Let's Stick Together (song)
|"Let's Stick Together"|
|Single by Wilbert Harrison|
|A-side||"Kansas City Twist" (1st issue)|
|B-side||"My Heart Is Yours" (2nd issue)|
"Let's Stick Together" is a blues-based rhythm and blues song written by Wilbert Harrison. In 1962, Fury Records released it as a single. Harrison further developed the song and in 1969, Sue Records issued it as a two-part single titled "Let's Work Together". Although Harrison's original song did not appear in the record charts, his reworked version entered the U.S. Top 40.
"Let's Stick Together" is a mid-tempo twelve-bar blues-style R&B song. According to music writer Richard Clayton, "Harrison probably intended 'Let’s Stick Together' as his follow-up single [to 'Kansas City'], but a contract dispute prevented him from releasing it while his star was in the ascendant". In 1959, "Kansas City", written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, was a number one hit for Harrison on both the Billboard R&B and Hot 100 singles chart.
In 1962, Harrison recorded "Let's Stick Together" for Fury Records, one of several labels operated by record producer Bobby Robinson, that had issued "Kansas City". Fury pressed the single with two different A-side and B-sides: "Kansas City Twist" (Fury 1059) and "My Heart Is Yours" (Fury 1063). It had been three years since Harrison's last chart appearance and the singles failed to reach the charts.
- "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
Instrumentally, the 1962 recording is an ensemble piece, while the one in 1969 is a solo performance, with Harrison (credited as the "Wilbert Harrison One Man Band") providing the vocal, harmonica, guitar, and percussion.
Canned Heat version
|"Let's Work Together"|
|Single by Canned Heat|
|from the album Future Blues|
|B-side||"I'm Her Man"|
|Recorded||December 3, 1969|
|Studio||International Sound, Los Angeles|
|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") that 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 was cancelled due to the popularity of Harrison's single.
In the UK, where Harrison's single failed to generate interest, Canned Heat's version was released in January 1970. There it became their biggest hit, reaching number two on the UK Singles Chart during a stay of fifteen weeks. In the US, Canned Heat's "Let's Work Together" was first released on August 3, 1970, on their album, Future Blues. An American single followed on August 25, 1970, and reached number 26 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Bryan Ferry versions
In 1976 Island Records released a version of "Let's Stick Together" by Bryan Ferry. It became his highest charting solo single, reaching number four in the UK chart on June 27 of that year. The song is the title track for his album of the same name. Ferry plays harmonica and pianos (electric and acoustic), Chris Spedding on electric guitar, John Wetton on bass, Paul Thompson on drums, Mel Collins on soprano saxophone and the tenor saxophone solo is played by Chris Mercer. The video, featuring the band playing the song, includes an appearance by "sexily seductive" model Jerry Hall, Ferry's girlfriend at the time, who mimes the "mid-riff yelping of an unnamed female backing vocalist [that] only adds to the frenetic edge of lustful excitement", according to AllMusic reviewer Dave Thompson. The single was to become Ferry’s biggest solo hit in the UK.
- The original Island Records (UK, WIP 6307-A) and Atlantic Records (US, 45-3351) singles by Ferry are titled "Let's Stick Together (Let's Work Together)"
- Margotin, Philippe; Guesdon, Jean-Michel (2015). "Let's Stick Together". Bob Dylan All the Songs: The Story Behind Every Track. Running Press. ISBN 978-0316353533.
- Clayton, Richard (July 31, 2016). "The Life of a Song: "Let's Stick Together"". Financial Times. Retrieved June 15, 2019.
- Whitburn, Joel (1988). "Wilbert Harrison". Top R&B Singles 1942–1988. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research. p. 183. ISBN 0-89820-068-7.
- Wenner, Langdon (September 20, 1969). "Let's Work Together, Parts 1 & 2, Wilbert Harrison One Man Band (Sue 11)". Rolling Stone. No. 42.
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits: Eighth Edition. Record Research. p. 276.
- Russo, Greg (1994). Uncanned! The Best of Canned Heat (Compilation booklet). Canned Heat. New York City: EMI Records. pp. 13, 19. E2 29165.
- "Canned Heat – Singles". Official Charts. Retrieved June 28, 2013.
- "Let's Stick Together". www.officialcharts.com. Retrieved 28 December 2021.
- Thompson, Dave. "Bryan Ferry: 'Let's Stick Together' – Review". AllMusic. Retrieved June 5, 2018.
- Clayton, Richard (August 1, 2016). "The Life of a Song: 'Let's Stick Together'". Financial Times. Retrieved 24 December 2021.