Thursday 10 August 2023

Love The One You're With

Cover version of the month #89

The Isley Brothers cover Stephen Stills

The thing I love about my cover version of the month feature is that I regularly discover new things about a song I love. The chorus of Stephen Stills Love The One You're With was inspired by his friend Billy Preston. Apparently it was something he regularly said. I guess it's easy to imagine people saying that in the free swinging 60's!

If you can't be with the one you love

Honey, love the one you're with 

A constant driving acoustic guitar is at the heart of the song, allowing vocals, choir, beats and additional instruments to come in over the top at various times.

The choir lifts the chorus, while the organ (played by Stills) could easily have been played by Preston who inspired the song. The do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do section enhances the catchiness of the song.

Like so many of the great songs from that period, the lyrics are remarkably simple and therefor relatable.

Down, confused, baby, the imagery of the rose in a fisted glove and the eagle flies with the dove, love, sad, crying, good times, waiting for something to do, heartache, joy, girl, boy ...

Stephen Stills makes songwriting seem so easy. Maybe others just overly complicate the art!

The Isley Brothers add on additional 40 seconds to the original, but they remain pretty true to it. The harmonies on the chorus are glorious.

Taken from their magnificent 1971 album Givin It Back that also has brilliant covers of Neil Young's Ohio merged with Jimi Hendrix' Machine Gun, a 10-minute plus version of Dylan's Lay Lady Lay and James Taylor's Fire and Rain. It's well worth checking out and I'm positive that I'll feature one of these songs in the future. 

The Stephen Stills original and The Isley Brothers cover version are added to my Everything Flows Cool Cover Versions playlist on Spotify which also features all of the songs below. Search for the title or CLICK HERE

Previous covers of the month

13. Hurt
39. ABBA-esque
40. Jumpin' Jack Flash
64. Lola
82. Drop
87. Indian Rope Man + bonus Strawberry Fields Forever + This Wheels On Fire

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