The mid 1970s Billboard charts reflected a wide range of music styles, including the soft rock, easy listening, ballad by Chicago: If You Leave Me Now.
Written by the band’s bass guitar player Peter Cetera, he also recorded the ballad, which was included in their album Chicago X, the band’s eighth album released in June 1976 by Columbia Records.
The second single released from the album after Another Rainy Day in New York City, the single climbed the charts steadily, hitting the number one spot in October 1976. The song became the group’s first number one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.
Grabbing the top spot for two weeks, If You Leave Me Now continued to do well on radio playlists across North America, as well as in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Europe and hit the top spot in the Billboard Easy Listening charts too.
Chicago was also noticed by The Grammys in 1977, nominated for Record of the Year, Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo, Group or Chorus and Best Arrangement Acccompanying Vocalist(s) for the song. Listen to it here.
And this song has been one that is popular for television series and movie soundtracks, including Sex and the City, South Park, Happy Feet, Shaun of the Dead, Three Kings and A Lot Like Love.
A staple of the band’s live show, the song has also become a fundraiser, with the band regularly offering through an auction of the American Cancer Society to bid on singing the song with the band, proceeds benefitting the society.