Let's Stay Together (song)

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For the Lyfe Jennings song, see Let's Stay Together (Lyfe Jennings song). For the Ludacris song, see Theater of the Mind.
"Let's Stay Together"
Side-A label of 1971 edition
Single by Al Green
from the album Let's Stay Together
B-side "Tomorrow's Dream"
Released 1971
Format Vinyl
Recorded 1971
Genre Soul, R&B
Length 3:16
  • Al Green
  • Willie Mitchell
Music sample

"Let's Stay Together" is a song by American recording artist Al Green from his 1972 album of the same name. It was produced and recorded by Willie Mitchell, and mixed by Mitchell and Terry Manning. Released as a single in 1971, "Let's Stay Together" reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100, and remained on the chart for 16 weeks and also topped Billboard's R&B chart for nine weeks.[1] Billboard ranked it as the No. 11 song of 1972.[2]

It was ranked the 60th greatest song of all time by Rolling Stone magazine on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.[3]

It was selected by the Library of Congress as a 2010 addition to the National Recording Registry, which selects recordings annually that are "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".[4] The song went on to claim the number-one position on the Billboard Year-End chart as an R&B song for 1972.

Appearance in other media[edit]

The song was used in the Quentin Tarantino film Pulp Fiction (1994),[5] the 2004 film Hellboy and the 2005 film Munich. It was also used in the 2003 romantic comedy film How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and be heard in the films Down to You (2000), Jersey Girl (2004), and the 2012 romantic comedy Hope Springs features the song.[citation needed]

On television, the song was parodied by The Fringemunks to recap Fringe episode 2.06, "Earthling",[6] and performed in an episode of Ally McBeal. Kermit Ruffins and his band cover the song in Season 2, Episode 9 of the HBO series, Treme.[citation needed] Likewise, an instrumental version of the song appears in episode 23 of the anime adaptation of Monster.

United States President Barack Obama performed a brief phrase of the song during an appearance at the Apollo Theater in New York City on January 19, 2012, for a campaign fundraiser that included Al Green as an opening act.[7] In the week following, sales of Green's recording of the song increased by 490%.


Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1972) Peak
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[8] 7
US Billboard Hot 100[9] 1
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)[10] 1

Cover versions[edit]

"Let's Stay Together" has also been covered by Margie Joseph (who had also recorded in Memphis contemporaneous to Green, but offered a Philly-inspired version produced by Arif Mardin), Al Jarreau, Billy Paul, Roberta Flack,[11] Michael Bolton, Ms. Marilyn Marshall (Club version), Donny Osmond, Jimmy Smith, Seal, Michelle Williams, Ian Moss, Boyz II Men, Bobby Ross Avila, Big Mountain, Isaac Hayes, Robin Thicke, Brian Kennedy, Maroon 5, Terry Manning, as well as by At Last on the first season of America's Got Talent, who performed it a cappella. It has also been covered by soul singer Lemar. Shirley Bassey covered the song on her 1995 album Sings the Movies. An instrumental version very close to the Al Green original was recorded by The Memphis Horns. Organist Ronnie Foster also recorded an instrumental version for his studio album The Two Headed Freap.The song has been performed on American Idol by Justin Guarini. On December 15, 2010 on The Sing-Off it was performed a cappella by Season Two winners Committed (group). It has also been covered by Trenyce, Leah LaBelle, Joseph Murena, and Elise Testone. Australian soul singer Guy Sebastian recorded a cover version on his covers album The Memphis Album. UK R&B artist Craig David covers his very own version of the song on his album "Signed Sealed Delivered". Michael Bolton covered the song on his 1999 album Timeless: The Classics Vol. 2. In 1989, The Rippingtons released an album titled "Tourist in Paradise", on that album is featured the song "Let's Stay Together".[12] In 2004, saxophonist Eric Darius performed a rendition of the "Let's Stay Together". Eric's version was from the album Night on the Town.[13] Lynda Carter covered this song for her 2011 album Crazy Little Things. American pop singer Katy Perry performed the song at Barack Obama Fundraising Concert in Best Buy Theater, New York City on October 7, 2012.

