Styx keyboard player Dennis DeYoung wrote this song about his wife Suzanne, who was his high school sweetheart; other song he wrote about her include "Babe" and "The Best Of Times."
DeYoung's marriage endured, even through a late '90s health scare that ended his time with the band. He has often exclaimed how much he loves her and what an important part of his life she is.
Dennis DeYoung wrote this song in 1972, but Styx' record company rejected it for their first album, which was released that year. It was included on their second album, Styx II, in 1973 and released as a single, but it went nowhere. According to DeYoung, radio stations didn't know how to classify it, since it started slow and then picked up.
It was only through the efforts of a very persistent DJ on WLS in Chicago (the band's hometown) that the song got its due. Determined to make it a hit, he played the song every night at 8 p.m., until it caught on. It did, and other stations added it to their playlists (when DeYoung first heard it on the radio, he choked on his dinner he was so excited).
It wasn't until March 1975 that the song reached its chart peak of #6, giving them their breakout hit.
This was the first song Dennis DeYoung wrote and sang on his own that made it onto a record. The first Styx album had just two songs written by band members; from that point forward they wrote their own original songs, with DeYoung a primary songwriter.
Styx was signed to a small record label called Wooden Nickel when they first released this song in 1973. Styx later signed a a major label deal with A&M records, but the master of "Lady" was never released to A&M by Wooden Nickel. Styx had to re-record it in 1995 to get it on their Greatest Hits CD.
Suggestion credit: Steve - St. Louis, MO
This was featured on an episode of The Simpsons (titled "Tales from the Public Domain"), where Homer, playing Odysseus from The Odyssey (a book that is in the public domain), passes by hell via the river Styx. In hell, they sing Styx music - "Oh my god! This is hell!"
Suggestion credit: Ray D. - Duluth, CT
At some of his solo concerts Dennis DeYoung would sing this with no other music or backup vocals except for his wife Suzanne, who was also one of his backup singers.
Loo from WaterlooThat persistent DJ on The Rock of Chicago WLS that played this song into hit status was evening jock John Landecker.
George from Vancouver, CanadaToo bad the days of radios playing/promoting what they like from the thousands of records delivered for free are long gone.
Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn March 2nd 1975, "Lady" by Styx peaked at #6 (for 2 weeks) on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; it had entered the chart on December 8th, 1974 at position #95 and spent 17 weeks on the Top 100... Was track two on the quintet's 2nd studio album, 'Styx II', and the album peaked at #20 on Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart... As stated above it was composed by lead singer Dennis DeYoung; who celebrated his 67th birthday twenty days ago on February 18th (2014).
Veronica from Pleasntville, NjI always thought Tommy Shaw sang on the first recording of the song did not no he didn't record the song with them until I heard they rerecorded it in 1995. so I wonder why then I heard they had to in order to reliase (where is that spell check) it on their record at the time their was a lope hole in the contract they signed for wooden nickel see comment by Glen Burnie,MD
Mike from Castle Rock, Coslight correction to Deavid in Glendale, Ca. srry man... it wasnt 10 W 4, it was TW4. TW stands for Trade Winds
Sam from Hipsville, CaWhen i first saw the name styx in the SongFAQ section, i had thought they were talking about Butch Engle and the Styx, but that had to have been at least 10 years earlier...mid-sixties to be sure.
Daevid from Glendale, CaAlittle trivia for Styx fans------before they were "STYX" - their name was " 10 W 4 " glad someone had the good sense to rename the band with alittle more catchy spelling.
Bob from Millis, MaThis song was written about my aunt who dated the drummer or something who was later kicked out and it was titled woman or something like that, i don't know the details but it was written about her
Aaron from Boston, Mathis song was played in the movie Underdog.
Howard from Cortland, NyMy memory of this song is of when I saw Styx play try to play it as bottles & other debris flew from the audience on to the stage and grand piano of Mr. DeYoung. Unbelievably he didn't leave the stage till far into the tune. Styx was opening for the far superior band, Be Bop Deluxe, who most of you never heard of. I don't condone such a reaction to a performer. However, I did share the annoyance with the majority of the audience. Styx music and attitude was obnoxious. Note to those playing NYC, don't flex your bicepts when bending a note while playing guitar. The lead guitarist actually did that!
