The Complete Disco Guide to...
R&B singer Stephanie Mills was born on March 22, 1959 in Brooklyn, New
York. Her first album was 1974's "Movin' in the Right Direction".
Her second album, "For the First Time", was released in 1976 and included
a heavily-criticized disco song "This Empty Place" (released as a 7"
single the year before) which is not representative of her work.
In 1979 and 1980 she sang on many exquisite ballads, such as the lovely
"Deeper Inside Your Love", plus several funk and disco songs, most memorably
"Never Knew Love Like This Before". After 1980, she released many
songs of varying quality, tending to have a over-emphasis on synthesizers.
Her '80s albums included "Sweet Sensation" (1980),
"Stephanie" (1981), "Tantalizingly Hot" (1982), "Merciless" (1983), "I've
Got the Cure" (1984), "Stephanie Mills" (1985), "If I Were Your Woman"
(1987), and "Home" (1989). She scored a top 20 hit with 1983's "How Come U
Don't Call Me Anymore?" Towards the end of the decade, she released three
number one R&B singles: "I Feel Good All Over" (1987), "If I Were Your
Woman" (1987), and "Something in the Way (You Make Me Feel)" (1989).
She also had reasonable R&B success with her songs "(I Have Learned to
Respect) the Power of Love" and "Home".
During the 1990s, she continued to release albums, including "Christmas"
(1991), "Something Real" (1992), and the gospel album "Personal
In 2000, MAW (Masters At Work) Records released Stephanie Mills's single
"Latin Lover", which is a deep house track produced by Louie Vega. She
was also one of the singers on the 2001 "We Are Family" remake, produced
by Nile Rodgers.
In 2001, Mills started touring again. She also recorded songs for a new
album, "Born for This!", that was released in August 2004. The first
single from that album was the slow soul song "Can't Let Him Go",
released in September 2003.
One of her live renditions of the song "Born for This" appeared on BeBe
Winans' 2002 album "BeBe
Live and Up Close".
On her "Born for This!" is a song named "Never Knew Love" with a lyric
"never knew love like this before" but it has a totally different sound
than her similarly-named 1980 hit and many of the words are different.
1979: What Cha Gonna Do With My Lovin', Deeper Inside Your Love, Put Your
Body In It, You Can Get Over
1980: Never Knew Love Like This Before, Sweet Sensation, Try My Love
1981: Two Hearts (with Teddy Pendergrass)
1982: Keep Away Girls, You Can't Run From My Love, Feel the Fire (remake with
1983: How Come U Don't Call Me Anymore?
1985: (I Have Learned to Respect) the Power of Love
1987: I Feel Good All Over, If I Were Your Woman, (You're Puttin') A
Rush on Me
1988: Where is the Love? (with Robert Brookins)
1989: Something in the Way (You Make Me Feel)
1992: All Day, All Night
2000: Latin Lover
2003: Can't Let Him Go
Cha Gonna Do With My Lovin' (1979)
TRACKS: What 'Cha Gonna Do With My Lovin'
You Can Get Over
Deeper Inside Your Love
Feel the Fire
Put Your Body in It
You and I
Don't Stop Dancin'
This popular gold album was produced by James Mtume
and Reggie Lucas. It reached #12 R&B and #22 Pop in the United States in
the summer of 1979.
The funky disco songs are "Don't Stop Dancin'", "You Can Get Over", "Put
Your Body in It" (released as a single), and the title track "What Cha
Gonna Do With My Lovin'" (released as a single). I find that "What Cha
Gonna Do With My Lovin'", which reached #8 R&B and #22 Pop in the USA,
is astonishingly beautiful
and enjoyable while "Put Your Body in It" is rather dull. "You Can Get
Over" is a decent dance track that reached #55 R&B and #101 Pop in the
USA. "Starlight", "Deeper Inside Your Love",
"Feel the Fire", and "You and I" are outstanding romantic slow songs that
round out the album.
