In 1984 Tina Turner's cover of this song revitalized her career, returning her to the charts in both the UK & US for the first time for over a decade. Turner's version was produced by the B.E.F. production team, which comprises Heaven 17 members Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh. B.E.F. was approached as Turner's people liked what they did when they worked with the "River Deep, Mountain High
" singer on a cover of The Temptations', "Ball Of Confusion
." Martyn Ware recalled to us
: "They said, 'Would you be interested in writing a song for Private Dancer
?' And I said, 'Well, we don't really write for other people.' We felt a bit self-conscious because we thought that what we did was our particular thing. It wasn't just an arrogance thing; it was, like, 'God, how would we start writing a song for Tina Turner?' Seriously. She was a legend in our eyes. I said, 'Well, I don't really feel confident with that, but I really would like to do a cover version, or a couple of cover versions, so we ended up drawing up a shortlist."
"She was staying in London at the time," Ware continued, "and the one track I really wanted to do with her was 'Let's Stay Together' because I thought she had turned her back a little bit on her soul roots - she clearly wanted to be a rock singer. I said, 'Look, as far as I'm concerned Tina, you are still one of the greatest soul singers in the world.' And I said, 'What were your influences when you were growing up?' And she said, 'Otis Redding, Sam Cooke.' And I said, 'How would you feel about "Let's Stay Together" by Al Green?' And she jumped at the idea."