Let's Stick Together (song)

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"Let's Stick Together"
Single by Wilbert Harrison
B-side "Kansas City Twist" (1st pressing)
"My Heart Is Yours" (2nd pressing)
Released 1962 (1962)
Format 7" 45 rpm record
Recorded 1962
Genre Blues
Length 2:55
Label Fury (Cat. nos. 1059 & 1063)
Writer(s) Wilbert Harrison
Producer(s) Bobby Robinson

"Let's Stick Together" or "Let's Work Together" as it was subsequently titled, is a blues song written by Wilbert Harrison, which was released in 1962. In 1969–1970, the song became a hit for Harrison and has been recorded by a variety of artists, including Canned Heat and Bryan Ferry who had chart successes with the song.

Original songs[edit]

Wilbert Harrison recorded "Let's Stick Together" in 1962 as a mid-tempo twelve-bar shuffle-style blues. The song failed to appear in the charts; however, when Harrison re-recorded it as "Let's Work Together" in 1969 for Sue Records, the song reached #32 in the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart in 1970, making it Harrison's first chart appearance since his #1 1959 hit "Kansas City". Unlike his earlier song, it is a solo performance, with Harrison (credited as the "Wilbert Harrison One Man Band") providing the vocal, harmonica, guitar, and percussion.

Harrison's two songs use same melody line and structure, but the lyrics differ, as illustrated by the opening lines:

"Let's Stick Together"
"Well now the marriage vow is very sacred
The man put us together now you want to make it
Stick together, come on, come on let's stick together
You know we made a vow not to leave one another never..."
"Let's Work Together"
"Together we will stand divided we'll fall
Come on now people let's get on the ball
And work together, come on, come on let's work together, now, now people
Say now together we will stand, every boy, girl, woman, and man..."

Canned Heat version[edit]

"Let's Work Together"
Single by Canned Heat
from the album Future Blues
B-side "I'm Her Man"
Released August 1970 (1970-08)
Format 7" 45 rpm record
Recorded International Sound Studios, Los Angeles December 3, 1969
Genre Blues rock
Length 3:14 (album version)
2:48 (single version)
Label Liberty (Cat. no. 56151)
Writer(s) Wilbert Harrison
Producer(s) Skip Taylor, Canned Heat

Shortly after the release of Wilbert Harrison's "Let's Work Together", Los Angeles blues-rock band Canned Heat recorded their version of the song. Unlike their previous singles ("On the Road Again", "Going Up the Country", and "Time Was") which featured vocals and harmonica by Alan Wilson, for "Let's Work Together" Bob Hite provided the vocals, with Wilson adding the slide-guitar parts. The song was prepared for release as a single in December 1969, but after learning that Harrison's song was becoming popular, the band delayed their release until Harrison's song had run its course.[1]

Canned Heat's "Let's Work Together" was released in August 1970 and reached #26 in the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. It was featured on their 1970 album, Future Blues. In the UK, where Harrison's single failed to generate interest, Canned Heat's version was released earlier in January 1970. It became their biggest UK hit, reaching #2 in the UK Singles chart during a stay of fifteen weeks. [2] According to band manager Skip Taylor, "'Let’s Work Together' was actually their biggest hit as it rose to #1 in 31 different countries around the world".[3]

Bryan Ferry versions[edit]

In 1976, Bryan Ferry released his version of "Let's Stick Together" as a single. It became his highest charting solo single, reaching #4 in the UK chart.[4] The song is included on his album Let's Stick Together. In 1988, Ferry released a remix of the song as "Let's Stick Together '88", which reached #12 in the chart.[4]

Other recordings[edit]

Several musical artists have recorded their interpretations of "Let's Stick Together"/"Let's Work Together". Some of these include[5] Bob Dylan, Dwight Yoakam, The Kentucky Headhunters, Status Quo, George Thorogood with Elvin Bishop, KT Tunstall, and Ry Cooder with Buckwheat Zydeco, Jim Keltner, Jim Dickinson, and Mike Elizondo.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Russo, Greg (1994). Uncanned! The Best of Canned Heat (Media notes). Canned Heat. EMI Records. p. 13. E2 29165. 
  2. ^ This version was used in Kragen Auto Parts commercials. "Canned Heat — Singles Chart History". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 28, 2013. 
  3. ^ Taylor, Skip; Lemke, Brett. "The Official Band Biography". Canned Heat. Retrieved June 28, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "Bryan Ferry — Singles Chart History". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 28, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Let's Stick Together — Search Results". Allmusic. Rovi Corp. Retrieved June 28, 2013. 

External links[edit]