Sweet Sensation (1980)
TRACKS: Sweet Sensation
Try My Love
I Just Wanna Say
Wish That You Were Mine
Never Knew Love Like This Before
Mixture of Love
This gold record reached #3 R&B and #16 Pop in the spring of 1980 in the United
States. The song that got the most exposure, and deservedly so, was the
awesome romantic and upbeat disco song "Never Knew Love Like This Before",
produced and written by Mtume and Lucas. This single sold over a million
copies and reached #6 Pop and #12 R&B in the USA in 1980.
The intro features bell-sounding keyboards.
It remained on playlists of some adult-contemporary radio stations for
more than 20 years afterwards. "Sweet Sensation" is a funky disco track
that reached #3 R&B and #52 Pop in the USA, but it's nothing
extraordinary. "Wish That You Were Mine" is a decent R&B dance song
with a romantic theme. The dance song "D a n c i n'" is mediocre, with
extremely dull instrumentation and numerous repetitions of the lyrics "D A
N C I N, boogie woogie boogie woogie with me, baby".
Mills hosted the November 7, 1980 broadcast of The Midnight Special
in the USA and sang four songs from this album: "Never Knew Love Like This
Before", "Sweet Sensation", "Try My Love", and "I Just Wanna Say". She
also appeared as a guest on American Bandstand and Soul
Train that year.
Don't Stop Doin' What 'Cha Do
Top of My List
I Believe in Love Songs
My Love's Been Good to You
The "Stephanie" record was released in the spring of 1981 and reached #3
R&B and #30 Pop in the United States. Like its two predecessors, it went
gold. "I Believe in Love Songs" is a good, if ordinary, disco song.
"Two Hearts" was written by Tawatha Agee, Mtume, and Lucas, and reached #3
R&B and #40 Pop in the USA.
Stephanie Mills Compilations:In My Life: Greatest Hits
Heart and Soul of Stephanie Mills
Essentials: The Best of Stephanie Mills
of Stephanie Mills
Hits: 1985 to 1993
of Love: A Ballads Collection
is to Listen: A Retrospective
Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Stephanie Mills
Mills - Feel The Fire: The 20th Century Collection
Covers of Stephanie Mills Songs:"Never Knew Love Like This Before" by Charles Earland (1982)
"What Cha Gonna Do With My Lovin'" by Inner City (1989) - techno version
"Never Knew Love Like This Before" by Gwen Guthrie (1990)
"Never Knew Love Like This Before" by The Right Attitude (1993) -
"Something in the Way (You Make Me Feel)" by Yvette Michele (1997)
"Never Knew Love Like This Before" by Jody Russell (1999) -
"Never Knew Love Like This Before" by Priscilla Almeda (2001)
"You Can Get Over" by Shauna Solomon (2002) - house version
"Never Knew Love Like This Before" by Viola Wills (2004) -
"Something in the Way" by Lord Finesse featuring Thelma Gyton (2006)
"Never Knew Love Like This Before" by Juliana Aquino (2008)
Mills-Influenced Songs:"Never Knew Love" by John Samuel Solomon a.k.a. "J"-on and Mark
Shihadeh (1991) - based on "Never Knew Love Like This Before"
"Black Girl Lost" by NAS (1996) - samples the beat from "Starlight"
"Dancin'" by Chicago Connection (1997) - house song that samples "Put
Your Body In It"
"Susanne Zur Freiheit" by Fischmob Allstars (1998) - German rap song
that samples "What 'Cha Gonna Do With My Lovin'"
"It's Gonna Be Alright" by Cassioware (2000) - house song that samples
"You Can't Run from My Love"
"When I'm Nothing" by DMX (2001) - rap song that includes a sample and
modified lyrics of "What 'Cha Gonna Do With My Lovin'"
HOW TO ORDER YOUR FAVORITE STEPHANIE MILLS SONGS
Stephanie Mills -
Associates: Stephanie Mills
and Alroy's Record Reviews: Stephanie Mills
Legends: Stephanie Mills
Stephanie Mills Biography by Ed Hogan
Stephanie Mills Discography
Disco Savvy Homepage