Lotta Love

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"Lotta Love"
Nicolette Larson - Lotta Love.jpg
Single by Nicolette Larson
from the album Nicolette
B-side"Angels Rejoiced"
GenreCountry rock[1]
  • 3:11 (radio edit)
  • 4:14 (extended)
LabelWarner Bros.
Songwriter(s)Neil Young
Producer(s)Ted Templeman
Nicolette Larson singles chronology
"Lotta Love"
"Rhumba Girl"
"Lotta Love"
Song by Neil Young
from the album Comes a Time
Songwriter(s)Neil Young
  • Neil Young
  • Tim Mulligan

"Lotta Love" is a song written and recorded by Neil Young and released on his 1978 Comes a Time album. "Lotta Love" was also covered by Nicolette Larson in 1978. Larson's version reached No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and No. 8 on the Cash Box Top 100 in February 1979. It also hit No. 1 on the Easy Listening chart[2] and was a hit in Australia (No. 11) and New Zealand (No. 22).


Claims of Linda Ronstadt[edit]

Linda Ronstadt, who had sung back-up for Young with Larson, has stated that it was at her [i.e. Ronstadt's] suggestion that Larson record "Lotta Love" and that Larson's producer thanked Ronstadt by having a top-of-the-line sound system installed in her Mercedes convertible.[3]

Claims of Nicolette Larson[edit]

However, Larson's own recollection was that the suggestion she record "Lotta Love" originated with Neil Young, with whom she had formed a personal relationship while backing him vocally on American Stars 'n Bars. The publishers of Neil Young News quoted Larson as saying:

"I got that song off a tape I found lying on the floor of Neil's car. I popped it in the tape player and commented on what a great song it was. Neil said: 'You want it? It's yours.'"[4]


Neil Young recorded "Lotta Love" for his Comes a Time album with backing from Crazy Horse. Larson provided background vocals for the album but did not sing on its "Lotta Love" track, a sparse version which emphasized the song's melancholy tone.

Larson's version of "Lotta Love"—which featured a string arrangement by Jimmie Haskell (whose credits include work with Bobbie Gentry), plus a classic soft rock horn riff and a flute solo—presented the song as optimistic. Larson would recall: "It was a very positive song and people don't want to hear how bad the world is all the time. It had a nice sound rhythm and groove."[5]



"Lotta Love" served as lead single for Larson's Ted Templeman-produced Nicolette album. Due to a delay in release, Comes a Time was released on the same day — in October, 1978 — as Nicolette. The release of a single from the Nicolette album was held off until October 31 when it was clear Young's version would not have a single release as an A-side (although Young's "Lotta Love" was released as the B-side of a non-charting "Comes a Time" single).

Extended version[edit]

Much as extended dance versions of hits by the Doobie Brothers — who Templeman also produced — were released, a 12" single of Larson's "Lotta Love" was issued, with Jim Burgess performing remixing duties: this disco version differentiated from the album track and 7" single in its pure "four on the floor" disco drum track (replacing the radio version's "pop heartbeat" drum rhythm) and a sax solo on the bridge, replacing the 7" single's bridge flute solo which was shifted to an extended intro. The track did not heavily impact the club scene. Its meager length for a 12" single — at 4:20 barely a minute longer than the 7" — a likely deterrent. The B-side of the 7" single was "Angels Rejoiced" featuring a harmony vocal by Herb Pedersen while on its 12" single "Lotta Love" was backed by Larson's rendition of "You Send Me".

Live versions[edit]

Young and Crazy Horse performed the song on their 1978 Rust Never Sleeps tour. A performance from their October 15 show at St. Paul Civic Center appears on Live Rust, released the following year.[6]

A live version of "Lotta Love" was included on the Live at the Roxy album consisting of Larson's December 20, 1978 concert at the Sunset Boulevard nightclub. The album was originally a limited issue (5000 copies) promo-only release. The first full release was on Rhino in 2006.

Larson also performed "Lotta Love" at the No Nukes concerts held at Madison Square Garden in September 1979. This version — with backing by the Doobie Brothers — was included on the No Nukes album. The performance was not included in the No Nukes film in which, however, Larson can be seen.

Later versions[edit]

In February 1998, friends and associates of Nicolette Larson, who had died on December 16, 1997, mounted a tribute at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium which raised over $165,000 for the UCLA Children's Hospital. The two night engagement was billed as "The Lotta Love Concert" and opened with an ensemble performance of "Lotta Love" by Rosemary Butler, Valerie Carter, Carole King, and Bonnie Raitt. In December 2007, a "Lotta Love" memorial concert was held to mark the 10th anniversary of Larson's passing, and in December 2008, the Talking Stick[7] in Venice CA hosted a "Lotta Love" memorial concert which featured a performance of "Lotta Love" by Rosemary Butler and Andrew Gold.

Dinosaur Jr. covered the song for the album The Bridge: A Tribute to Neil Young, released in 1989.

Former Wet Wet Wet frontman Marti Pellow released a cover of the song in 2003, taken from his second solo album Between the Covers.

Red Hot Chili Peppers covered the song during the Bridge School Benefit concerts (organized by Neil Young) in October 2004.

In 2008, She & Him released a cover of "Lotta Love" on the B-side of their single "Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?".[8]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Nicolette Larson – Artist Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved September 16, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "Nicolette – Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved July 30, 2013.
  3. ^ Ronstadt, Linda (2013). Simple Dreams: a musical memoir (1st hardcover ed.). New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 101. ISBN 978-1-4516-6872-8.
  4. ^ "Nicolette Larson's "Lotta Love" & Neil Young". Neil Young News. February 19, 2012. Retrieved January 16, 2014.
  5. ^ Edwards, Joe (June 21, 1986). "Nicolette Larson : She's now a star". The Free Lance–Star. Retrieved July 30, 2013.
  6. ^ "Lotta Love". Neil Young Archives. Retrieved September 8, 2019.
  7. ^ "The Talking Stick". AHCdesigns.com. Retrieved July 30, 2013.
  8. ^ "Domino – Singles – Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?". Archived from the original on January 31, 2010.. Domino.
  9. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (Illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 173. ISBN 978-0-646-11917-5.
  10. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 0101." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved July 30, 2013.
  11. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 0120a." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved July 30, 2013.
  12. ^ "Charts.nz – Nicolette Larson – Lotta Love". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved July 30, 2013.
  13. ^ "CASH BOX Top 100 Singles – Week ending FEBRUARY 10, 1979". Archived from the original on September 14, 2011.. Cash Box.
  14. ^ "Record World Singles" (PDF). Record World. February 3, 1979. p. 31. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  15. ^ "National Top 100 Singles for 1979". Kent Music Report. December 31, 1979. Retrieved December 9, 2019 – via Imgur.
  16. ^ "1979: Top 200 Singles". RPM. Vol. 32 no. 13. Library and Archives Canada. December 22, 1979. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  17. ^ "Top 100 Hits for 1979". The Longbored Surfer. Retrieved July 15, 2014.
  18. ^ "The CASH BOX Year-End Charts: 1979". Archived from the original on August 25, 2012.. Cash Box.