Love the One You're With

"Love the One You're With" is a song by folk rock musician Stephen Stills. It was released as the lead single from his debut self-titled studio album in November 1970. The song, inspired by a remark Stills heard from musician Billy Preston, became his biggest hit single, peaking at No. 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 in early 1971.[1] David Crosby and Graham Nash, Stills' fellow members of Crosby, Stills & Nash, provide background vocals on the song. The song was also covered by a number of artists, notably the Isley Brothers, Bucks Fizz and Luther Vandross.

"Love the One You're With"
Stephen Stills - Love The One.jpg
Single by Stephen Stills
from the album Stephen Stills
B-side"To a Flame"
ReleasedNovember 1970
GenreFolk rock
Songwriter(s)Stephen Stills
  • Stephen Stills
  • Bill Halverson
Stephen Stills singles chronology
"Love the One You're With"
"Sit Yourself Down"


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]

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.

Chart historyEdit

Chart (1970–71) Peak
Canada 100 (RPM)[2] 6
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[3] 9
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[4] 37
US Easy Listening (Billboard)[5] 32
US Hot 100 (Billboard)[6] 14


Isley Brothers versionEdit

"Love the One You're With"
Single by the Isley Brothers
from the album Givin' It Back
GenreSoul, rock
LabelT-Neck, Buddah
Songwriter(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.[7]


Bucks Fizz versionEdit

"Love the One You're With"
Single by Bucks Fizz
from the album Writing on the Wall
B-side"Too Hard"
Released20 August 1986
GenrePop rock
Songwriter(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"

UK pop group Bucks Fizz covered the song as their eighteenth single in 1986. The single, released in August, was the follow-up to the group's comeback top ten hit "New Beginning (Mamba Seyra)" and was seen as a make or break release. Ultimately the song peaked at a low No.47 in the UK Singles Chart during a three-week run.[8] In a review, music magazine Number One said that the song lacked bass and sounded rather "tinny" but predicted that it would be a hit.[9] Member Mike Nolan puts the song's failure down to the decision to showcase other male member Bobby G as the lead singer. Their previous single had featured all the group equally and was a hit, while earlier flops had featured G on lead and this was a return to that format.[10] A promotional video for the song was filmed featuring the group performing the song in a blue-toned studio accompanied by backing musicians.[11] The single was released on 7" and 12" on Polydor Records with an extended mix on the latter, the B-side was a Bobby G composition, "Too Hard".[12] Also included on the 12" was an extended mix of earlier single "I Hear Talk". A second 12" single was released featuring a dance edit of "Love the One You're With", backed by another alternate mix of "I Hear Talk".[13] "Love the One You're With" was included on the group's fifth studio album Writing on the Wall released at the end of the year. It has subsequently been included on re-issues of the album in alternate mixes.

Track listingEdit

7" Single
  1. "Love the One You're With" (Stephen Stills) 3.19
  2. "Too Hard" (Bobby G / Ian Bairnson) 3.56
12" Single
  1. "Love the One You're With (Stills) 7.52
  2. "I Hear Talk" (Remixed extended version) (Andy Hill / Peter Sinfield) 4.35
  3. "Too Hard" (G / Bairnson) 3.56

Chantoozies versionEdit

"Love the One You're With"
Single by Chantoozies
from the album Gild the Lily
ReleasedFebruary 1991
RecordedMetropolis Audio and Gotham Audio
GenrePop music
LabelMushroom Records
Songwriter(s)Stephen Stills
Producer(s)Ross Inglis, Doug Brady
Chantoozies singles chronology
"Walk On"
"Love the One You're With"
"I'll Be There"

Australian group, Chantoozies released a version in February 1991. The song was the second single from the group's second studio album Gild the Lily. The song peaked at number 21 on the Australian charts.[14]

Track listingsEdit

CD single (D11002)

  1. "Love the One You're With"
  2. "Baby Blue"

12" single (X 14962)

  • Side A "Love the One You're With" (12 Inch Mix)
  • Side B1 "Love the One You're With" (DJ Bonus Beats)
  • Side B2 "Love the One You're With" (Acappella Mix)


Chart (1991) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[15] 21

Luther Vandross versionEdit

"Love the One You're With"
Single by Luther Vandross
from the album Songs
B-side"Going in Circles"
Released14 November 1994
GenreR&B, pop
Songwriter(s)Stephen Stills
Producer(s)Walter Afanasieff
Luther Vandross singles chronology
"Always and Forever"
"Love the One You're With"
"Every Year, Every Christmas"

Luther Vandross released a cover of the song on his 1994 album Songs. It peaked in the top 30 on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles, 33 on Billboard's Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks; and earned Vandross a 1995 Grammy nomination for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.[16]


Chart (1994–1995) Peak
Australian Singles Chart[17] 56
UK Singles Chart[18] 31
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[19] 95
U.S. Billboard Hot Black Singles 28
U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks 33

Other notable versionsEdit

  • Gino Soccio covered the song in 1988 and reached #79 in Canada
  • King Curtis covered the song as an instrumental on the 1972 album Everybody's Talkin'

In cultureEdit

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.[20]


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits: Eighth Edition. Record Research. p. 606.
  2. ^ "RPM Top Singles Chart" (PDF). RPM. RPM archives. Ottawa: Library and Archives Canada. January 30, 1971. OCLC 352936026. Retrieved September 3, 2016.
  3. ^ " – Stephen Stills – Love the One You're With" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved September 3, 2016.
  4. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved September 3, 2016.
  5. ^ "Stephen Stills Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved September 3, 2016.
  6. ^ "Stephen Stills Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved September 3, 2016.
  7. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 278.
  8. ^ Chart Stats - Bucks Fizz - Love The One You're With
  9. ^ Number One, Single reviews, 26 August 1986
  10. ^ The Bucks Fizz Story, Glassbeach Media DVD. October 2010
  11. ^ Raffem. 1986 - Love the One You're With
  12. ^ Raffem. "Love the One You're With" single
  13. ^ "Love the One You're With" Special 12" edition
  14. ^ " > Chantoozies in Australian Charts". Hung Medien. Retrieved February 9, 2017.
  15. ^ " – Chantoozies – Love the One You're With". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 3 December 2017.
  16. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 597.
  17. ^ "The ARIA Australian Top 100 Singles Chart – Week Ending 12 Mar 1995". (original document published by ARIA). Retrieved February 9, 2017.
  18. ^ "Official Charts > Luther Vandross". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved February 9, 2017.
  19. ^ Luther Vandross - Singles Chart
  20. ^ Ives, Brian (11 June 2012). "'Prometheus' Reveals Stephen Stills' 'Love The One You're With' Still A Hit In 2093". WCBS-FM. Archived from the original on 18 May 2015. Retrieved 2013-09-22.

External linksEdit