Bob Dylan – Let’s Stick Together

This post is a 4-in-1 deal…Let’s Stick Together was on Bob Dylan’s album Down In The Groove…considered his worst album by some critics. I never thought that…I bought it when it came out and it’s not that bad. The worse Bob Dylan album is much better than a lot of others.

This song has been covered by a lot of artists. The confusing part is the song not only goes by Let’s Stick Together but also Let’s Work Together.

Our band covered this one and we did it with the arrangement that Dylan laid down. I like this song no matter who covers it. I like Bryan Ferry, Canned Heat, and Wilbert Harrison’s version.

Wilbert Harrison originally wrote and recorded this blues-style R&B number as “Let’s Stick Together,” a plea for fidelity in a fractured marriage. That version, released in 1962, didn’t make the charts (until Bryan Ferry covered it in 1976) but never left Harrison’s mind. Seven years later, he resurrected the song, keeping the melody but changing the lyrics. “I thought I’d put some words to it that meant a bit more.”

Changing the title to “Let’s Work Together,” Harrison’s new message of unity was aimed at a nation rife with conflict over the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War.

Canned Heat didn’t want to overshadow Harrison with their version. In fact, if they’d known the singer was going to have success with it, they never would have recorded it in the first place. They first heard the tune when it was still making the rounds at underground radio stations. Their new guitarist Harvey Mandel played it for the rest of the guys and suggested they cover it, but their co-vocalist, Bob “The Bear” Hite, wanted to wait a few months to see if Harrison would chart first. According to drummer Adolfo de la Parra, Hite didn’t like taking songs away from living black musicians unless they weren’t hits.

Bryan Ferry had success with the song…peaking at #4 in the UK in 1976 and #1 in Australia. In 1988 Ferry did an updated version of the song, re-mixed by Bruce Lampcov & Rhett Davies. This re-recording reached #12 in the UK chart. Ferry had the most success with the song.

Let’s Stick Together

Well, a marriage vow, you know, it’s very sacred
The man put us together, now, you wanna make it
Stick together
Come on, come on, stick together

You know, you made a vow, not to leave one another, never
Well, ya never miss your water ’til your well runs dry
Now, come on, baby, give our love a try, let’s stick together
Come on, come on, stick together

We made a vow, not to leave one another, never
Well, ya never miss your water ’til your well runs dry
Come one, baby, give our love a try, let’s stick together
Come on, come on and stick together
You know, we made a vow, not to leave one another, never

It might be tough for a while, but consider the child
Cannot be happy without his mom and his papi

Let’s stick together
Come on, come on, stick together
You know, we made a vow, not to leave one another, never

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

34 thoughts on “Bob Dylan – Let’s Stick Together”

    1. Yea many people have this listed as his worse ever…it’s not all bad and actually had a hit on it…called “Silvio” which radio played a lot at that time.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So, I just returned from an errand that involved a car ride of approximately one hour – a perfect opportunity to listen to this “terrible” album. I have to fully agree with you, Max – “the worst” is all relative!

        Sure, “Down in the Groove” may not be a “Highway 61 Revisited”, “Blonde on Blonde” or “Blood on the Tracks”. I guess the music world also heard more profound statements from Dylan like “Death Is Not the End”, and it’s fair to note Zimmi didn’t exactly reinvent music here. But, come on, “worst album”- really?

        I actually like certain aspects of it, such as the fact that various tracks essentially follow blues chord progressions. I also think the oftentimes gospel-like backing vocals are pretty cool; they sometimes reminded me a bit of Elvis. Last but not least, Dylan’s voice sounds fairly decent. I’ve heard a lot worse!

        With all that being said, I wouldn’t know which Bob Dylan album I would consider his worst. That’s because I haven’t listened to most of them them in their entirety. Frankly, I also don’t really care. Instead, I’d like to focus on music I love.

        I know you really dig Dylan quite a bit and have seen him multiple times. Do you have a favorite Dylan album?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. My goodness Christian! I thought you meant just listening to “Silvio”…ok well you got the total experience lol. It’s not too bad at all.

        As far as my two favorites…. I would say Blonde on Blonde number one and Blood on the Tracks number 2… Those mid sixties albums are hard to beat. Like The Beatles…it depends on my mood usually.

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  1. Interesting post! I knew nothing much of this song’s origins or the Bob Dylan tie-in …his version sounds good too. But like Christian, I am familiar with the Bryan Ferry version, which is quite good. Ironically for him though as the record features Jerry Hall prominently singing and yee-hawing in the background…. because Hall was his girlfriend at the time. But around the time the record hit the stores, Jerry dumped Bryan for Mick Jagger.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is a fun song that got some traction with people. Ferry’s is the one that actually charted. Dylan’s was the first version I noticed….BUT….I knew I had heard the song before but I could never place it. It could have been one of the other two….or hell…both!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. We’ve probably already had this conversation, but I love 3 songs from that DITG album:
    1. When Did You Leave Heaven,
    2. Ninety Miles an Hour, and
    3. Shenandoah

    I could listen to those on repeat and be satisfied.

    This Stick Together version from the album never stuck to me (excuse the pun), but having heard it again in your post, I think it’s pretty darn good.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I immediately learned it and played it with our band when I got the album…it was something different from him.

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  3. I remember the Canned Heat and Bryan Ferry versions but not the other two. I liked the first video with the 60’s dancers, but why the hell did they have to have sections with the women behind bars? Each version/style is good to me. Good one to dance to also.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I knew the Ferry one first and I like the up-tempo of it. (In the video Ferry’s half a moustache looks soooo pimp!) I started off not rating the original Wilbert version but it builds and grows on you. Bob sounds decent on this cut too, whereas sometimes his multi-octave whine grates a tad. (Joking Max, just joking!I love Bob, just not every day.)

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  5. I’d heard Canned Heat and Ferry’s versions, so I listened to Dylan’s version first. I was going to say he successfully ‘Dylanized’ it. But I think it’s the song, that’s adaptable to all of these styles. I really like the Harrison version too.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I hadn’t heard the Bob Dylan version before, I like that one a lot. I know the Brian Ferry and the Canned Heat versions well, though for some odd reason hadn’t connected the two – and of course they’re the same song!

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    1. I’ve really started to like Canned Heat more and more since I’ve been blogging…always knew their hits but they were a really good band.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I went to a gig they played at – one of the free concerts in London’s Hyde Park – and it was a very windy day, and I had to zig-zag about the place to try to catch the sound!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Was it before 1970 or so? You probably saw them with the singer guitar player Alan Blind Owl Wilson before he died… he was great

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh yes, I think it was. Possibly 1969, but I’d have to look it up. The Hyde Park gigs are listed online so should be easy enough to find out, I guess.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I bet it was Val…he was such a good guy and guitar player…unusual voice. I started you an email last night…I will finish it soon.

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