|Single by Fleetwood Mac|
|from the album Bare Trees|
|B-side||"Sunny Side of Heaven"|
|Single by Bob Welch|
|from the album French Kiss|
|B-side||"Hot Love, Cold World"|
|Bob Welch singles chronology|
"Sentimental Lady" is a song written by Bob Welch. The song was originally recorded for Fleetwood Mac's 1972 album Bare Trees, but was re-recorded by Welch on his debut solo album, French Kiss, in 1977. It is a romantic song, originally written for Welch's first wife.
History and release
The original 1972 version of the song as heard on Fleetwood Mac's Bare Trees album clocked in at 4 minutes 34 seconds, with background vocals by Christine McVie; not as well known as she was during the band's peak years with Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. The original had two verses with a reprise of the first following the instrumental bridge.
A 1977 re-recording, the most well-known version of the song, was a solo hit for Welch when he recorded it on his first solo album, French Kiss, which was released on November 18, 1977. The single was released a month earlier in October 1977 and reached the Top 10 in both the U.S. Pop and Adult Contemporary charts. The single remained in the Billboard Top 20 for months and on December 22, 1977 was #18 for Christmas that year. In Canada, the song reached number three for two weeks.
Mick Fleetwood was invited to play the drums for this song on Welch's 1977 album. The re-recording of the song featured Christine McVie and Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac as backing singers and producers (with Buckingham additionally doing the arrangement as well as serving on guitar), but unlike the original which had 2 verses, Welch's solo version only had 1 verse to cut it down to less than 3 minutes for the final radio cut.
The original placeholder/dummy lyrics for the chorus before the full lyrics were written was, "my legs are sticks and my feet are stones." The song has a notable introduction with a multilayered guitar piece by Lindsey Buckingham.
Welch told Songfacts.com: "The lyric was probably referencing my first wife (at the time) Nancy." In the song Welch personifies the love of his life as a "sentimental, gentle wind" which he perceives as "blowing through my life again."
The Fleetwood Mac version includes a verse that begins "Now you are here today, But easily you might just go away." This verse is omitted from Welch's solo version, which otherwise has the same lyrics.
Donald Brackett, in his 2007 book, Fleetwood Mac, 40 Years of Creative Chaos has discussed Welch's poetic romantic lyrics in Sentimental Lady and writing and performing style. He describes the featuring of the song on the 1972 album Bare Trees as the best example of the group's move towards a new, softer and highly commercial style in the early 1970s and describes the essence of the lyrics and nature of the song as "almost too gentle" but describes his voice as like "crushed velvet", in that he believes his voice was simultaneously gentle and threatening in tone, a symbolic balance between the emotions of hope and despair. He later says of Welch's song writing, "Welch had the unique ability to encapsulate in a single song the travails of personal intimacy as well as the larger social picture in which we all lived".
The song was also used as the musical ending for an episode of CBS' "Cold Case" - Season 6, Episode 4 entitled "Roller Girl".
Weekly singles charts
Fleetwood Mac version
- Bob Welch – rhythm guitar, lead and backing vocals
- Danny Kirwan – lead guitar, slide guitar
- Christine McVie – piano, organs, backing vocals
- John McVie – bass guitar
- Mick Fleetwood – drums
Bob Welch version
- Bob Welch – guitars, bass guitar, lead and backing vocals
- Lindsey Buckingham – guitars, backing vocals
- Christine McVie – backing vocals, Keyboards
- Mick Fleetwood – drums
- Rooksby, Rikky (2004). Fleetwood Mac: The Complete Guide to Their Music. Omnibus Press. pp. 40–42. ISBN 9781844494279.
- "Bare Trees". Last FM. Retrieved September 17, 2009.
- "Sentimental Lady (2:58)". Last FM. Retrieved September 17, 2009.
- Billboard. Vol. 90, No. 1. January 1978. p. 67.
- Sentimental Lady Songfacts
- "Sentimental Lady". Buckingham Nicks.net. Retrieved September 17, 2009.
- "Sentimental Lady. Written by Bob Welch.". The Penguin Lyrics Archive. Retrieved September 17, 2009.
- Brackett, Donald (2007). Fleetwood Mac: 40 Years of Creative Chaos. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 90. ISBN 9780275993382.