I'll Take You There

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For the novel by Joyce Carol Oates, see I'll Take You There (novel).
"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"
"I'll Take You There"
"This World"

"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.


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] Billboard ranked it as the No. 19 song for 1972.[2] The song, ranked #276 on the Rolling Stone list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time[3] and inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999, remains the most successful and recognizable single of the Staples' half-century-long career.

In other media[edit]

The song has been heavily featured in numerous films.

It was used in the 1986 film Children of a Lesser God.[4] The song can be heard during the end credits for Barbershop (2002) and Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous (2005). The song is also performed in the Australian musical film The Sapphires (2012.

Additionally, the song was also used for the 2010 film 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 Covers[edit]

  • In 1972, the Jamaican band The Deltones released a reggae version of the song.
  • Eruption recorded a disco version of the song for their 1977 debut album, Eruption.
  • In 1988, Big Daddy Kane remade the song for his Long Live the Kane album.
  • In 1996, SWV covered "I'll Take You There" on the "NBA at 50: A Musical Celebration" album.
  • "I'll Take You There" returned to number one on the R&B chart in 1991 when it was covered by BeBe & CeCe Winans, with Mavis Staples featured as a guest artist on the track. The single also made No. 90 on the Hot 100.[5]
  • In 1994, the British band General Public released a cover of "I'll Take You There" featured in the Lara Flynn Boyle/Stephen Baldwin/Josh Charles film Threesome. It was an American hit, peaking at No. 22 on the weekly Hot 100 chart and No. 94 on its year-end chart.[6] This version features an added toasted verse specific to this version of the song.
  • In 1994, Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears performed the song on "The All New Mickey Mouse Club"
  • Female rap trio Salt-N-Pepa sampled "I'll Take You There" in their 1991 hit "Let's Talk About Sex."
  • R&B singer Kelly Price's cover was featured on the soundtrack to Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns.
  • The American rock band Sammy Hagar and the Waboritas recorded a cover of the song "I'll Take You There" for their 2006 album Livin' It Up!, albeit with modified lyrics and the title, "Let Me Take You There".
  • In 2010, British rap artist Dizzee Rascal sampled the track on his single "Dirtee Disco".
  • Robert Randolph & the Family Band released a cover of the song on their Live in Concert album in October 2011. Blues artist Susan Tedeschi guests on vocals.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 547. 
  2. ^ Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1972
  3. ^ "The RS 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". RollingStone.com. Retrieved 2009-01-06. 
  4. ^ "Children of a Lesser God". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2011-07-24. 
  5. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 631. 
  6. ^ "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.