Let’s Stay Together is a soul song from Al Green and was the first single after Tina got a new recording contract from Capitol Records. It was produced by Martyn Ware and Greg Walsh, the same team behind the previously released single Ball Of Confusion. The b-side track „I Wrote A Letter“ is a previously unreleased song, which was already recorded and produced by John Carter in 1982. The single was a big hit in Europe and became the best selling 12“ record in America in 1984. Tina promoted it at several TV-Shows and performed it live at every concert tour. Live versions are available on the album Live In Europe from 1988 and TINA Live from 2009. The American release of the single reversed the front and back cover pictures, which were photographed by Norman Seeff. An officially never released „Alternative radio Mix“ was only available for radio stations in England on a promo single. It features an alternative instrumental background and solo, an intro from Heaven 17 and additional vocal parts from Tina.
Writer: Al Green, Willie Mitchel, Al Jackson Jr.
Producer: Martyn Ware, Greg Walsh
Photographer: Norman Seeff
Release: November 1983 (Europe) / January 1984 (USA)
Label: Capitol / EMI
Format: 7“ Vinyl / 12“ Vinyl (Picture), Cassette
Charts: UK: #6 / Germany: #18 / USA: #26 (Pop), #1 (Club Play) / Australia: #19
Certifications: UK: 1x Silver
Grammy: Best R&B Vocal Performance (Nomination 1985)
Album: Private Dancer
Alternative radio Mix
Billboard - January 1984
Turner's extraordinary energy cushioned by Heaven 17-style arrangements; just off the U.K. Top 10 is indeed released domestically, and a 12-inch is already available at retail. The 5:14 version has a longer lead-out and is backed by a stinging, danceable rocker „I Wrote A Letter“. Turner's nearly completed album is scheduled for April release.
Billboard - March 24, 1984
That nonetheless makes it the first national No. 1 (maxi single sales) hit of Turner’s 24-year chart career. The highest she’s ever climed on the pop chart is number four (with 1971's „Proud Mary“); the highest she’s been on the black chart is number two (with 1960’s „A Fool In Love“ and 1961’s „It's Gonna Work Out Fine“). All of these records were duets with Ike Turner, from whom Tina was separated eight years ago.
New York Times - February 22, 1984
Another new single from Britain boasts a picture cover with a familiar face - Tina Turner, the 1960's Soul Queen, is back with her first really compelling disk since she split from her husband, Ike Turner. Martyn Ware, a leading innovator of British synthesizer-pop, has given her an up-to-date but appropriate backing, and she sings Al Green's „Let's Stay Together“ with the sultry fire and power that made her „River Deep, Mountain High“ one of the great soul singles of all time. This is already a big hit in Britain; it has now been released in the United States by Capitol.
She walked on the stage, and within five seconds, it was, like POW! I got hundreds of shots. Working with her is like working with a nuclear reactor. She arrived with backup singers, sang and danced for three hours. She is so present and powerful.
Norman Seeff about the 1983 photo session