A Biography is John Mellencamp's second released album (third recorded), and last credited to his then-stage name "Johnny Cougar." Recorded in London, it was released in the U.K. and Australia by Riva Records on March 6, 1978.
Due to poor sales of Mellencamp's debut album, Chestnut Street Incident, A Biography did not receive a U.S. release upon its 1978 debut. Two of its tracks, "Taxi Dancer" and the single "I Need a Lover," were also included on his 1979 album John Cougar, which was released in the U.S.
In Australia, however, "I Need a Lover" became a No. 1 hit, giving Mellencamp his first taste of success. The song would eventually crack the Top 40 in the U.S. in late 1979 when released as a single from his John Cougar album. AllMusic reviewer Stephen Thomas Erlewine has described "I Need a Lover" as Mellencamp's "first good song."