jeudi 10 mars 2016

Un Jour Une Chanson : If You Love Me Let Me Know

From Kay Bohlen

If you love me, let me know“ marks Olivia’s change from her european Polydor label to EMI Records excactly 42 years ago in 1974. The catchy country tune was her first 7“ release on the new label in Germany in march 1974 and reached No.37 for two weeks.
After „Let me be there“ it was the second John Rostill composition that did very well for Olivia in the United States and Australia peaking at a remarkable position No.2 on the Country Charts, Billboard Hot 100 and AC Charts (certified GOLD in the US).

It was even covered and recorded by legends like the late Elvis Presley, Loretta Lynn and also Tina Turner did her own version on her 1974 album „Tina turns the Country on“.

Polydor already did a great job releasing all of Olivia’s 7“ records around here with a lovely picture sleeve and EMI continued that legacy as long as ONJ kept releasing singles. Even Mercury kept that routine from 1985 on.

As a young boy it always confused me why IYLMLMK didn’t appear on any of Olivia’s then temporary album releases.
We all have learned that the album „IFLMLMK“ was eventually released to the US market (as well as the album „Let me be there“) as a mixture of the european albums „Long Live Love“ (1974) and „Olivia“ (1972). But the song itself was just a single cut over here and appeared later on Olivia’s first greatest hits compilation called „First Impressions“ (aka „Great Hits – First Impressions“ in Australia/New Zealand).

The most extraordinary album release that included IFLMLMK was in South Africa, where the tracks „Free the people“ and „Country girl“ had been replaced for the album release of „Long live love“. It still remains a mystery to me, if it was a political decision looking at the apartheid problem in Africa to exlcude a song like „Free the people“ or to promote Olivia’s chart successes „Let me be there“ and IFLMLMK. I guess is was a mixed motivation by EMI over there.

For the single release they were two main pictures used. One was taken by the famous Patrick Litchfield, which also graces the above mentioned „First Impressions“ LP. It was used for markets in Belgium, Portugal and the former Repulic of Yugoslavia. Most countries in 1974 still didn’t release 7“ records with a picture sleeve, e.g. the US, UK, Australia and many more. Another famous photo that was used for the single cover was from a natural series with a relaxed Olivia dressed in a white shirt. From that series there were many pictures published, but this one made it on the cover of the german, spanish and (as far as I know) on the dutch release. In Singapore it graced a four track EP, which is hard to find these days. EMI in Japan used their very own cover design for the single which makes it appealing for collectors. Many, if not the most of Olivia’s japanese singles were released with completely different cover arts than on other music markets, always including song lyrics on the back sleeve.

The feel of IYLMLMK appears quite alike „Let me be there“, no wonder both tunes were written by the late John Rostill (and solidly produced by John Farrar). Unfortunately he wasn’t able to share the success of Olivia’s interpretations because the british composer and bass player died in november 1973.

There are only two songs known of, which were used for the b-side of the single. The first one is the very lovely Ballad „Rosewater“, written by Olivia herself, and the second and mainly used b-side is John Farrar’s composition „Brotherly love“, which appears in the feel of „Long live love“ – a song which Olivia disliked way back when she performed it for the Eurovision Song Contest in Brighton 1974.
She made her peace with that one while singing it during her acclaimed UK tour in 2013. And of course she still keeps singing „If you love me, let me know“ nowadays on her concert tours all around the globe. A song that took a while to grow on me while I was little, but surely is an ONJ classic to me today and forever.

Other versions : Elvis, Loretta and French singer Sylvie Vartan.

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