Al Green, 'Let's Stay Together'
Al Green did not believe in "Let's Stay Together" when producer Willie Mitchell presented him with its music in 1971. And even after Mitchell cajoled him into recording a softer, gentler vocal than he wanted to, Green "wasn't happy with what came out," as he wrote in his autobiography, "because I was mad about being forced into doing the song." But within 10 days of cutting the record, it was a Number One hit; within two weeks the single had sold gold and it went on to become Green's signature song.
In Pulp Fiction, the tune plays as Ving Rhames' character, Marsellus Wallace, asks Bruce Willis', Butch Coolidge, to take a fall in a boxing match. Tarantino described the way he used "Let's Stay Together" in that scene as a "hypnotic score," since the viewer must stare at Willis as Rhames speaks at him, forcing the moviegoer to take in Willis' reaction, but it's also ironic since Willis and Rhames want anything but to stay together later in the movie.
"I really want the songs that I'm using in the movie – like in the case of Maria McKee and Al Green or in the case of anything – to work in the crux of the scene," he said. "We're really trying to make it, like, fun and neat and not just a collection of songs."