Song 142: The Staple Singers, “Let’s Do It Again” (1975)

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Every time I hear “Let’s Do It Again,” I’m amazed that the Staple Singers were originally a gospel group. The thing is just so damn sexual – you can’t even call it “sexy,” because that usually implies some sort of coyness or mystery. This song is clearly about getting it on, and that doesn’t seem like it would jibe well with a gospel act (though what do I know; I was raised Catholic) (insert inappropriate joke here).

Don’t get me wrong: though I don’t understand how the Staple Singers ended up with this song, I’m glad they did. After all, whether she’s singing about God or sex, Mavis Staples has one of the sultriest voices in the universe, and the group knows its way around a soul song. Curtis Mayfield, who also knows a few things about R&B, wrote “Let’s Do It Again” for the movie of the same name, a Sidney Poitier-Jimmie Walker-Bill Cosby joint with a poster that doesn’t seem to match this song’s… lack of caricatures from a street fair. I know nothing about the movie, but I don’t want to know if it features Bill Cosby getting romantic with someone other than Clair Huxtable, because I wouldn’t be able to handle that.

You may recognize parts of this song from John Legend’s Kanye West-produced “Number One,” or maybe Ice Cube’s “It Was a Good Day.” I’m surprised, with its lush strings and mellow vibe, that it hasn’t been sampled more. But at the same time, I’m glad it’s its own thing, Cosby movie aside. It deserves to stand with “I’ll Take You There” and “Respect Yourself” as the family’s best work.

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