"I Need a Lover" is a rock song written and performed by John Mellencamp and first released under the stage name Johnny Cougar. It appeared on his 1978 album A Biography, which was not released in the United States. After becoming a hit in Australia, the song was later included in his 1979 follow-up album John Cougar and was released as a single, becoming his first Top 40 hit in the U.S. when it reached #28 on the Billboard Hot 100 in late 1979.
AllMusic reviewer Stephen Thomas Erlewine described "I Need a Lover" as Mellencamp's "first good song."
Mellencamp has stated that "I Need a Lover" was inspired by The Rolling Stones' 1972 song "Happy."