Let's Stick Together (song)
|"Let's Stick Together"|
|Single by Wilbert Harrison|
|B-side||"Kansas City Twist" (1st pressing)
"My Heart Is Yours" (2nd pressing)
|Format||7" 45 rpm record|
|Label||Fury (Cat. nos. 1059 & 1063)|
"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.
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
|"Let's Work Together"|
|Single by Canned Heat|
|from the album Future Blues|
|B-side||"I'm Her Man"|
|Format||7" 45 rpm record|
|Recorded||International Sound Studios, Los Angeles December 3, 1969|
|Length||3:14 (album version)
2:48 (single version)
|Label||Liberty (Cat. no. 56151)|
|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.
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. 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".
Bryan Ferry versions
In 1976 Bryan Ferry released his version of "Let's Stick Together" as a single, on the Island Records label (WIP 6307). It became his highest charting solo single, reaching #4 in the UK chart on 12 June. The song is included on his album Let's Stick Together. Ferry plays harmonica and keyboards, Chris Spedding guitar, Eddie Jobson violin and John Wetton bass. The tenor saxophone solo is by Chris Mercer. In 1988, Ferry released a remix of the song as "Let's Stick Together '88", on the E.G. Records label (EGOX 44) in UK and on the Virgin Records label (111 657,) in Germany. The single which reached #12 in the UK chart on 29 October.
Several musical artists have recorded their interpretations of "Let's Stick Together"/"Let's Work Together". Some of these are Bob Dylan, Dwight Yoakam, The Kentucky Headhunters, Status Quo, George Thorogood with Elvin Bishop, KT Tunstall, Ry Cooder with Buckwheat Zydeco, Jim Keltner, Jim Dickinson, Mike Elizondo, Rob Orlemans & Half Past Midnight, Darrell Mansfield, Gary John Barden, 61_South, Climax Blues Band, Raful Neal and Leningrad Cowboys with the Red Army Choir.
- Russo, Greg (1994). Uncanned! The Best of Canned Heat (Media notes). Canned Heat. EMI Records. p. 13. E2 29165.
- This version was used in Kragen Auto Parts commercials. "Canned Heat — Singles Chart History". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 28, 2013.
- Taylor, Skip; Lemke, Brett. "The Official Band Biography". Canned Heat. Retrieved June 28, 2013.
- "Bryan Ferry — Singles Chart History". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 28, 2013.
- "Roxy Music - Singles - on". Vivaroxymusic.com. 2001–2015. Retrieved August 7, 2015.
- "Let's Stick Together — Search Results". Allmusic. Rovi Corp. Retrieved June 28, 2013.