I Thank You (Sam & Dave song)

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"I Thank You"
Single by Sam & Dave
B-side "Wrap it Up"
Released January 8, 1968
Format 7", 45rpm
Recorded 1967
Genre Soul
Length 2:44
Label Stax/Atlantic
Writer(s) Isaac Hayes
David Porter
Producer(s) Isaac Hayes
David Porter
Sam & Dave singles chronology
"Soul Man"
"I Thank You"
"You Don't Know What You Mean to Me"
"I Thank You"
Single by ZZ Top
from the album Degüello
Released 1980
Format 7"
Recorded 1979
Genre Blues rock
Length 3:23
Label Warner Bros.
Producer(s) Bill Ham
ZZ Top singles chronology
"Enjoy and Get It On"
"I Thank You"
"Cheap Sunglasses"

"I Thank You" is a song written by David Porter and Isaac Hayes originally recorded by Sam & Dave, released in early 1968.[1] The single was Sam & Dave's final release on Stax Records, reaching #9 on the Billboard Pop Singles chart and #4 on the R&B chart.[2] Shortly after its release, Stax severed its distribution deal with Atlantic Records and Sam & Dave, who were actually signed to Atlantic and loaned out to Stax, began recording for Atlantic proper.[3] The song begins with Sam's spoken introduction that goes: "I want everybody to get off your seat,/ And get your arms together,/ And your hands together,/ And give me some of that old soul Clapping". First, Sam sings the Refrain, plus the first verse, and the refrain, while Dave sings the second verse, the refrain, and the third verse, with both Sam and Dave sharing on the repeated "Thank Yous" portion. Following a brief instrumentalist, Sam sings the Refrain, with Dave, joining him, on the Coda with the repeated "Thank Yous".

ZZ Top covered the song on their 1979 album Degüello. The band released the song as a single the next year. Like the original, it too charted, reaching #34 on the singles chart, becoming the band's second Top 40 hit (after "Tush", four years earlier).


ZZ Top version[edit]

Chart (1980) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 34

Other versions[edit]

  • Bonnie Raitt covered the song on her album The Glow in 1979.
  • Phil Vassar released a country version of the song in 2002 for the album Sharp Dressed Men: A Tribute to ZZ Top.
  • John Farnham also released a cover on his album 331/3.
  • Paul Shaffer and the CBS Orchestra commonly played this song between commercial breaks on the Late Show with David Letterman.
  • Australian band The Casanovas recorded a version for their second album All Night Long. It is generally considered to be in recognition of former Australian act The Powder Monkeys who used to regularly play the song live and were a significant influence on the group.
  • In April 2009 Tower of Power released Great American Soulbook featuring personal favorite cover songs of the band. Blending soul, funk, jazz, Tower of Power funkified each tune including their version of "I Thank You". Sam Moore sang on "Mr. Pitiful" while Tom Jones guested on "I Thank You".
  • Bon Jovi covered the song which appeared on a special 2-disc version of their album These Days.
  • Classic rock singer Paul Rodgers included his version of the song on his 2014 cover album of soul classics The Royal Sessions.
  • The European candy company Storck has used the song in American television advertisements for their Merci chocolates, with the lyrics being paraphrased to convey the singer giving thanks to the recipient of the candy for various things they had done.


  1. ^ http://staxrecords.free.fr/slist.htm Stax singles
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 510. 
  3. ^ Bowman, Rob (1997). Soulsville U.S.A.: The Story of Stax Records. New York: Schirmer Trade. ISBN 0-8256-7284-8. Pg. 138-142