Friday, December 31, 2010

Music Box: Stephanie Mills

Don't think I'm exaggerating when I say Stephanie Mills' "Never Knew Love Like This Before" is one of the all-time great R&B songs. (Michael reminded me of Steph when he bought "What Cha Gonna Do With My Lovin'" on the iTunes the other day, which is his favorite song of hers). I'm still kicking myself for not already having "Never Knew Love" on my iPod all these years -- just makes me happy every time I hear it.

Interesting to note that the track's co-writer and producer, Reggie Lucas, would end up collaborating a couple years later with Madonna on her debut LP. Lucas produced most of the album and wrote "Physical Attraction" and "Borderline," the latter of which was Madonna's first Top 10 hit and arguably the album's best song. (Note the similar opening notes of "Never Knew Love" and "Borderline.") Madonna reportedly wasn't entirely happy with Lucas' effort. However, looking back on the songs they created together -- "Lucky Star," "Burning Up," "I Know It," "Think of Me" and the aforementioned "Borderline" and "Physical Attraction," all of which are classics -- it's hard to imagine anyone doing something better. If Madonna ever decides to do an album of covers -- and after "Hard Candy," isn't it about time she did? -- I propose "Never Knew Love Like This Before" be the first song she records. Would love to hear her take on this pre-"Madonna" Reggie Lucas classic.


  1. definitely feeling like the old man in the crowd .... I was 15 or 16 when my parents took me to The Wiz and I saw/heard Mills on stage. Her finale, "home", sent shivers down my spine.

    (How in the heck did it take me another 5 years to figure out I was big 'mo?!)

  2. Anonymous4:27 PM

    Thanks for posting this - lifted my spirits. Happy New Year!

  3. I too have often considered 'Borderline' the best song on that album... though I'm torn because of 'Holiday'... Oddly enough, 'Lucky Star' never did much for me, then or now.

  4. PS - Happy New Year!

  5. I love Stephanie, one of my all time favorites. Happy New Year Kenneth.


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