Just the Two of Us (Grover Washington Jr. song)

"Just the Two of Us" is a song written by Bill Withers, William Salter, and Ralph MacDonald, and recorded by Grover Washington Jr. and Withers. It was released in February 1981 through Elektra Records.

"Just the Two of Us"
Just the Two of Us single.jpg
Single by Grover Washington Jr. & Bill Withers
from the album Winelight
B-side"Make Me a Memory (Sad Samba)"
ReleasedFebruary 1981
Length7:23 (album version)
3:58 (7" edit)
LabelElektra Records
Songwriter(s)Bill Withers, Ralph MacDonald, William Salter
Producer(s)Grover Washington Jr., Ralph MacDonald
Grover Washington Jr. singles chronology
"Just the Two of Us"
"Be Mine (Tonight)"
Bill Withers singles chronology
"You Got the Stuff"
"Just the Two of Us"
"I Want to Spend the Night"
Music video
"Just the Two of Us" on YouTube


The song originally appeared on Washington's album Winelight (1980). An edited version reached number 2 on the US Billboard Hot 100, staying there for three weeks, behind "Morning Train (9 to 5)" by Sheena Easton and "Bette Davis Eyes" by Kim Carnes. It was Washington's only Top 40 hit. The song won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Song.[1] Bill Withers included the edited version on the 1981 compilation Bill Withers' Greatest Hits and many subsequent greatest hits collections.


The Fender Rhodes electric piano, played in the introduction and throughout, is performed by Richard Tee. The tuning of the song is set to around A=436.5 Hz, as opposed to the standard A=440 Hz tuning. The song is in the key of F minor. The main chord progression is D♭ major 7, C7, F minor, E♭ minor 7, A♭7. The song is played at around 96 beats per minute.



Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[16] Silver 200,000 

  Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Toshinobu Kubota versionEdit

"Just the Two of Us"
Single by Toshi Kubota featuring Caron Wheeler
from the album Kubojah: Parallel World I and Sunshine, Moonlight
ReleasedJune 25, 1996
1995 (re-recorded)
GenreReggae (Kubojah version)
R&B, soul (Sunshine, Moonlight version)
Length4:28 (album version)
3:33 (single version)
LabelSony Music Entertainment Japan
Songwriter(s)Bill Withers, Ralph MacDonald, William Salter
Producer(s)Toshinobu Kubota, Ralph MacDonald, William Salter, Bill Withers
Toshinobu Kubota singles chronology
"La La La Love Song"
"Just the Two of Us"
Caron Wheeler singles chronology
"Keep On Movin' (Remix)"
"Just the Two of Us"

"Just the Two of Us" was covered by Japanese singer Toshinobu Kubota as a duet with Caron Wheeler in 1991, for his album Kubojah: Parallel World I. The song was credited as "Just the 2 of Us", featuring a reggae-style beat. In 1995, Kubota re-recorded the song, which appeared on his album Sunshine, Moonlight, with a more R&B-style beat. In 1996, he released the song as the second single from the album. The song charted at number 30 on the Oricon Weekly Singles chart and remained on the charts for a duration of five weeks.[17] The song was included the setlist during the Oyeees! Tour. During the tour, Joi Cardwell, who sang backing vocals during the tour, performed the song as a duet with Kubota. In 2007, Double performed the song the MTV Japan Icons Special. During the performance, Kubota walk onto the stage to complete the song with her.[18] In 2012, Kubota performed the song with Japanese singer Yuri, who was also a background vocalist during his "Party Ain't A Party Tour". The performance was included on his concert DVD "Party Ain't A Party", which was released in May 2012.[19]

Music videoEdit

In 1996, Toshi Kubota and Caron Wheeler shot a music video for the song. The video setting takes place during the night at a party in Kubota's apartment. Wheeler watches the party from the fire escape of the next apartment building. The single version was used for the audio format of the video. There are also video shots of other musicians playing their instruments during the party, a group of elderly men playing cards outside the apartment on the sidewalk, and a couple dancing in another room of the apartment.

Formats and track listingEdit

  1. "Just the Two of Us" (Butcher Bros. LP Remix) (duet with Caron Wheeler)
  1. "Just the Two of Us" (Butcher Bros. LP Remix)
  2. "Just the Two of Us" (Smooth R&B Mix)
  3. "Just the Two of Us" (So So Def Remix)
  4. "Just the Two of Us" (Club Mix Radio Edit)
  5. "Just the Two of Us" (Street Mix) (featuring Fat Man Scoop and E. Bros.)

