Saturday, August 27, 2016

"Let's Stay Together" by Tina Turner

Song#:  1761
Date:  01/21/1984
Debut:  72
Peak:  26
Weeks:  15
Genre:  R&B, Dance

Pop Bits:  After a year-long court case, Tina Turner was finally granted a divorce from her husband Ike in 1977. The pair were established R&B stars, but after the divorce Tina was left with a mountain of debt and the prospect of starting a solo career from scratch. Over the next few years, she toured, made guest appearances on TV shows and released two failed solo albums. Not much was going right and she needed a new direction, which she got when she took on Roger Davies as her manager in 1980. Davies directed her to do rock music and shows and after a 1981 performance at The Ritz in New York, things started happening. Performances with Rod Stewart and the Rolling Stones gave her a spotlight and record labels began to show interest. Turner signed on with Capitol Records and this song got issued as a single. It gained an audience and soon it reached #1 on the Dance chart and #3 at R&B. The single was strong enough to crossover to the Pop chart where it got inside the Top 30. It was an unexpected hit that caught the artist and label off guard. Capitol quickly signed her to a better deal and wanted an album right away. By the summer, Turner would be in full comeback mode with a huge hit single and album.

ReduxReview:  I think because "What's Love Got to Do with It" was such a big single, it gets attributed as being Turner's comeback song. But really, this was the song that did it. If it had failed, chances are Capitol would have let Turner go and there would have been no "What's Love" or Private Dancer. So let's give a little credit to the record that really brought Turner back. Sadly, it's kind of gotten set aside in favor of her bigger hits. Produced by Martyn Ware (Heaven 17) and Greg Walsh, it has a terrific 80s glossy sheen that fits Turner perfectly. And as usual, she is giving it her all. She'd have bigger hits, but this is the one that truly began the most successful period of her career and helped to move her towards superstar status.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  This is a remake of a song co-written and first recorded by Al Green. His 1971 original got to #1 on both the Pop and R&B charts. It would remain at #1 on the R&B chart for nine weeks. The following year, soul star Isaac Hayes would release a version that would get to #25 at R&B and #48 Pop. Although this song has been covered and recorded by many artists, only Green, Hayes, and Turner have been able to get the song on the Pop chart.



  1. I absolutely agree with your view of this song. While the bigger hits are played still today, this one has, sadly, been completely forgotten. I often wonder what would have happened to the song if it had been the follow-up to "What's Love..." instead of vice-versa.

    1. That would be interesting. I bet it would have done a lot better. It's a great smooth jam that just hasn't gotten its due.