I’ll Take You There – The Staple Singers | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#1) & R&B (#1 for 4 weeks); 1972

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

When Respect Yourself by the Staple Singers reached #2 R&B and #12 pop late in 1971, the family gospel group already had their next release in the can; both cut at the same session and produced by Al Bell with the Muscle Shoals studio band providing rhythm. The music track to I’ll take You There was an especially fine blend of rock, gospel, and Jamaican funk: the latter inspired by the players’ recent exposure to island music. On tour with Traffic, bassist David Hood and drummer Roger Hawkins had heard Bob Marley’s Catch A Fire light up the PA before each show. Likewise, guitarist Jimmy Johnson had been musically wowed on vacation in Jamaica, and Bell had traveled there as well. The intro, bass line, and overall feel of I’ll Take You There came from a 1969 single by Harry J Allstars called The Liquidator. When Mavis and the rest of the Staples revved up their voices, Take You There became the Terminator and a crossover smash.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2023 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Al Bell

Lyrics Written by:

  • Al Bell


  • Grammy Hall of Fame Induction in 2001