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"If I Could Turn Back Time" is a song recorded by American singer and actress Cher for her nineteenth studio album Heart of Stone (1989). It was released on July 1, 1989, by Geffen Records as the album's lead single. The song was written especially for Cher by Diane Warren, who produced it with Guy Roche. Cher initially disliked the track after listening to a demo tape sung by Warren, but subsequently changed her opinion after Warren forced her to record it.

"If I Could Turn Back Time"
Cher-if-i-could-turn-back-time-1989-US-vinyl.jpg
7-inch single cover artwork
Single by Cher
from the album Heart of Stone
B-side"Some Guys"
ReleasedJuly 1, 1989 (1989-07-01)
Format
Recorded1989
StudioCriterion Studios, Los Angeles, California
GenrePop rock
Length4:03
LabelGeffen
Songwriter(s)Diane Warren
Producer(s)
Cher singles chronology
"After All"
(1989)
"If I Could Turn Back Time"
(1989)
"Just Like Jesse James"
(1989)
Music video
"If I Could Turn Back Time" on YouTube

Highly successful around the globe, "If I Could Turn Back Time" was seen as a major comeback for Cher in the late 1980s. It charted at number one in Australia and Norway, as well as reaching number three in the United States and number six in the United Kingdom. It also became Cher's second consecutive solo number-one hit on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart.[1] The track was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for the sales of 500,000 copies.[2] In November 2011, Billboard reported the digital sales of "If I Could Turn Back Time" to be 394,000 in the US.[3]

Gary Hill of Allmusic retrospectively wrote that the song "has a crunchy texture to it, albeit in a poppy, '80s Starship sort of arrangement."[4]

Contents

BackgroundEdit

The song was written by Diane Warren, who produced the song along with Guy Roche.[5] While the soft rock track was specifically written for Cher, the singer initially disliked the song upon hearing a demo and turned it down. Warren claimed in 1991: "I got on my knees and pleaded. I told her I wasn't going to leave the room until she said yes, and finally, just to get rid of me, she did."[6] In 2014, she further added: "She really hated [it], but I held her leg down during a session and said, 'You have to record it!'" According to Warren, Cher reportedly responded: "'Fuck you, bitch! You're hurting my leg! OK, I'll try it.' She gave me this look like, 'You were right'."[7]

Music videoEdit

 
Cher on tour 1989 singing "If I Could Turn Back Time".

The music video for "If I Could Turn Back Time", directed by Marty Callner, takes place on board the battleship USS Missouri. It depicts Cher and her band performing a concert for the ship's crew. The video was filmed in Los Angeles on Friday night, June 30, 1989, while the ship was stationed at the former Long Beach Naval Shipyard at Pier D. In the video, the band plays on the foredeck, and the ship is rigged with spotlights, light racks and strobes. Cher's son, Elijah Blue Allman, 12 at the time, appears as one of the band's guitarists (he wears dark glasses and a Jimi Hendrix T-shirt).

The Dept. of the Navy had granted permission for the music video shoot because of its potential for boosting Navy recruitment: the Navy did not have a budget for TV ads in 1989. The Navy initially selected the battleship USS New Jersey for the video. However, the New Jersey was out to sea when Callner needed to do an initial site survey, so he toured its sister ship, USS Missouri, instead. During Callner's visit, USS Missouri's public affairs officer, Lt. Mark Walker, convinced him to change the filming location to the USS Missouri.[8]

Cher's outfit for the original video, a fishnet body stocking under a black one-piece bathing suit that left most of her buttocks (and a tattoo of a butterfly) exposed, proved very controversial, and many television networks refused to show the video. MTV first banned the video, and later played it only after 9 PM. A second version of the video was made, including new scenes and less overtly sexual content than the original. The outfit and risque nature of the video were a complete surprise to the Navy, who expected Cher to wear a jumpsuit for the concert, as presented on storyboards during original discussions with producers. The sailors were already in place and the band had begun playing when Cher emerged in her outfit. [9]Lt. Cmdr Steve Honda from the Navy's Hollywood Liaison office requested Callner briefly suspend shooting and convince Cher to change into more conservative attire, but Callner refused.

The Navy received criticism for allowing the video shoot, especially from World War II veterans who saw it as a desecration of a national historic site that should be treated with reverence: the USS Missouri was the site of the Empire of Japan's Surrender on September 2, 1945, thus ending World War II.

No Navy officials were disciplined for their role in supporting the video, although reportedly the Secretary of the Navy briefly considered firing the captain of the USS Missouri.[10]

In 2003, Cher released her Living Proof: Farewell Tour concert on DVD which included an official "If I Could Turn Back Time" remix video.

PersonnelEdit

ProductionEdit

  • Arranged and Produced by Diane Warren and Guy Roche
  • Recorded by Frank Wolf, with assistance by Guy Roche
  • Mixed by Frank Wolf
  • Published by Realsongs

Live performancesEdit

 
Cher performing "If I Could Turn Back Time" during the 2014 Dressed to Kill Tour.

