Timmy Thomas

Why Can't We Live Together

Song Review by

Simplicity is the key to life and reaching people if you're a singer/songwriter. An example is Timmy Thomas' "Why Can't We Live Together." King Sporty, author of the Bob Marley classic "Buffalo Soldier," brought Thomas, a minister's son, to Hialeah, FL-based TK Records. Owned by Henry Stone, the label had hits with Betty Wright, Clarence Reid, and Little Beaver, among others. Staff producer Steve Alaimo listened to a demo of Thomas that consisted of him singing while playing a Lowry organ and bossa nova percussion created on a cheesy rhythm machine. At first, Alaimo was going to re-cut the song with a full band, then it hit him: "it's already done." Recorded in August 1972 in Miami, Thomas' "Why Can't We Live Together" stayed at number one R&B for two weeks, reached number three pop, and by early 1973 it had sold over two million copies.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Why Can't We Live Together 1974 BBR 4:38
Billboard Top R&B Hits: 1973 1990
Various Artists
Rhino 3:56
Soul Hits of the 70s: Didn't It Blow Your Mind!, Vol. 10 1991
Various Artists
Rhino 3:57
Let's Talk About Love 1992
Various Artists
Dino Entertainment 4:41
Billboard Hot Soul Hits: 1973 1995
Various Artists
Rhino 3:55
All by Myself [Crimson] 1998
Various Artists
Crimson Productions 4:49
Lowrider Classics 1998
Various Artists
Thump Records 3:50
40 Hits: 1970-1974 1999
Various Artists
Millennium Hits (Netherlands) 4:35
Tender Love [EMI] 2000
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:52
Get Down Tonight: The Best of Disco 2002
Various Artists
Flashback Records / Rhino 3:55