Tina Turner version[edit]

"Let's Stay Together"
Single by Tina Turner
from the album Private Dancer
B-side "I Wrote a Letter"
Released November 7, 1983 (1983-11-07) (UK)[14]
Recorded 1983
Length 5:16
Label Capitol
Certification Silver (BPI[15])
Tina Turner singles chronology
"Ball of Confusion"
"Let's Stay Together"
Music sample

"Let's Stay Together" was later covered by Tina Turner, her second collaboration with the British Heaven 17/B.E.F. production team after "Ball of Confusion" in 1982, and served as her comeback single in late 1983, charting at #26 on the US Hot 100.[16] It placed #6 in the UK (one place higher than Al Green's original) and became the third time she reached the UK top ten, the first two being with former husband Ike Turner on "River Deep, Mountain High" and "Nutbush City Limits". Tina Turner's version also hit #1 on the US Dance Chart.[17] At the time, the song was the most successful solo single she had released and it was included on her multi-platinum selling album Private Dancer, released a few months later in the spring of 1984.

The music video was directed by David Mallet. The cover photography was by Norman Seeff.

Cover versions overseas[edit]

This song was also cover-versioned by former Hong Kong singer Yvonne Lau Man-Kuen (Chinese: 劉文娟) under the title "Don't leave gaps when young" (Chinese: 年輕不要留白) in 1991.

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1983–84) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[18] 19
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[19] 7
Germany (Media Control Charts)[20] 18
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[21] 5
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[22] 28
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[23] 6
US Billboard Hot 100[24] 26
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)[25] 3

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942–2004. Record Research. p. 237. 
  2. ^ Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1972
  3. ^ "500 Greatest Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone. 
  4. ^ "The National Recording Registry 2010". Library of Congress. Retrieved April 10, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Surf Music and Seventies Soul: The Songs of 'Pulp Fiction'". Rolling Stone magazine. Retrieved 7 July 2014. 
  6. ^ "Fringemunks Web site". Davidwumusic.com. Retrieved 2013-05-10. 
  7. ^ "Obama, crooner in chief, sings some Al Green at N.Y. fundraiser". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 20, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Archive Chart: 1972-01-01" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved January 13, 2013.
  9. ^ "Al Green Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Al Green. Retrieved May 12, 2013.
  10. ^ "Al Green Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for Al Green. Retrieved May 12, 2013.
  11. ^ Robert Flack album, Roberta, released 1994. See Roberta (album)
  12. ^ The Rippingtons (1989-05-15). ""Tourist in Paradise 1989" from". Answers.com. Retrieved 2013-05-10. 
  13. ^ "Night on the Town - Eric Darius" from Billboard.com
  14. ^ British release date
  15. ^ British certification
  16. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942–2004. Record Research. p. 593. 
  17. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance/Disco: 1974–2003. Record Research. p. 265. 
  18. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Tina Turner – Let's Stay Together". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved January 13, 2013.
  19. ^ "Ultratop.be – Tina Turner – Let's Stay Together" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved January 13, 2013.
  20. ^ "Chartverfulgong > Tina Turner > Let's Stay Together – musicline.de" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH. Retrieved January 13, 2013.
  21. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Tina Turner search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Retrieved January 13, 2013.
  22. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Tina Turner – Let's Stay Together". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved January 13, 2013.
  23. ^ "Archive Chart: 1983-12-01" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved January 13, 2013.
  24. ^ "Tina Turner Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Tina Turner. Retrieved May 12, 2013.
  25. ^ "Tina Turner Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for Tina Turner. Retrieved May 12, 2013.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"American Pie" by Don McLean
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single (Al Green version)
February 12, 1972 (one week)
Succeeded by
"Without You" by Nilsson
Preceded by
"Family Affair" by Sly & the Family Stone
Billboard Best Selling Soul Singles number-one single (Al Green version)
January 8, 1972 (nine weeks)
Succeeded by
"Talkin' Loud and Sayin' Nothing (Pt. 1)" by James Brown
Preceded by
"Beat Box" by Art of Noise
Billboard Hot Dance Club Play number-one single (Tina Turner version)
March 10, 1984 (two weeks)
Succeeded by
"Girls Just Want to Have Fun" by Cyndi Lauper