If It's Over
[Carole King] called and wanted me to do a cover of 'Natural Woman'
- Mariah Carey
Written by Mariah Carey & Carole King
Produced by Mariah Carey & Carole King
4:38 Album Version
3:42 MTV Unplugged Version
ABOUT THE SONG
- Horns and the soulful guitar of Cornell Dupree, a veteran of some of Franklin's gems, punctuate the sassy "If It's Over," a song Carey wrote with Carole King. "She called and wanted me to do a cover of 'Natural Woman,'" Carey says. "I didn't want to, because Aretha's one of my idols and that's an untouchable performance." So King flew in from her home in Idaho and spent a day improvising with Carey. - New York Magazine September 1991 - Chris Smith “Pop Meteor Mariah Carey Reaches Back to Aretha for Emotions”
“Carole King is a legendary talent as a songwriter and as a singer, and it was incredible for me she actually called my management company and asked to work with me, which was really an honor, you know, and kinda scary, you know. She flew in from her home, where she lives on a farm, and we got together and we met and we wrote the song in a day - it’s called “If It’s Over,” it’s on the album. We wrote it in about an hour and a half and it was like the fastest song I’ve ever written and I played her some of my stuff and showed here where I was coming from with this new album and she was really, you know, aside from the fact that she’s amazing talented and written some legendary songs, I mean incredible songs. She’s so down to earth and she made me feel so comfortable being there with her, and being nervous and being like 'Oh you know, I’ve listened to your stuff since I was like, a tot, and here I am writing with you.'” - Interview YouTube ~1991
King's interest in Carey was piqued when she watched the young singer perform her debut single, "Vision of Love," on The Arsenio Hall Show in 1990. During sessions for her second album, Emotions, the following year, Carey was stunned to receive a telephone call from King, asking if she would be interested in recording her composition, "(You Make Me Feel Like) a Natural Woman." Aretha Franklin's 1967 original had gone on to become one of the most iconic recordings in R&B history, making it intimidating territory for any vocalist who might attempt it. Carey ultimately demurred because, as she later explained to New York, "Aretha's one of my idols and I felt what she did with the song was an untouchable performance.”
Determined to work with the ascending star, King flew from her home in Idaho to New York City for a one-day writing session with Carey. "It was a true collaboration," King told USA Today of the meeting. "I'd come up with an idea. She'd come back with something else. In the end we came up with what we both think is a wonderful song. I love her voice. She's very expressive. She gives a lot of meaning to what she sings."
The result was "If It's Over," an epic slow burn gospel ballad for the ages. Traces of "Natural Woman" are clear in its sparse melody and laid-back rhythm, giving Carey ample room to showcase her five-octave voice. She would perform the song at the Grammys in 1992, as well during her MTV Unplugged set that year. - Rolling Stone “10 Songs You Didn’t Know Carole King Wrote” by Jordan Runtagh February 9, 2017
1991 Released on the Emotions album.
1992 Live version included on the MTV Unplugged EP