Produced by Weston's then-husband, longtime Gaye collaborator William "Mickey" Stevenson, and co-written by Stevenson and Sylvia Moy, "It Takes Two" centered around a romantic lyric which depicted many things in life (dreams, love, wishes, etc.) being better with two people instead of one. The single became Gaye's most successful duet single to date, later outperformed by Gaye's duets with Tammi Terrell.
Gaye and Weston's duet peaked at #14 on the Billboard Pop charts and #4 on Billboard's Soul Singles chart in January 1967. "It Takes Two" was also Gaye's first major hit in the UK, where it peaked at #16 on the British singles charts in the spring of that same year.
It was also recorded by Donny and Marie Osmond in 1974. It was from their gold album "I'm Leaving it All Up to You". The song also appeared on The Osmonds album "Around the World Live" in late 1975. Though it was never released as a single, the song was performed live at concerts.
In 1990 "It Takes Two" was covered by Rod Stewart and Tina Turner and featured in a television advertising campaign for Pepsi. It was released as the lead single from Stewart's album Vagabond Heart, produced by Bernard Edwards and released in early 1991. The duet was a European hit, peaking at #5 in the UK, and becoming a Top 10 single in several European countries. It later appeared on both artists' greatest hits albums: Turner's Simply The Best (1991), and Stewart's The Very Best of Rod Stewart (2001).
The original version of the song was featured on a 1982 advert for Talbot cars on British television.
It was also used for a movie under similar name in 1995.
Detroit television station WJBK-TV, which broadcasts on Channel 2, used a reworked version of the song with revised lyrics called "It Takes 2" as part of its on-air imaging in the early 1990s. The new version was sung again by Kim Weston and Marvin Gaye's brother Frankie.