Song of the Day, February 12: Let’s Stay Together by Al Green

Today’s song is Let’s Stay Together by Al Green. It was a massive hit, spending nine weeks at the top of the R&B chart (where it’s one of the top 50 of all time) and coming in as Green’s sole #1 on the Hot 100. Rolling Stone ranked it as the 60th best song of the Rock Era and it has won numerous other accolades.

Green was a talented singer struggling to find his voice in the 60s, emulating a number of disparate heroes like Sam Cooke and James Brown. Then he met Willie Mitchell, who encouraged him to find his own sound. Mitchell collaborated with Green on all his big 1970s albums, arranging, engineering, and producing. He also co-wrote a number of songs with Green including Let’s Stay Together.

This song is wonderfully constructed, acknowledging the difficulty of an honest relationship but encouraging a strong love. It’s delivered in classic Green style, soulful and moving. It continued to make chart history a decade after its release when Tina Turner recorded a great version as her comeback hit.

Let’s Stay Together hit #1 on the Hot 100 40 years ago this week (while enjoying its seventh week at the top of the R&B chart). Enjoy this classic hit today.

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About Robert Hulshof-Schmidt
Freelance writer, researcher, online comic vendor, and project manager. Fan of a wide range of music -- especially folk and 80s pop -- vintage comics, British TV, and LGBT fiction.

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