Other cover versionsEdit

  • Bill Cosby did a parody version, "Just the Slew of Us", as the theme music for his movie Bill Cosby: Himself. Ralph MacDonald was the writer/producer.
  • In 1992, the New York City R&B vocal trio Around the Way sampled the song in "Really Into You." They reached No. 89 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in the fall of that year.[22]
  • Tiro de Gracia sampled "Just the Two of Us" for their song "El Juego Verdadero", off their 1997 Ser humano!! album.
  • Will Smith released a single in 1997 which samples and incorporates lyrics from the original. Instead of love between a couple, "Just the Two of Us" focuses on the relationship between a father and son. Smith originally wrote a children's book with the same title and lyrics. For his album, he performed it in rap form.
  • Anal Cunt jokingly performed the song as a duet between singer Seth Putnam and Hillary Logee on their 1997 album I Like It When You Die. It features dissonant out of key keyboard noodling and mocking vocals from Putnam. The writers of the song are credited as "Some Fucking Retard" in the CD booklet.[23][24]
  • Dr. Evil (Mike Myers) parodied the Will Smith version in the 1999 film Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.
  • Adult Swim's online show entitled FishCenter Live made a parody of the song entitled "Just the Ten of Us" about the fish.
  • Matt Dusk and Margaret released a single to promote their collaborative jazz album Just the Two of Us.[25]
  • Eminem sampled the song on 97’ Bonnie & Clyde off of his debut major label album The Slim Shady LP.
  • Johnny Mathis covered the song on his 2008 album, A Night to Remember.
  • Fanfare Ciocărlia's cover of the song was played over the end of the final scene and the beginning of the credits of Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.

Appearances in mediaEdit

In 2020, “Just The Two Of Us” began to go viral on TikTok,[26][27] also appearing on Spotify’s “Viral Hits” playlist.[28]


  1. ^ "Winelight – Grover Washington Jr. – Awards – AllMusic". AllMusic.
  2. ^ David Kent's "Australian Chart Book 1970-1992" Archived 2016-03-05 at archive.today
  3. ^ "Grover Washington, Jr. & Bill Withers: Just The Two Of Us". ultratop.be.
  4. ^ "Top Singles". RPM Weekly. archived at Library and Archives Canada. June 6, 1981. Retrieved February 24, 2018 – via bac-lac.gc.ca.
  5. ^ "Adult Contemporary". RPM Weekly. archived at Library and Archives Canada – via bac-lac.gc.ca.
  6. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Just the Two of Us". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved July 22, 2018.
  7. ^ "Grover Washington, Jr. & Bill Withers: Just The Two Of Us". dutchcharts.nl.
  8. ^ "Grover Washington, Jr. & Bill Withers: Just The Two Of Us". charts.nz.
  9. ^ "Grover Washington, Jr". officialcharts.com.
  10. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2005). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research.
  11. ^ "Top 100 Singles". Cash Box. republished online at tropicalglen.com. May 9, 1981. Archived from the original on June 3, 2015. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
  12. ^ "Veckolista Heatseeker, vecka 48, 2020" (in Swedish). Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved April 11, 2021.
  13. ^ "Top 100 Singles of 1981". RPM Weekly. archived at Library and Archives Canada. December 26, 1981. Retrieved April 3, 2019 – via bac-lac.gc.ca.
  14. ^ "Top Songs 1981". musicoutfitters.com.
  15. ^ "Billboard Hot 100 60th Anniversary Interactive Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  16. ^ "British single certifications – Grover Washington Jr/Withers – Just the Two of Us". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved January 26, 2021.
  17. ^ "久保田利伸のシングル売り上げランキング". oricon.co.jp (in Japanese). Oricon Style. Retrieved November 4, 2012.
  18. ^ Just the Two of Us (Live) on YouTube. Retrieved on November 4, 2012
  19. ^ 久保田利伸 - Just the two of us 2012 on YouTube. Retrieved on November 4, 2012
  20. ^ "Amazon.com: Toshi Kubota: Toshi Kubota / Just The Two Of Us: Music". amazon.com.
  21. ^ "Amazon.com: Kubota Toshinobu: Just the Two of Us Butcher Bro: Music". amazon.com.
  22. ^ [Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-2002]
  23. ^ I Like It When You Die Liner Notes
  24. ^ "I Like It When You Die - Anal Cunt".
  25. ^ "Matt Dusk & Margaret "Just the Two of Us" (Video Premiere)". Retrieved 2015-11-10.
  26. ^ Zhang, Cat. "A Year in Music on TikTok". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2021-03-13.
  27. ^ "Harlem Native Who Wrote 'Just the Two of Us' Song Now a Viral Sensation". www.ny1.com. Retrieved 2021-03-13.
  28. ^ "'Just the Two of Us' writer William Salter, 84, in 'awe' of newfound TikTok fame". news.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2021-03-13.

External linksEdit