Neha Patil (Editor)

If I Could Turn Back Time

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B-side  "Some Guys"
Recorded  1989
Length  4:00
Released  June 1, 1989
Genre  Pop rock
Label  Geffen
If I Could Turn Back Time

"If I Could Turn Back Time" is a song by American recording artist Cher. Written by Diane Warren and co-produced along with Guy Roche, the pop rock track was included on Cher's nineteenth album, Heart of Stone (1989). The song was released on June 1, 1989 as the second North American and first European single release from the album. The song also appears on the greatest hits compilations The Greatest Hits (1999) and The Very Best of Cher (2003). In 1989, it was certified Gold by the RIAA for the sales of 500,000 copies. Sales haven't been updated since. In November 2011, Billboard reported the digital sales of "If I Could Turn Back Time" to be 394,000 in the US.


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, and reached number three in the United States and number six in the United Kingdom, respectively. It also became Cher's second consecutive solo number one hit on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart. Gary Hill of Allmusic retrospectively wrote that the song "has a crunchy texture to it, albeit in a poppy, '80s Starship sort of arrangement."


"If I Could Turn Back Time" was written by Diane Warren, who produced the song along with Guy Roche. While the soft rock track was not specifically written for Cher, the singer initially disliked the song upon hearing a demo and turned it down. Speaking of its recording, Warren elaborated 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." 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'."

Music video

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 July 1, 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, only twelve at the time, appears as one of the band's guitarists (he wears dark glasses and a Jimi Hendrix T-shirt).

Cher's outfit for the original video, a fishnet body stocking under a black one-piece bathing suit that left most of her buttocks 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 sexual nature of the video were not expected by the US Navy when they had originally granted permission for filming. The USS Missouri liaison, Steve Honda, asked Callner to prevent Cher from wearing the outfit when he saw it on-set, but Callner refused. The Navy also received criticism for the video, and has since refused to allow any music videos to be filmed aboard its ships.

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


  • Drums, Percussion: Mark T. Williams
  • Bass: John Pierce
  • Keyboards: Guy Roche, Alan Pasqua
  • Guitars: Steve Lukather, Glenn Sciurba, Gene Black
  • Backing vocals: Desmond Child, Michael Anthony, Robin Beck, Jean McClain, Jimmy Demers
  • Live performances

    Cher performed the song on the following concert tours:

  • Heart of Stone Tour (1990)
  • Love Hurts Tour (1992)
  • Do You Believe? Tour (1999–2000)
  • The Farewell Tour (2002–2005)
  • Cher at the Colosseum (2008–2011)
  • Dressed to Kill Tour (2014)
  • Formats and track listings

    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".

    If I Could Turn Back Time US Promo CD Single

    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

    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

    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 remixes

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

    If I Could Turn Back Time Wikipedia