IF ONLY – Destiny [Jackie Bodimead recordings 1988-1990]
With the just released remastered reissue of IF ONLY sole official album No Bed Of Roses, it is mandatory to post here the original recording featuring vocalist Jackie Bodimead, never released. Of course the source here is a bootleg CD titled “Destiny” (as one of the unreleased tracks), but the sound quality is far superior than the tapes circulating for years among traders / the web. Additionally, there’s several Previously Unreleased tracks.
Once described as ‘one of the greatest unknown gems from UK’s AOR scene’, IF ONLY was the British answer to American female fronted bands in the genre like Vixen, Heart or Saraya.
Formed from the ashes of superb melodic rockers Moritz by guitarist Greg Hart and bass player Ian Edwards, the band released their official debut ‘No Bed Of Roses’ in 1992 – only in Japan – with its subsequent European edition two years after.
The singer on this disc was the fiery Tina Egan which joined the band in 1991.
But around 1988 / 89, IF ONLY recorded a complete take of these songs with original singer Jackie Bodimead who sang in Girlschool for a while. That version was finally released by a US indie / bootleg label as “Destiny” in 2004, with the addition of 5 previously unreleased tracks plus two Live Radio Session cuts.
While ‘No Bed Of Roses’ is a killer album with Egan’s vocals, I have a soft spot for these earlier versions featured here because the sound / production is much more mid-80s oriented, and Bodimead is one of the best and most underrated female vocalists ever. Her tone, expression and charm fits perfectly to this Melodic Rock / AOR style.
Also to note is the excellent lead guitar work by Martin Chaisson and Greg Hart (who years later would form Cats In Space).
Both Jackie and Martin left IF ONLY when this original take of the album was nearly completed. It was a devastating blow to the band when she quit at the eleventh hour. Tina Egan proved to be a quality replacement, but she was not Jackie Bodimead.
Alongside Greg Hart, Bodimead forged a songwriting partnership that should have gone far. Just listen to the likes of “Rock And A Hard Place”, the old Moritz song “Hearts On The Line”, the AOR bliss of “Hearts On The Line”, “If Love Could Last Forever” or the simply perfect melody in “Ghost Of You”.
Despite this recording was originally shelved, a 7” single for ‘If Love Could Last Forever’ was released.
So it’s almost unbelievable that If Only went unnoticed for American music executives back then, because their music was just so perfect for the US market at the time; Classy ’80s female fronted Melodic Rock / AOR done in an American style yet with a British touch.
The source here is an unidentified tape, but for a ‘lost recording’, the sound quality is very good. this is not the version floating around…
1989-1990 Demos – Jackie Vocals:
01 – Destiny (Previously Unreleased)
02 – Voices Of The Heart (Previously Unreleased)
03 – Ain’t Nobody (Previously Unreleased)
04 – Hearts On The Line (Previously Unreleased)
05 – Change Of Heart (Previously Unreleased)
No Bed Of Roses original recording ’88 – Jackie Vocals
06 – Rock And A Hard Place (Original Version)
07 – Tumblin’ Dice (Original Version)
08 – If Love Could Last Forever (Original Version)
09 – No Bed Of Roses (Original Version)
10 – Forever My Love (Original Version)
11 – Loaded Gun (Original Version)
12 – Ghost Of You (Original Version)
13 – Red Hot Heaven (Original Version)
14 – All Over (Original Version)
15 – Man Against The World (Original Version)
BBC Radio 1990 – Jackie Vocals:
16 – All Over (Live Radio Session)
17 – Ghost Of You (Live Radio Session)
Jackie Bodimead – Vocals
Martin Chaisson – Guitars
Greg Hart – Guitars
Ian Edwards – Bass
Andy Stewarton – Keyboards
Andy Elphick – Drums
Not For Sale