Let's Stick Together (song)
|"Let's Stick Together"|
|Single by Wilbert Harrison|
|B-side||"Kansas City Twist"|
|Format||7-inch 45 rpm record|
|Label||Fury (no. 1059)|
"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 and 1970, the song was 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.
|Rolling Stone||Favorable |
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 he re-recorded it as "Let's Work Together" in 1969 for Sue Records, the song reached number 32 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, the following year.  This was Harrison's first chart appearance since his number one 1959 hit "Kansas City".
Instrumentally, "Let's Stick Together" is an ensemble piece, while "Let's Work Together" is a solo performance, with Harrison (credited as the "Wilbert Harrison One Man Band") providing the vocal, harmonica, guitar, and percussion. The 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|
|B-side||"I'm Her Man"|
|Format||7-inch 45 rpm record|
|Recorded||International Sound Studios, Los Angeles, December 3, 1969|
|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.
In the UK, where Harrison's single failed to generate interest, Canned Heat's version was released in January 1970. It became their biggest UK 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 singles chart.
Bryan Ferry versions
In 1976 Bryan Ferry released his version of "Let's Stick Together" as a single, on Island Records. It became his highest charting solo single, reaching number four in the UK chart on June 12. The song is included on his album of the same name. 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 E.G. Records in UK and on Virgin Records in Germany. The single reached number 12 in the UK chart on October 29.
Several musical artists have recorded their interpretations of "Let's Stick Together"/"Let's Work Together", including 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, Darrell Mansfield, Climax Blues Band, Raful Neal and Leningrad Cowboys with the Red Army Choir.
In popular culture
- Canned Heat's version is featured in the films Forrest Gump and Big Fish and featured on the soundtrack of the latter.
- Winner, Langdon (September 20, 1969). "Records". Rolling Stone. San Francisco: Straight Arrow Publishers (42): 35.
- 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.
- "Bryan Ferry – Singles". Official Charts. Retrieved June 28, 2013.
- "Let's Stick Together – Song search results". AllMusic. Retrieved June 28, 2013.