Stephanie Mills – 1979 – What Cha Gonna Do with My Lovin’

16 Sep Stephanie Mills – 1979 – What Cha Gonna Do with My Lovin’

When Stephanie Mills enjoyed a major commercial breakthrough with her third album, What Cha Gonna Do with My Lovin’, the singer often found herself being described as a disco diva — and it wasn’t a description that she agreed with. Mills saw herself as primarily a romantic R&B traditionalist, not a disco singer. If you asked her whether she had more in common with Gladys Knight or Donna Summer, Millswould have said Gladys Knight without a moment’s hesitation. Nonetheless, this superb LP (which was produced by the James Mtume/Reggie Lucas team) does contain its share of dance-oriented treasures; “Don’t Stop Dancin‘”, “You Can Get Over” and the hit “Put Your Body in It” are disco funk classics that heated up numerous dancefloors in 1979. 

Mills is equally impressive on romantic ballads and slow jams like “Deeper Inside Your Love,” “Starlight“, “You and I” and Peabo Bryson’s “Feel the Fire” — and in various interviews, she insisted that those songs were more representative of her than the album’s dance-oriented material. At any rate, What Cha Gonna Do with My Lovin’ remains one of Mills’ strongest, most essential albums.

A1 What Cha Gonna Do With My Lovin’ 4:05
A2 You Can Get Over 4:59
A3 Deeper Inside Your Love 3:54
A4 Feel the Fire 5:13
B1 Put Your Body in It 4:05
B2 Starlight 3:35
B3 You and I 4:46
B4 Don’t Stop Dancin’ 3:45

How do you review a masterpiece? Stephanie Mills’ 1979 release “WHAT CHA GONNA DO WITH MY LOVIN?” is a musical marvel. Combining the elements of funk, Disco, R&B and Quiet Storm ballads, the album embraces the very best the aforementioned genres have to offer. Benefitting greatly from the crisp production work and rich songwriting skills of James Mtume and Reggie Lucas, the stage is set for La Mills to demonstrate her brilliant singing talents and the Diva comes through with show stopping results.

The title track is marvel, a perfect slice of 1979 Disco with Ms. Mills’ voice having the goose bumps effect here. The haunting background vocals are just as effective, as is the perfect musical arrangement here. YOU CAN GET OVER, PUT YOUR BODY IN IT and DON’T STOP DANCING are all great dance songs with a high funk element added to all of them. While these tracks are perfect dance floor anthems, they are in no way just disco numbers. Take a closer listen to PUT YOR BODY IN IT and YOU CAN GET OVER-both are funky and hard hitting!

Ms. Mills is also an effective balladeer as evidenced by richly melodic and romantic DEEPER INSIDE YOURLOVE, FEEL THE FIRE, STARLIGHT and YOU AND I. Every note in these ballads is perfectly sung. There is no filler on this album. A must for every Stephanie Mills fan and for fans of R&B.

Included here are the 12″ Remixes of YOU CAN GET OVER, PUT YOUR BODY IN IT and WHAT CHA GONNA DO WITH MY LOVIN. Added as a bonus here also is the rare BETTER THEN EVER from the 1979 film Starting Over, a great track that fits in perfectly with the rest of the album. 

This one is a winner all around, 38 years after its initial release.

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