I must be on a signature song kick. The other day, I posted about what may be Bill Withers’ signature song, and today, I’m bringing back Rev. Al Green (or just Al Green) to #RomanticTuesday to write about a signature song of his. Now, I love “Love & Happiness.” I’ve posted on it and expressed how great it is. But I think most fans would tell you that “Let’s Stay Together” is the song that they think of when it comes to the last great soul singer of the 1970s.
This is another one of those songs that basically implores you to sing along. Or maybe that’s just me. I grew up with this song almost from birth (well not really; I was five years old when it was released. You can figure out what year that was.). Let me just say that while this wasn’t Green’s first big R&B hit (“Back Up Train” from 1967 was a top ten), or the one that began the partnership with famed producer Willie Mitchell, it was the one that made him a superstar. Nine weeks at #1 on the R&B charts, and a #1 Pop hit to boot.
Written by Green, Mitchell and former Booker T. & The MG’s drummer Al Jackson, Jr., “Let’s Stay Together” announces itself as a #RomanticTuesday candidate in the opening lyrics. I don’t know who needs reminding, but they go a little something like this:
I don’t think it gets much more romantic than that.
Throw in the musical details: the horns and strings that start it all off; Jackson’s impeccable timekeeping on the drums; Green’s lovely vocal on top and Rhodes, Chalmers and Rhodes (aka RCR) on the backgrounds. Plus, it lays it all out there in a memorable three minutes and nineteen seconds. It gets the business done and gets right out of the way.
Because of its familiarity, because it was such a big hit, and because if it plays at a cookout, a game night, or if it’s just two people who know the song well, I’m calling it his signature song. I’ll also bet that someone, somewhere is singing it. Maybe even right this moment.
Even if no one is singing it right now, it is the #RomanticTuesday song of the week. Please enjoy, and as always, thanks for reading and listening.