Let's Stick Together (song)

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"Let's Stick Together"
Single by Wilbert Harrison
A-side"Kansas City Twist" (1st issue)
B-side"My Heart Is Yours" (2nd issue)
Released1962 (1962)
GenreBlues, R&B
Songwriter(s)Wilbert Harrison
Producer(s)Bobby Robinson

"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.

Several artists subsequently recorded the songs; "Let's Work Together" by Canned Heat (1970) and "Let's Stick Together"[1] by Bryan Ferry (1976) were both chart successes.

Original songs[edit]

"Let's Stick Together" is a mid-tempo twelve-bar blues-style R&B song.[2] 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".[3] 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.[4]

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[4] and the singles failed to reach the charts.[3]

In 1969, Harrison reworked the song with the title "Let's Work Together".[3] The two songs use the same melody line and structure, but the lyrics differ:[2]

"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.[5]

Sue Records released "Let's Work Together" as a two-part single that reached number 32 on Billboard's Hot 100 in 1970,[6] however, it did not appear on the magazine's R&B chart.[4] In Canada the song reached number 26 on the RPM charts.[7]

Canned Heat version[edit]

"Let's Work Together"
Single by Canned Heat
B-side"I'm Her Man"
  • January 1970 (1970-01) (UK)
  • August 1970 (US)
RecordedDecember 3, 1969
StudioInternational Sound, Los Angeles
GenreBlues rock
Songwriter(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.[8] 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.[3] The song was prepared for release as a single in December 1969, but was cancelled due to the popularity of Harrison's single.[8]

In the UK, where Harrison's single failed to generate interest, Canned Heat's version was released in January 1970.[8] There it became their biggest hit, reaching number two on the UK Singles Chart during a stay of fifteen weeks.[9] 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.[8] In Canada, the song reached number 15 on the RPM charts.[10]

Bryan Ferry versions[edit]

In 1976, Island Records released a version of "Let's Stick Together" by Bryan Ferry. The song is the title track for his album of the same name.[11] 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.[11] 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.[11]

The single is Ferry’s biggest solo hit in the UK,[12] where it reached number four in the UK chart on June 27, 1976.[13] It was certified Silver by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).[14] In 1988, Ferry released a remix of the song as "Let's Stick Together '88", on E.G. Records in the UK. The single reached number 12 on the UK chart on October 29.[13] The song is used near the end of the film "The Family Plan" on Apple TV.


  1. ^ 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)"
  2. ^ a b 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.
  3. ^ a b c d Clayton, Richard (July 31, 2016). "The Life of a Song: "Let's Stick Together"". Financial Times. Retrieved June 15, 2019.
  4. ^ a b c Whitburn, Joel (1988). "Wilbert Harrison". Top R&B Singles 1942–1988. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research. p. 183. ISBN 0-89820-068-7.
  5. ^ Wenner, Langdon (September 20, 1969). "Let's Work Together, Parts 1 & 2, Wilbert Harrison One Man Band (Sue 11)". Rolling Stone. No. 42.
  6. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits: Eighth Edition. Record Research. p. 276.
  7. ^ "RPM100" (PDF). RPM. Vol. 13, no. 2. February 28, 1970. p. 11. ISSN 0315-5994.
  8. ^ a b c d Russo, Greg (1994). Uncanned! The Best of Canned Heat (Compilation booklet). Canned Heat. New York City: EMI Records. pp. 13, 19. E2 29165.
  9. ^ "Canned Heat – Singles". Official Charts. Retrieved June 28, 2013.
  10. ^ "RPM100 Singles" (PDF). RPM. Vol. 14, no. 16. December 5, 1970. p. 9. ISSN 0315-5994.
  11. ^ a b c Thompson, Dave. "Bryan Ferry: 'Let's Stick Together' – Review". AllMusic. Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  12. ^ Clayton, Richard (August 1, 2016). "The Life of a Song: 'Let's Stick Together'". Financial Times. Retrieved 24 December 2021.
  13. ^ a b "Let's Stick Together". Official Charts. Retrieved December 28, 2021.
  14. ^ "British certifications – Bryan Ferry – Let's Stick Together". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved February 4, 2023.

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