Dark Lady is the 11th studio album by American singer-actress Cher, released on May 1974 by MCA. Cher again collaborated with Snuff Garrett as a record producer, and with Al Capps for the arrangements. Dark Lady was the third and final studio album for MCA. It was also the last record promoted on her successful The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour show. After its release, the album received positive reviews from critics but, unlike her previous record produced by Garrett, was only moderately successful.
After the success of Half-Breed, Cher, for her final record under MCA, again chose Snuff Garrett and Al Capps to produce. During that same year, she divorced her first husband Sonny Bono, dissolving the Sonny & Cher couple. This ended their professional musical ties and television show for a while. Due to the success of previous albums produced by Garrett, Dark Lady followed the same narrative ballad style. She attracted many young fans during this period of her career for her style of glamour pop, and the album shows also what Cher could do back in the mid-70s, at the height of her popularity.Dark Lady was also the last studio album. MCA released Greatest Hits with the letter E accented in Chér on the album cover. The next albums released by Warner Bros completely remove the stress.
Dark Lady had received mixed reviews from music critics. Decades later, Peter Fawthrop of Allmusic gave it three stars and compared this album with the previous Half-Breed saying that is "more upbeat". He also said that "she was more wholesome and organic in the early '70s," and about the covers in the album "is always fun to hear Cher's renditions of the classics." Rolling Stone gave a positive review of the album, stating "this could finally be the LP that will establish Cher as a major album artist" and "she has put together a recognizable voice with fine songs, a set that flows throughout, and superb production." About Cher, said that "she is a personality as well as a singer, so display in rock, pop and on stepdowns."
In August 1999, the original album was combined with Half-Breed and issued on one CD titled Half Breed/Dark Lady, this release included all the tracks from both original albums. A CD of the original Dark Lady album in its entirety has not yet been produced.
Dark Lady debuted on the Billboard 200 at #191 in early June 1974. The highest position it reached was #69. The album debuted at number ninety-eight on the Canadian Albums Chart in late June, eventually reaching its highest position at #33 in July. Like her previous albums, the album didn't make it to the UK album charts.
"Dark Lady", the album's first single release, reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100, the Canadian Singles, and the Sverigetopplistan charts. "Dark Lady" was her third number one in US and it reached also #3 on the Adult Contemporary chart. "Dark Lady" reached #36 in UK single charts. After "Dark Lady" the album spawned two more top 5 singles on US charts. The second single released was "Train of Thought" which reached #9 in the Adult Contemporary chart. Shortly after "I Saw a Man and He Danced with His Wife" was released. The song "Rescue Me" was released only in US as a promo and didn't make the charts.