was released as the album's lead single on July 12, 1996 and it debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 chart at number 34 during the week of August 31, 1996.[12] The song reached its peak at number 11 , eight weeks later on the Billboard Hot 100 during the week of October 19, 1996.[13] On the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart the song debuted at number 12 for the week of August 31, 1996.[14] on September 28, 1996 during the songs fifth week on the chart it reached its peak at number one on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and it stayed at number one for two weeks.[15] According to Datu Faison from Billboard "Key factors leading to Aaliyah's big 5-1 leap include a 20% unit increase at R&B core stores, which pushes an identical 5-1 jump on hot R&B singles sales. Audience impressions increase another 9%, moving the record 9-7 on Hot R&B airplay".[16] The song also peaked within the top 10 at number 6 on the rhythmic charts during the week of November 2, 1996.[17] Towards the end of 1996, it was reported by Billboard that the song sold over 600,000 copies in the United States.[18]

Internationally "If Your Girl Only Knew" was also a success in the UK when it was originally released by itself peaking within the top thirty of the Official UK singles chart at number 21 on August 24, 1996.[19] In 1997 the song was re-released as a double single with "One in a Million" and it reached a new peak position at number 15 on May 24, 1997.[19] Also in the UK the song peaked within the top 10 at number 6 on the UK Official Dance charts on August 18, 1996.[20] On the UK official R&B charts the song also peaked within the top 10 at number 4 on August 25, 1996. [21] According to the Official Charts Company the solo version of "If Your Girl Only Knew" is Aaliyah's tenth best selling single in the UK.[22] Meanwhile the version that was released as a double single with "One In A Million" is her sixth best selling single in that region.[22] In Japan, "If Your Girl Only Knew" peaked at number four on the Tokio Hot 100 chart .[23] In the Oceania region of the world the song peaked within the top twenty at number 20 in New Zealand on October 20, 1996.[24]

Music video

Background

The video for "If Your Girl Only Knew" was directed by Joseph Kahn and it was sent to local and national videos shows on July 8, 1996.[4] The video featured cameos from celebrities such as Missy Elliott, Timbaland, 702, Lil' Kim and even Aaliyah's brother Rashad Haughton.[4] In an Interview with Vibe Kameelah Williams from the R&B group 702 recalled that either Aaliyah or Missy Elliot invited her group to be a part of the music video.[25] According to Williams she and her band-mates were told that they were going to be on Motorcycles and that they had to wear all black for the video.[25] Williams also had a solo cameo in the video in which she is shown arguing with her on-screen boyfriend in an elevator.[25] Williams explained, "She gave me a little cameo so I was like, 'Okay, that's my home girl.' She let me do a little scene by myself with this guy fighting in the elevator so that was my little Aaliyah cameo".[25]

Synopsis

The video begins with Aaliyah, her brother, and their clique arriving to a party on motorcycles. She wears a dark leather outfit with her trademark sunglasses and bandana. Scenes include Aaliyah sitting in a futuristic chair, at a party (the party scene is shot in black-and-white, but Aaliyah remains in color), Aaliyah and various others in an elevator, and also a close-up of Aaliyah's face. Color editing is used on her eyes here, and they change color towards the end of the video.

Reception

The music video for "If Your Girl Only Knew" made its television debut on both BET and The Box for the week ending on July 21, 1996.[26] Eventually the video was the sixteenth most played video on BET for the week ending on September 8, 1996.[27] On MTV the video made its television debut on the network for the week ending on July 28, 1996.[28] For the week ending on October 6, 1996 the video was the twenty-eighth most played video on MTV.[29]

Promotion

According to Atlantic Records VP Manny Bella "Every component of the project-including the video, a television campaign, and other promotions- was in place before the single went to radio".[16] In order to promote the single Aaliyah went a promotional radio tour where she connected with the radio audience.[16] Bella mentioned ,"Aaliyah rode a tour bus through several markets and connected to radio in every one".[16] Certain topics that Aaliyah discussed while on her promotional radio tour included issues related to education.[16] Black-ground records president Barry Hankerson stated ,"While at the stations she discussed fundamental issues on air, such as getting good grades in school and how she balances school and her career.[16] In September 1996 Aaliyah made an appearance at MTV's sixth annual Rock N' Jock event which aired on MTV on October 26.[30] During the event she participated in the celebrity basketball game and performed her song "If Your Girl Only Knew" during the half time show.[30][31] On November 16, 1996 Aaliyah performed the song on Soul Train.[32][33]

Legacy

Erik Hassle paid tribute to Aaliyah with his own version of her song "If your Girl Only Knew"

In 2016 Swedish singer-songwriter Erik Hassle paid tribute to Aaliyah by releasing his own version of the song entitled "If Your Man Only Knew".[34] "If your Man Only Knew" was written by Hassle, Daniel Ledinsky and Alexander Shuckburgh and on the song his voice is being showcased.[34] According to Brennan Carley from Spin " Hassle also knows his way around a solo hook too, and his new song "If Your Man Only Knew" is gorgeous proof. At ends both melancholic and resentful, the tune's a big, bold, front-and-center vocal showcase for the singer".[34] Both Lewis Corner and Amy Davidson from Digital Spy praised the song by saying that "it's a cool slice of R&B-pop and that the song will do in today's music climate".[35]

