According to co-producer/co-writer Ed Townsend, Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On" started out as an anti-drug song. The idea for the song came from Townsend's experiences at an alcohol rehab center. The title originally referred to the axiom "let's get on with life." Issued in July 1973, the record caused a controversy because of its overtly sexual theme. The session for the classic song listed Crusaders members Joe Sample and Wilton Felder as well as David T. Walker, Eddie "Bongo" Brown, and Gaye on piano. While working on the lead vocals, Townsend had Gaye improvise lyrics over the chorus. The spontaneity comes through like a quickie. "Let's Get It On" laid at number one R&B for six weeks while going to number one pop in the summer of 1973. The Let's Get It On album stayed at number one R&B for 11 weeks, went to number one pop, and yielded "Come Get to This," "Distant Lover" (a popular live version was on his Marvin Gaye Live at the London Palladium LP), and "You Sure Love to Ball." During summer 2001, Townsend was still involved in drug recovery through a play/CD Rehabilitation Been There! Done That! on his own 12 Step Records label, co-produced with his son David Townsend of Surface.