Love the One You're With

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"Love the One You're With"
Single by Stephen Stills
from the album Stephen Stills
B-side "To a Flame"
Released 1970
Format 7" single
Genre Folk rock
Length 3:03
Label Atlantic
Writer(s) Stephen Stills

"Love the One You're With" is a 1970 single by folk rocker Stephen Stills. The first release from his solo debut Stephen Stills, it peaked at No. 14 in the Billboard Hot 100.[1]

A live version by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young appears on their album 4 Way Street. A solo version by Stills appears on the Crosby, Stills and Nash CD Demos.

Stills wrote the song after being inspired by the tag line -- "If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with" which was a frequent remark by musician Billy Preston. Stills asked him for permission to use the line in a song and Preston agreed immediately.[citation needed]


Cover versions[edit]

Isley Brothers[edit]

"Love the One You're With"
Single by The Isley Brothers
from the album Givin' It Back
Released 1971
Format 7" single
Genre Soul, rock
Length 3:39
Label T-Neck/Buddah
Writer(s) Stephen Stills
Producer(s) The Isley Brothers
The Isley Brothers singles chronology
"Love the One You're With"
"Spill the Wine"

Several acts have since covered the song. The most notable cover came in 1971 from The Isley Brothers, whose unique gospel-driven cover of the song sent it to the charts again reaching number three R&B and number eighteen pop, giving the group their fifth US top 40 pop single.[2]


Other versions[edit]

Other versions from 1971 include Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young on their live album 4 Way Street, Aretha Franklin on her album Aretha Live at Fillmore West (with Billy Preston on organ), The Supremes along with The Four Tops on their album Dynamite, Engelbert Humperdinck on Live at the Riviera, Bobby Goldsboro and Les Humphries Singers. It was also covered on a Bob Seger solo LP Smokin' O.P.'s, released in 1972. Dusty Springfield covered the song on her BBC special Music My Way which aired 18 July 1973. A reggae version of the song was covered by Phyllis DIllion, and can be found on the "The Story of Treasure Isle" CD Box set, released in 2004.

"Love the One You're With"
Single by Bucks Fizz
from the album Writing on the Wall
B-side "Too Hard"
Released 20 August 1986
Format 7" single, 12" single
Genre Pop rock
Length 3:19
Label Polydor
Writer(s) Stephen Stills
Producer(s) Andy Hill
Bucks Fizz singles chronology
"New Beginning (Mamba Seyra)"
"Love the One You're With"
"Keep Each Other Warm"

A version was released by early 1980s UK pop trio Tight Fit in 1983, but failed to chart. Bucks Fizz covered the song as their eighteenth single in 1986 reaching UK #47.[3] Will Young also recorded a version for his second album, Friday's Child. In 2006, Dennis Rollins produced a further cover on the album Big Night Out!. The Chantoozies produced another cover, releasing it as a single from their second album Gild the Lily, becoming their biggest selling single.

Another notable cover of this tune is from the Danish act Ray Dee Ohh's second album from 1990 Too. This was a solid up-tempo, classic pop/rock version.

"Love the One You're With"
Single by Luther Vandross
from the album Songs
Released 27 September 1995
Genre R&B, soul
Length 5:03
Label Epic
Writer(s) Stephen Stills
Producer(s) Walter Afanasieff
Luther Vandross singles chronology
"Always and Forever"
"Love the One You're With"
"Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now"

Luther Vandross released a memorable cover of the song on his 1994 album Songs. It reached 33 on Billboard's Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks, and earned Vandross a 1995 Grammy nomination for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.

Other live versions include The Jackson 5, Jeff Martin, Hootie and the Blowfish and Johnny Maestro & The Brooklyn Bridge. Crosby, Stills, & Nash also performed the song with James Taylor at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25th anniversary concert.

Stills' daughter Jen Stills covered the song in 2010. The track was featured in an episode of the ABC drama, Brothers & Sisters.

It was also sampled by Canadian artist Classified on the track "Love the one you're with".

In culture[edit]

In 2012, the song was featured in Ridley Scott's sci-fi movie Prometheus. Idris Elba sings a short phrase from the song after describing a possibly fictional account of how his squeezebox used to belong to Stills.[4]

In 2010, the song was mentioned in Nutty Professor II: The Klumps 8 minutes and 43 seconds in saying "Yeah. I always say, if you can't be with the nucleotide that you love, cohere with the one you're with."

Since 2005,[5] the Internet retailer Woot has alluded to the song in its advisories about buying its random grab bag, known as the "Bag of Crap," in various versions of this phrase: To paraphrase Stephen Stills, shalt thou not get the crap you want, want the crap you get.[6]

In the 2003 The Simpsons episode Treehouse of Horror XIII segment Send in the Clones, Marge is worried that the real Homer was the first over the cliff chasing donuts and the one still with her is a clone, until the clone Homer gives her a backrub and this song starts playing.


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits: Eighth Edition. Record Research. p. 606. 
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 278. 
  3. ^ Chart Stats - Bucks Fizz - Love The One You're With
  4. ^ Ives, Brian (11 June 2012). "'Prometheus' Reveals Stephen Stills' 'Love The One You're With' Still A Hit In 2093". WCBS-FM. Retrieved 2013-09-22. 
  5. ^ Woot by Wootbot on July 18, 2005 at 12:00 am (July 18, 2005). "Random Crap". Woot. Retrieved 2014-03-30. 
  6. ^ Woot by Wootbot on May 15, 2009 at 5:03 pm (May 15, 2009). "Random Crap". Woot. Retrieved 2014-03-30. 

External links[edit]