I'll Take You There

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"I'll Take You There"
Single by The Staple Singers
from the album Be Altitude: Respect Yourself
B-side "I'm Just Another Soldier"
Released 1972
Genre R&B, Funk, Blues
Length 4:43
3:16 (7" version)
Label Stax
Writer(s) Al Bell
Producer(s) Al Bell
The Staple Singers singles chronology
"Respect Yourself"
(1971)
"I'll Take You There"
(1972)
"This World"
(1972)

"I'll Take You There" is a number-one single written and produced by Al Bell and performed by soul/gospel family band The Staple Singers, released on Stax Records in February 1972 (see 1972 in music). The song spent a total of fifteen weeks on the charts and reached number one on the Hot 100.

History[edit]

Included on the group's 1972 album Be Altitude: Respect Yourself, "I'll Take You There" features lead singer Mavis Staples inviting her listeners to seek heaven. The song is "almost completely a call-and-response chorus"[1], with the introduction being lifted from a Jamaican instrumental reggae tune titled "The Liquidator". In fact, the entire song, written in the key of C, contains but two chords, C and F. A large portion of the song is set aside for Mavis' sisters Cleotha and Yvonne and their father "Pops" to seemingly perform solos on their respective instruments. In actuality, these solos (and all music in the song) were recorded by the famed Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section. When Mavis Staples says "Daddy, now, Daddy, Daddy" (referring to "Pop's" guitar solo), it is actually Eddie Hinton who performs the solo on record. Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section bass player David Hood performs the song's famed bass line. Terry Manning added harmonica and lead electric guitar. Roger Hawkins played drums, Barry Beckett was on electric piano, and Jimmy Johnson and Raymond banks contributed guitar parts. The horn and string parts were arranged by Detroit arranger, Johnny Allen. The horns and strings were recorded at Artie Fields Recording Studios in Detroit Michigan.

Rolling Stone editor David Fricke described this song as the "epitome of the Muscle Shoals Sound". It was recorded in Sheffield, AL at the famous Muscle Shoals Sound Studios, and overdubbed and mixed at Ardent Studios in Memphis by Engineer Terry Manning.

Bolstered by a "feel-good" vibe, "I'll Take You There" peaked at number-one on the Billboard R&B Singles chart for four weeks May 1972. In June, "I'll Take You There" reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for one week.[1] The song, ranked #276 on the Rolling Stone list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time[2] and inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999, remains the most successful and recognizable single of the Staples' half-century-long career.

The song was used in the 1986 film Children of a Lesser God.[3] The song was also used in the 2010 movie Secretariat.

The song was also used from 1997–1999 in commercials for the Chevrolet Malibu.

On October 30, 2010 Mavis Staples performed the song at the closing of comedian/commentators Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert's Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear accompanied by Jeff Tweedy and The Roots, and joined on stage by the other performers in the show.

Notable remakes[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 547. 
  2. ^ "The RS 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". RollingStone.com. Retrieved 2009-01-06. 
  3. ^ "Children of a Lesser God". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2011-07-24. 
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 631. 
  5. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1994". Retrieved 2010-08-27. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" by Roberta Flack
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
June 3, 1972 (one week)
Succeeded by
"The Candy Man" by Sammy Davis, Jr.