Cher performed the song on the following concert tours:

Formats and track listingsEdit

In 2000, Cher released a promotional double-pack vinyl in the UK with 3 new remixes of "If I Could Turn Back Time", with vocal which was recorded during her "Do You Believe?" tour. The Almighty remix was used as the opening track for the "Living Proof: Farewell Tour" which also featured the intro to "Dark Lady" and elements of "A Different Kind of Love Song".[11]

If I Could Turn Back Time US Promo CD Single[12]

  1. If I Could Turn Back Time (Remix)
  2. If I Could Turn Back Time (Original Mix)
  3. If I Could Turn Back Time (Rock Mix)
  4. If I Could Turn Back Time (AC Mix)

If I Could Turn Back Time European CD Single[12]

  1. If I Could Turn Back Time (Rock Guitar Version)
  2. If I Could Turn Back Time
  3. I Found Someone

If I Could Turn Back Time Remix[12]

  1. Believe (Almighty Definitive Mix)
  2. If I Could Turn Back Time (Almighty Definitive Mix)
  3. If I Could Turn Back Time (TNT Vocal Mix)
  4. If I Could Turn Back Time (TNT Dub)
  5. One By One (Junior Vasquez Vocal Remix)

Official versions and remixesEdit

  • Original Mix (3:59)
  • AC Mix (3:59)
  • Remix (3:59)
  • Rock Mix [aka Rock Guitar Version] (4:06)[13]
  • Almighty Definitive Remix (7:45)[14]
  • Almighty Radio Edit (4:29)[15]
  • TNT Vocal Mix (6:46)[11]
  • TNT Dub (6:47)

Charts and certificationsEdit

Certifications and salesEdit

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[37] 2× Platinum 140,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[44] Silver 200,000 
United States (RIAA)[45] Gold 500,000^
Digital
United States (RIAA)[47] 394,000[46]

^shipments figures based on certification alone
 sales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Film soundtracksEdit

The song is featured in the post-credit scenes in the 2018 film Deadpool 2 and during its closing credits roll, as Cable, one of the main characters of the film, is a time traveler from the far future. The character of Deadpool uses Cable's time machine to go back in time and correct various timelines as the song plays.

In the film Walking on Sunshine, there is a version of this song performed by the protagonists Taylor (Hannah Arterton) and Raf (Giulio Berruti).

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 54.
  2. ^ "American single certifications – If I Could Turn Back Time". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  3. ^ "Ask Billboard: Cher Information, Yes?". Billboard. 2011-11-05. Retrieved 2012-03-11.
  4. ^ Review by Allmusic Retrieved October 14, 2013
  5. ^ Heart of Stone (Media notes). Cher. Geffen Records. 1989.CS1 maint: others (link)
  6. ^ Sanz, Cynthia (1991-07-22). "They're Playing Her Song". People. Retrieved 2014-09-26.
  7. ^ Ginsberg, Merle (2014-07-23). "Diane Warren Reveals Cher's Reaction to 'If I Could Turn Back Time': 'F--- You, Bitch!'". Billboard. Retrieved 2014-09-26.
  8. ^ Source: Interview with Lt. Mark Walker
  9. ^ Source: Interview with Lt. Mark Walker
  10. ^ Source: Interview with Lt. Mark Walker
  11. ^ a b "Cher - If I Could Turn Back Time / Believe / One By One". Discogs.
  12. ^ a b c "If I Could Turn Back Time Single".
  13. ^ "Cher - If I Could Turn Back Time". Discogs.
  14. ^ "Cher - If I Could Turn Back Time (Almighty Mix)". Discogs.
  15. ^ "Various - Almighty Remixes". Discogs.
  16. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Cher – If I Could Turn Back Time". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  17. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Cher – If I Could Turn Back Time" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  18. ^ "Ultratop.be – Cher – If I Could Turn Back Time" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  19. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 6564." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  20. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 6561." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  21. ^ "Hits of the World" (PDF). Billboard. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  22. ^ "Hits of the World" (PDF). Billboard. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
  23. ^ "Hits of the World" (PDF). Billboard. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  24. ^ "Cher - Top Titel" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  25. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – If I Could Turn Back Time". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  26. ^ a b "I singoli più venduti del 1989". Hit Parade Italia. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  27. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 42, 1989" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  28. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Cher – If I Could Turn Back Time" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  29. ^ "Charts.nz – Cher – If I Could Turn Back Time". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  30. ^ Fernando Salaverri (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  31. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Cher – If I Could Turn Back Time". Singles Top 100. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  32. ^ "Cher: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  33. ^ "Cher Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  34. ^ "Cher Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  35. ^ Cash Box Top 100 Singles, December 30, 1989
  36. ^ "Listy bestsellerów, wyróżnienia :: Związek Producentów Audio-Video". Polish Airplay Top 100. Retrieved October 24, 2016.
  37. ^ a b "ARIA End Of Year Singles 1989". Australian Recording Industry Association. 1990. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  38. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1989" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  39. ^ "Top 100 Singles of '89". RPM. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  40. ^ "Single Top 100 Van 1989" (PDF) (in Dutch). Stichting Nederlandse Top 40. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 22, 2013. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  41. ^ "Jaaroverzichten - Single 1989" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  42. ^ "End of Year Chart - Top 50 Singles of 1989". OCC. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  43. ^ a b "The Year in Music: 1999" (PDF). Billboard. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  44. ^ "British single certifications – Cher – If I Could Turn Back Time". British Phonographic Industry. Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type If I Could Turn Back Time in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  45. ^ "American single certifications – Cher – If I Could Turn Back Time". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  46. ^ "Ask Billboard: Cher Information, Yes?". Billboard. 2011-11-05. Retrieved 2012-03-11.
  47. ^ "American single certifications – Cher – Believe". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 

External linksEdit