Charts

See also

Notes

  1. ^ "Bite our style (interlude) ; Friendly skies ; Best friends ... [et al.], G thang - song, music - Copyright Info". Faqs.org. Retrieved .
  2. ^ a b c d "If Your Girl Only Knew". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved .
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Singles Review". Billboard. Retrieved .
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Aaliyah Set Courts Broader Fan Base". Billboard. Retrieved .
  5. ^ "A look back 20 years to the debut album of Aaliyah, the R. Kelly scandal, and her Timbaland-produced follow-up that set the R&B format on fire". Wax Poetics. Retrieved 2018.
  6. ^ a b Johnson, Connie (September 28, 1996). "Aaliyah's Spirit Sounds Like a 'Million'". Los Angeles Times.
  7. ^ a b "Aaliyah One In A Million". Slant magazine. January 1, 2001. Retrieved 2018.
  8. ^ Jenkins, Craig (April 11, 2013). "The 50 Best Timbaland Beats". Complex.
  9. ^ "ONE IN A MILLION' PUSHED AALIYAH TO THE FOREFRONT OF R&B'S NEW SCHOOL". The Boombox. Retrieved 2018.
  10. ^ a b "My Favorite Aaliyah Things". PopMatters. Retrieved 2018.
  11. ^ "The 25 Best Aaliyah Songs". Complex. May 19, 2016. Retrieved 2018.
  12. ^ "Top Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved 2018.
  13. ^ "If Your Girl Only Knew - Aaliyah". Billboard.com. Retrieved .
  14. ^ "Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs". Billboard. Retrieved 2018.
  15. ^ "Top R&B/Hip-Hop Songs". Billboard. Retrieved 2018.
  16. ^ a b c d e f "Datu Faison's Rhythm Section". Billboard. Retrieved 2018.
  17. ^ "Rhythmic Songs". Billboard. Retrieved 2018.
  18. ^ "Best-Selling Records of 1996". Billboard. BPI Communications Inc. 109 (3): 61. January 18, 1997. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 2015.
  19. ^ a b "Aaliyah". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2018.
  20. ^ "Official Dance Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. August 25, 1996. Retrieved 2018.
  21. ^ "Official R&B Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. October 13, 1996. Retrieved 2018.
  22. ^ a b Myers, Justin (January 16, 2018). "More Than A Woman: Aaliyah remembered on her birthday". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2018.
  23. ^ "Hits In Tokio". Billboard. Retrieved .
  24. ^ "New Zealand". Retrieved .
  25. ^ a b c d "Aaliyah Week: What The Songbird's Music Meant To Singers And Producers". Vibe. Retrieved 2016.
  26. ^ "Video Monitor". Billboard. July 21, 1996. Retrieved 2018.
  27. ^ "Video Monitor". Billboard. September 8, 1996. Retrieved 2018.
  28. ^ "Video Monitor". Billboard. July 28, 1996. Retrieved 2018.
  29. ^ "Video Monitor". Billboard. October 6, 1996. Retrieved 2018.
  30. ^ a b SCHOCH, DEBORAH (September 15, 1996). "An Assist From the MTV Hoopsters". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2018.
  31. ^ "Aaliyah - If Your Girl Only Knew - Live At MTV Rock N' Jock 1996". YouTube. Retrieved 2018.
  32. ^ Danois, Ericka Blount (2013-08-01). Love, Peace, and Soul: Behind the Scenes of America's Favorite Dance Show Soul Train: Classic Moments. Hal Leonard Corporation. ISBN 9781480363984.
  33. ^ "Aaliyah - "If Your Girl Only Knew" Live (1996)". YouTube. Retrieved 2018.
  34. ^ a b c "Erik Hassle Pays Tribute to Aaliyah on Impassioned New 'If Your Man Only Knew'". Spin. April 7, 2016. Retrieved 2018.
  35. ^ "Playlist: 10 tracks you need to hear - will.i.am, Florence Welch, Tegan & Sara". Digital Spy. April 13, 2016. Retrieved 2018.
  36. ^ "Charts.nz - Aaliyah - If Your Girl Only Knew". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved November 27, 2017.
  37. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved July 1, 2018.
  38. ^ "Swedishcharts.com - Aaliyah - If Your Girl Only Knew". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
  39. ^ "Aaliyah: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  40. ^ "Official Dance Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
  41. ^ "Official R&B Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 25, 2017.
  42. ^ "Aaliyah Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  43. ^ "Aaliyah Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  44. ^ "Aaliyah Chart History (Rhythmic)". Billboard. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  45. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved December 1, 2017.
  46. ^ "Aaliyah: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 28, 2017.
  47. ^ "Official R&B Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 25, 2017.
  48. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1996". Archived from the original on 2009-03-01. Retrieved .
  49. ^ "1996 Year End Chart: R&B/Hip-Hop Songs". Billboard. Retrieved .

External links


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