If It Isn't Love

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"If It Isn't Love"
If it isn't love.jpg
Single by New Edition
from the album Heart Break
Released June 9, 1988
Format Cassette single, CD single, Vinyl single
Recorded November 1987
Genre New jack swing[1]

5:10 (album version)

3:48 (single version)
Label MCA
Writer(s) James Harris, Terry Lewis
Producer(s) Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis
New Edition singles chronology
"Count Me Out"
"If It Isn't Love"
"You're Not My Kind of Girl"

"If It Isn't Love" is a 1988 song by American R&B quintet New Edition, and the first single from their fifth studio album, Heart Break. The song became the biggest hit from the aforementioned album, reaching the top ten of the US Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number seven, and reached the second position on the Hot Black Singles chart. It's chart performance and well-received music video garnered the quintet their first nomination for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals at the 31st Grammy Awards in February 1989. The song and video is also notable for being the introduction of fellow R&B singer Johnny Gill as a new member of the R&B quintet.


Written and produced by Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, the song spoke of a man who left a troubling relationship because he didn't want to fall in love, only to find out that he was in fact in love with his former girlfriend but is still in a dilemma over it: if it isn't love/why do I feel this way/why does she stay on my mind? The song has a memorable breakdown similar to that of The Jackson 5, where lead singer Ralph Tresvant admits that he made a mistake and he realizes he does love her, though his resolve is crushed as his band mates then retort: You love her, what?! Though he is optimistic that he will get her back.

Release and reaction[edit]

This song returned New Edition to the top ten of both the pop and R&B singles charts, peaking at number seven and two, respectively. Ironically, they would be held off from #1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs by the same person that was voted out of the group just two years prior, Bobby Brown with his hit "Don't Be Cruel." The music video for the song showcased the group (and longtime manager Brooke Payne) going over rehearsal for a concert, which has the band gearing up to hit the stage. The video ended with the group running towards the stage, and transitioned them into their next music video; a concert performance for the follow-up single, "You're Not My Kind of Girl."

Track listing[edit]

  1. If It Isn't Love (12" Club Mix) - (7:42)
  2. If It Isn't Love (Instrumental) - (5:10)
  3. If It Isn't Love (Low Key Mix) - (4:30)



External links[edit]


  1. ^ Josephs, Brian (July 20, 2012). "The 25 Best New Jack Swing Songs". Complex. Retrieved July 26, 2016.