Lady (Styx song)

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"Lady"
Lady (Styx song).jpg
Cover of German reissue version
Single by Styx
from the album Styx II
B-side"Children of the Land"
ReleasedSeptember 1973 (US) [1]
  • November 1974 (reissue)
RecordedLate 1972
GenreProgressive rock
Length2:58
LabelWooden Nickel Records / RCA Records
Songwriter(s)Dennis DeYoung
Producer(s)John Ryan
Styx singles chronology
"Best Thing"
(1972)
"Lady"
(1973)
"You Need Love"
(1975)

"Lady" is a 1973 song written and performed by the rock band Styx. It was first released on Styx II and was a local hit in the band's native Chicago, but initially failed to chart nationally. The song gained success shortly after Styx left Wooden Nickel Records to move to A&M Records in 1974 as it began picking up airplay nationwide,[2] eventually peaking at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 in March 1975. The power ballad[3] was later re-recorded for the 1995 Styx compilation Greatest Hits due to a contractual dispute between A&M and Wooden Nickel.

Background[edit]

"Lady" was written by Dennis DeYoung for his wife, Suzanne Feusi, the first song he ever wrote for her.[4] DeYoung recounted to Contemporary Keyboard magazine for the January 1981 issue that the first time he ever played acoustic piano was when the band arrived at the recording studio to record "Lady" and saw the piano in the studio; DeYoung had written the song on an electric piano, but decided to try it out on the piano instead, and liked the sound so much that he switched to the piano for the recorded version. It didn't get much promotion and went nowhere until a DJ named Jim Smith on WLS in Chicago rediscovered the song when he heard it on a jukebox at a pizza place on the north side of Chicago. Determined to make it a hit, Smith convinced management to let him play the song on his Saturday Night show, which had an audience in 38 states and a few foreign countries.[5] The song became a major hit on the station, spending two weeks at #2 on the WLS survey,[6] and was ranked as the 29th biggest hit of 1975 on their year-end countdown.[7] Classic Rock critic Malcolm Dome rated it as the band's 9th greatest song.[8]

This is the only song from the band's four Wooden Nickel-era albums that is still performed live; all other material from those years has been long disowned by the band. Former lead singer Dennis DeYoung also performs the song regularly on his solo tours.

"Lady" has been credited as the first power ballad.[9]

Composition[edit]

"Lady" begins with an Alberti bass pattern in the left hand on the piano. The Alberti bass, common to music of the Classical era, can also be heard on DeYoung's composition "Come Sail Away". One possible interpretation for the scale of the song is C Lydian, since the song starts with a D major chord, but moves down to C major with the #4 still being played in the right hand melody. Drums and distorted electric guitar come in at 1:17 in the recording, corresponding with high harmonies as well.

Chart performance[edit]

Personnel[edit]

Lady '95[edit]

"Lady '95"
Song by Styx
from the album Styx: Greatest Hits
Released1995
Recorded1995
GenreRock
Length3:05
LabelA&M Records
Songwriter(s)Dennis DeYoung
Producer(s)Dennis DeYoung

"Lady '95" is a 1995 re-recording of the 1973 song "Lady". It was rerecorded as a result of a contractual dispute between A&M Records and Wooden Nickel Records. It solely appears on A&M compilations, most notably Styx: Greatest Hits, for which the song was rerecorded.

Background[edit]

The 1995 A&M compilation Styx: Greatest Hits could not use the original version of "Lady" because the song was originally recorded for and released through Wooden Nickel Records (which also had a distribution arrangement with RCA Records). Because A&M/PolyGram had been unable to secure distribution rights to the song, most of the original lineup of Styx (Dennis DeYoung, Chuck Panozzo, and James "J.Y." Young) reunited with long time guitarist Tommy Shaw to re-record the track at Dennis's home studio, The White Room. They were joined by uncredited session drummer Todd Sucherman, who filled in for John Panozzo due to Panozzo's failing health; Sucherman officially (and permanently) joined the band in 1996, during the Return to Paradise tour, and is included in the present lineup. The track, which is very similar to the original, was titled "Lady '95". The recording of the track ultimately led to the classic lineup of Styx reuniting.

Reception[edit]

The re-recorded version received mixed reviews from fans. Some claimed that the production was better than the original version. However, other fans still stick to the original, being that the original was the one that hit #6 on the charts.

Personnel[edit]

Other media[edit]

This song has been featured in various television programs, including episodes of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Freaks and Geeks, The Office, and Still Standing. It has also appeared in films such as The Perfect Man, Old School, and Underdog.

Homer Simpson, as Odysseus, endures this song as he crosses the River Styx in the Simpsons episode "Tales from the Public Domain", groaning "This truly is hell!"

Dennis DeYoung sang the song with Hal Sparks in 2006 on the show Celebrity Duets.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Styx singles".
  2. ^ "Styx at the 2010 Great Jones County Fair". Archived from the original on 24 September 2010. Retrieved 23 April 2021.
  3. ^ February 2015, Classic Rock14. "The 40 Greatest Power Ballads Playlist". Classic Rock Magazine. Retrieved 23 April 2021.
  4. ^ As stated by DeYoung on the 2004 album The Music of Styx--Live with Symphony Orchestra.
  5. ^ Text from article in Contemporary Keyboard, January 1981 Archived 2006-02-21 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "WLS Music Radio Survey". Vol. 15, no. 17. February 15, 1975. Archived from the original on July 9, 2001. Retrieved July 17, 2017.
  7. ^ "wls89of75". Oldiesloon.com. Retrieved 23 April 2021.
  8. ^ Dome, Malcolm (February 18, 2022). "The 10 best Styx songs". Classic Rock. Louder Music. Retrieved 2022-06-19.
  9. ^ Dominic, Serene. "Power Me, Ballad Me: The Power Ballad Timeline". Detroit Metro Times. Retrieved 21 February 2022.
  10. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 299. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  11. ^ "SA Charts 1965–March 1989". Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  12. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  13. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 3/15/75". Archived from the original on 2015-06-20. Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-10-25. Retrieved 2016-10-24.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ "Top 20 Hit Singles of 1975". Rock.co.za. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  16. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1975/Top 100 Songs of 1975". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved 23 April 2021.
  17. ^ "Cash Box YE Pop Singles - 1975". Archived from the original on 2016-10-22. Retrieved 2016-10-24.