Why Can’t We Live Together” is a song by Timmy Thomas from the album Why Can’t We Live Together. The song is notable for being recorded in mono; its sparse, stripped-down production, feature a Lowrey organ, bossa nova-style percussion from an early rhythm machine, and Thomas’s passionate, soulful vocal.
Thomas recorded a demo at Dukoff Recording Studios in North Miami, Florida, with Bill Borkan acting as sound engineer. The single version got more airplay because the longer instrumental coda was considered by many radio stations to be closer to jazz.
TK Records staff producer Steve Alaimo listened to the demo of the song and was going to re-cut it with a full band, but then decided the song was already finished the way it was. Released as a single in late 1972, the song became a major hit in the U.S. during the early part of 1973, reaching the number one spot on the R&B chart, number three on the Billboard Pop Singles and eventually selling over two million copies.
The song became his only hit single. It was also a hit in the UK, peaking at #12. There was a re-release on 7″ and 12″ in 1979, with a live version as B-side on the 7″ European release.