"Lotta Love" is a Neil Young composition which, as recorded by Nicolette Larson in 1978, reached #8 on Billboard Magazine's Hot 100 chart in February 1979 and also reached #1 on the Easy Listening chart ranking as the #10 Adult Contemporary hit of the year.
"Lotta Love" was also a hit in Australia (#11) and New Zealand (#22).
Larson had formed a personal relationship with Young while backing him vocally on American Stars 'n Bars; while being driven by Young in his car one day, Larson played a cassette which was the demo of "Lotta Love" and Young told her the song was hers if she wanted it. Young did in fact cut a version of "Lotta Love" himself for his Comes a Time album; Larson provided background vocals for the album but did not sing on its "Lotta Love" track, a spare version which emphasized the song's melancholy.
Larson's lavish version of "Lotta Love" — which featured a string arrangement by veteran 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."
"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 September 1978 as was Nicolette; the release of a single off the Nicolette album was held off until November 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).
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 Pederson while on its 12" single "Lotta Love" was backed by Larson's rendition of "You Send Me".
A live version of "Lotta Love" was included on the Live at the Roxy album consisting of Larson's 20 December 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.
In February 1998, friends and associates of Nicolette Larson, who had died 16 December 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 tenth anniversary of Larson's passing, and in December 2008, the Talking Stick in Venice CA hosted a "Lotta Love" memorial concert which featured a performance of "Lotta Love" by Rosemary Butler and Andrew Gold.
In 2009, She & Him released a cover of "Lotta Love" on the B-side of their single "Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?"
Famous quotes containing the words lotta and/or love:
“You got a lotta nerve
To say you are my friend
When I was down
You just stood there grinning.”
—Bob Dylan [Robert Allen Zimmerman] (b. 1941)
“The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it NOW deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”
—Thomas Paine (17371809)