Randy from Colerain Twp., OhJay, from Glen Burnie, Tommy actually joined Styx in 1975. He joined them when JC left the band on the eve of the 'Equinox' tour, which was 1975. By 1976, he was in the studios with the rest of the band recording 'Crystal Ball'. Another song from the 'Wooden Nickel' era that I thought they should have re-recorded for the 'Greatest Hits 2' is 'Best Thing'.
Kaitlin from Toronto, OnThere was a hilarious scene in the short-lived television series, Freaks and Geeks where the character Nick Andopolis sang this song to his wierded out girlfriend Lindsay... greatest moment ever...
Cindy from Tempe, AzRandy in Colerain Twp, you're right about "Lady" being the song Tommy Shaw had to audition for and had to hit the high notes. Lady hit #6 on the charts in 1975 and was a very big hit. I remember it well.
Randy from Colerain Twp., OhHmmm... Something just donned on me- I believe that it was "Lady" that Tommy Shaw was asked to sing high notes on when he had auditioned for Styx. I wonder what song he would had to performed if this wasn't such a hit?
Randy from Colerain Twp., OhWell, considering that Dennis DeYoung and Suzanne had been married for a number of years, and that he is known to be an a**hole, she was entitled to have songs written about her for staying with him for so long- but I am not sure whether or not they are still a couple. There is a song on the 'Man of Miracles' album that is entitled "A Song for Suzanne", that was also dedicated to his wife. Folks, what other woman should he have had written love songs for?
Mike from St Louis, MoThis song is a great song and indicative of the kind of melodic rock that so marked the 70s. The guy who hates the 70s obviously does not know what he is talking about. If anything, the 70s was that period in rock with the most musical diversity and talent. It was the period of progressive rock, where rock groups were expected to put out stuff that actually sounded melodic, and where the singers actually can sing. You can't say that about rock today (not in the age of death metal and rap), and you certainly cannot say that about punk rock. Beauty in music today is dead.
Ben from Claremont, MnJust because it was overplayed doesn't mean it is a bad song... you never hear it on the radio anymore anyway, so maybe you should just forgive and forget. I know I'll have trouble ever liking "Lips of an Angel" and "Fergalicious". But I'll try, because I believe in equal opportunity.
Meg from Blahblahblah, Lawell no one likes "punkers" this is a great song that started the lovely styx up!
Sean from Colorado Springs, CoEarly punkers also laughed at Zeppelin, so we all know just how good their taste in music was, dont we? I wasnt around in the 70s to hear this song overplayed to death, so I enjoy it now.
Dirk from Nashville, TnIf there were an award for the dumbest rock anthem ever recorded, this one would probably win. Schmaltzy, stupid, geeky and gorky. The reason it was on the The Simpsons wasn't because it's a great song--it's because it's so laughably annoying. It helped make the 1970s a miserable decade.... On the other hand, the reaction to bombastic radio dreck like this song was the Punk era. The early punkers used to laugh at music like this.
Jay from Glen Burnie, Md"Lady 95" was recorded because A&M records did not own the rights to "Lady", and Wooden Nickel would not permit it to be used. Incidentially, "Lady 95" is the only studio recording of this song with Tommy Shaw. He joined the band in 1976.
Joshua from Twin Cities, MnStyx updated this song as "Lady '95" for their Greatest Hits compilation of that same year.
Stephanie from Denver, CoMy counsin's name is Lady and every time she had a birthday or a special ceremony, we would play that song. To Shell: It was a horribly beaten song that I couldn't stand in the 1970s
Jamie from Bethesda, MdThis song is covered by "the dan band" and featured in "old school" with Vince Vaugn Lip Synching. Good piece of comedy that is missed in the first couple of viewings of the movie.
Pete from Nowra, AustraliaStyx............. love em..........Babe ..what a great song
Kim from Portland, OrI saw a VHI segment about this. Dennis DeYoung's wife claims the song is about her and she feels she's entitled to some profits; they're still arguing about it.
Shell from Riverdale, GaWas beat to DEATH in the '70s. I still can hardly listen to it.
Robert from Chicago, IlSong got enormous airplay after Chicago station WLS played it as a request, giving the band local regognition. Earned a gold record for Styx II in 1974.