♫ If You Don’t Know Me By Now ♫ (Redux)

Well, I had every intention of playing something new tonight — new in the sense that I hadn’t played it here before — but that plan rather fell by the wayside, so instead I will redux this from back in late 2020!  

Those of you who write about the serious topics, the heartbreaking things … you know how sometimes you write a post and it just takes everything out of you.  When you hit that “schedule” or “publish” button, you feel drained, exhausted, empty.  So, here I was feeling just that way, and I went into my file of music notes and ideas, and the first one I saw was this, by Simply Red.  It immediately replaced the sadness in my … head?  … heart?  Wherever that sadness was, the music took it away, so this is the song of the day!

A couple of weeks ago I did another song by Simply Red, Holding Back the Years, in which I explained … or tried to explain … my confusion over whether this was a group or a person.  Turns out it was both, but since we’ve already had that discussion, I won’t bore you with a re-hashing.  But, I will say I encountered even more confusion with this song, for while I have never heard of Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, and when I put the title of this song into SongFacts, it kept trying to tell me that was who did the song.  Sigh.  Why is nothing ever simple?

Anyway, turns out that Harold and his gang of blue notes did record this song first, in 1971.  Now, how Harold et al managed to fly under my radar I’ll never know.  I figured they were likely from the UK, one of those bands that didn’t really do well in the U.S., but no, they were from Philadelphia.  And they were R&B, one of my most favourite genres.  So, I either slept through it all or my memory banks dumped Harold and the gang.  Moving on …

This song was written by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, and as I noted, first recorded by Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes.  It did well enough, reaching #9 in the UK, #3 in the U.S.  But then, along come Simply Red who covered it in 1989, and it rose to even greater heights … #1 in the U.S., #2 in the UK, and #3 in Canada.

The song was originally written for Labelle, a trio led by Patti LaBelle, but they never recorded it.

If You Don’t Know Me by Now
Simply Red

If you don’t know me by now
You will never never never know me

All the things that we’ve been through
You should understand me like I understand you
Now girl I know the difference between right and wrong
I ain’t gonna do nothing to break up our happy home
Oh don’t get so excited when I come home a little late at night
Cause we only act like children when we argue fuss and fight

If you don’t know me by now (If you don’t know me)
You will never never never know me (No you won’t)
If you don’t know me by now
You will never never never know me

We’ve all got our own funny moods
I’ve got mine, woman you’ve got yours too
Just trust in me like I trust in you
As long as we’ve been together it should be so easy to do
Just get yourself together or we might as well say goodbye
What good is a love affair when you can’t see eye to eye, oh

If you don’t know me by now (If you don’t know me)
You will never never never know me (No you won’t)
If you don’t know me by now (You will never never never know me)
You will never never never know me (ooh)

Songwriters: Kenneth Gamble / Leon Huff
If You Don’t Know Me by Now lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

14 thoughts on “♫ If You Don’t Know Me By Now ♫ (Redux)

  1. Pingback: ♫ If You Don’t Know Me By Now ♫ (Redux) | Filosofa’s Word | Ned Hamson's Second Line View of the News

  2. I’ll take Melvin and the Blue Notes everyday, and twice on Mondays. Nothing wrong with the Simply Red cover, but he doesn’t have the power in his voice Melvin has. (Maybe too much power for some?)

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  3. When I saw the song title I thought of Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes straight off! They had quite a successful career ‘back then’
    ‘Don’t Leave Me This Way’ was a hit in the UK (another one revived by a UK outfit later down the decades)
    Good song Jill.


  4. Jill, great song. While Simply Red’s version climbed higher on the charts, I am still partial to the original, which I find more powerful. Part of my rationale is also before 1970, there were many white artists that covered songs and made more money than the original black artists. Johnny Rivers made a living making a lot more money covering songs than the original performers. Keith

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    • I’m really glad you liked it! Yes, now that I have heard the Harold Melvin version, I find I like it even better than Simply Red’s. Yes, we’ve talked before about Johnny Rivers covering songs by Black artists and making even more money from them … a sad statement of this nation, perhaps of humanity itself.


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