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The Percy Sledge version is listed 53rd in Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
Also in 1987, it was reissued in the US to promote the soundtrack album for Oliver Stone's film Platoon.
The song reached Number 2 on the US charts in early 1979 and reached Number 1 in the UK around the same time, becoming the group's biggest hit.
It was released in 1978 as the only single from their third studio album Cruisin' (1978).
Wright said that "we kept some of the phrases, worked on it for several weeks, and spent quite a bit of time in the studio." Although the writing of the song is credited to Lewis and Wright, Sledge later claimed that he should have received a co-writing credit.
In one story, Sledge said that one night he was upset over a broken relationship, and asked Lewis and Wright to play a slow blues over which he improvised lyrics describing his emotions; Quin Ivy was at the show and asked the band to refine the lyrics so that it could be recorded. This version has the distinction of being the last number one song to chart on the old Billboard Hot 100 charting system which relied on sales and airplay reports before switching over to Soundscan.
The organization ultimately settled with the composers out of court and later expressed pride regarding the song saluting the organization.Rick Hall arranged a distribution deal with Atlantic Records, but Jerry Wexler asked that the song be re-recorded because the horns were out of tune.According to musician David Hood, "They went back in the studio and changed the horns, got different horn players to play on it.The precise authorship of the song has been disputed.Calvin Lewis and Andrew Wright were members of the Esquires, a band in Sheffield, Alabama fronted by singer Percy Sledge.
A." is a song by the American disco group Village People.