"If I Could Turn Back Time" is a song written by Diane Warren and was released on June 1, 1989 as the second North American and first European single release from American singer/actress Cher's twentieth album Heart of Stone by Geffen Records.
"If I Could Turn Back Time" was seen as a major comeback for Cher in the late 1980s. The song, which charted at number 1 in Australia and Norway, number 3 in the United States and number 6 in the United Kingdom.
"If I Could Turn Back Time" was very successful and it became Cher's second consecutive number 1 in the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. It topped the charts in two countries and it became a top ten hit in nearly ten countries. Cher had several subsequent hits including "The Shoop Shoop Song", "Strong Enough" and "Believe".
In episode 3-07 (first aired on November 16, 2000) of Will & Grace, Jack meets Cher in a café and mistakes her for a drag queen. She sings a few notes of "If I Could Turn Back Time" to make him understand she's the real Cher.
In 2001, Cher released a double vinyl with 3 remix of "If I Could Turn Back Time" called Cher Vs. Almighty. This remix was used as the opening track for the "Living Proof: Farewell Tour" combining the intro to "Dark Lady" and elements of "A Different Kind Of Love Song".
The video for "If I Could Turn Back Time" takes place on board the USS MissouriTemplate:WP Ships USS instances, where Cher sings to a large group of sailors. This video was filmed while the ship was stationed at the former Long Beach Naval Shipyard at Pier D along with the crew. In the music video, the band plays amidships, and the whole vessel is rigged with spotlights, light racks and strobes. The crew is on the deck, waving with the rhythm.
Cher's outfit for the original video (a fishnet body stocking under a very revealing black one-piece bathing suit) caused some controversy, and many television networks refused to show the video. In 1989 the MTV network banned the video and only played it after 9:00 PM. A "censored" video, including new scenes, and showing less explicitly sexual content than the previous original video was then made.
In 2000 a remix was released, which was recorded during her previous tour, "Do You Believe?".
Finally in 2003 Cher released her "Living Proof - Farewell Tour" concert on DVD which included an official "If I Could Turn Back Time" remix video.
This specific Cher video has been parodied many times, most recently in Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story, where Meg Griffin is in the role of Cher, but instead of the sailors enjoying it, they all flee for their lives and the boat appears to sink at the end.
Cher's son, Elijah Blue Allman, only twelve at the time, makes an appearance in the video, playing a guitar (he wears dark glasses and a Jimi Hendrix T-shirt).
The video was number 3 in MAX music's World's Worst Ever Video countdown in 2008.
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