Never Knew Love Like This Before

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"Never Knew Love Like This Before"
Single by Stephanie Mills
from the album Sweet Sensation
B-side"Still Mine"
ReleasedAugust 1980
FormatVinyl single
GenreR&B, disco
Length5:30 (album edit)
3:28 (radio edit)
Label20th Century-Fox Records
Stephanie Mills singles chronology
"Sweet Sensation"
"Never Knew Love Like This Before"
"Two Hearts"
"Sweet Sensation"
"Never Knew Love Like This Before"
"Two Hearts"

"Never Knew Love Like This Before" is a song written and produced by songwriters James Mtume and Reggie Lucas for American R&B recording artist Stephanie Mills' fourth studio album Sweet Sensation (1980).

The song became Mills' biggest hit on the US Billboard Pop Singles Chart, where it peaked at number 6, outperforming her previously highest charting single, "What Cha' Gonna Do with My Lovin'", which peaked at number 22. The single was also successful on the R&B and Adult Contemporary charts, peaking at No. 12 and No. 5, respectively. It was a bigger success in the UK where it peaked at number 4.

The record won Best R&B Song and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance at the 1981 Grammy Awards, vanquishing competition that included Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, Roberta Flack, and Minnie Riperton.


  • Howard King – drums
  • Basil Fearington – bass
  • James Mtume – keyboards
  • Hubert Eaves III – keyboards
  • Reggie Lucas – guitar
  • Ed Moore – guitar
  • James Mtume – percussion
  • Ed Walsh – synthesizer programming
  • Tawatha Agee, Gwen Guthrie, Brenda White King, James Mtume, Reggie Lucas  – background vocals
  • Gene Blanco – String and horn arrangements


Cover versions[edit]

Marie Osmond, covered and performed in From The Marie Show on December 26, 1980.

The late R&B singer Gwen Guthrie recorded a ballad version of the song for her album Hot Times (1990).

The song was covered by Thomas Anders (of Modern Talking fame) on his album Souled (1995).

In 1996, the song was covered by Sonya.[citation needed]

In 1999, the song was covered by the French duet Organiz' for their 2nd single.

Natalia recorded the song for her album This Time (2004).

Filipino singer Lani Misalucha covered the song for her 2008 album Reminisce and was the featured song in an episode of ABS-CBN's Your Song. South African Idol's Season 4 winner, Jodie Williams, recorded an uptempo remake of this song for her debut album, Just Gonna Be Me.

In 2013, Jessie Ware covered the song for the soundtrack to the movie I Give It a Year.

A cover was created by Peter White on his album Groovin' (2016).


The song is in the major scale.[10]


  1. ^ Australian Chart Book (1970-1992) - David Kent, pp.202
  2. ^ a b c d e "Songs from the Year 1980". 2007-10-08. Retrieved 2016-10-16.
  3. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2016-10-16.
  4. ^ NZ Music Charts, 8 February 1981
  5. ^ a b "All Music Positions". AllMusic. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
  6. ^ Australian Chart Book (1970-1992) pp.202 - David Kent
  7. ^ "Top Selling Singles of 1981 | The Official New Zealand Music Chart". 1981-12-31. Retrieved 2016-10-16.
  8. ^ "Top 100 1980 - UK Music Charts". Retrieved 2016-10-16.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-04-14. Retrieved 2015-07-22.
  10. ^ Stephenson, Ken (2002). What to Listen for in Rock: A Stylistic Analysis, p.92. ISBN 978-0-300-09239-4.

External links[edit]