May 222016
 

From NO WAY TO TREAT A LADY

Written by Harriet Schock

This week, let’s go back to the seventies and review “Ain’t No Way To Treat A Lady,” a 1975 hit by one of the pop queens of that decade, Helen Reddy. The Australian songbird worked an impressive string of fifteen Top 40 hits including #1s like “I Am Woman,” “Delta Dawn” and “Angie Baby.” Ms. Reddy had a beautiful, sweet voice perfectly suited for the kind of soft rock/adult contemporary material that was successfully sung in those years by Barbra Streisand and Melissa Manchester. “Ain’t No Way To Treat A Lady” was another winner for Ms. Reddy and reached #8 on Billboard’s Hot 100 as well as #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

“Ain’t No Way To Treat A Lady” was written by a talented, though little-known singer/songwiter Harriet Schock. Ms. Schock had already included this song on her 1974 Hollywood Town album. Reddy’s version had big additions like a slick production by Joe Wissert who was also in the control room for Earth, Wind & Fire and Boz Scaggs plus a lush arrangement by the late, supremely talented Nick De Caro. Wissert and De Caro enlisted a young David Foster to gorgeously play the acoustic piano on the track. The future Hitman tickled the ivories with his trademark grace and expertise which provided the perfect back-up for Ms. Reddy’s soaring vocals. “Ain’t No Way To Treat A Lady” was a beautiful pop ballad with a memorable hook and non-trivial lyrics. Its value was recognized with a Grammy nod as Best Pop Vocal Performance Female.

The song’s parent album, No Way To Treat A Lady, was certified gold and went all the way to #11 on Billboard’s Top 200. It incorporated other pop gems including “Bluebird,” a breezy number written by Leon Russell that was another Top 40 hit, and the Latin-tinged “Birthday Song” written by Don McLean. The whole album was a platform for Ms. Reddy’s fantastic voice, but it also showcased De Caro’s superior arranging skills. Although No Way To Treat A Lady didn’t include the musicians’ names on the liner notes, it is pretty easy to recognize Foster’s playing on several of the songs along with other greats like Lee Ritenour on guitar.


Listen

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Lead Vocals: Helen Reddy
Piano: David Foster

Arranged & Conducted by Nick De Caro
Produced by Joe Wissert


Lyrics

I guess it was yourself you were involved with
I would have sworn it was me
I might have found out sooner if
You’d only let me close enough to see

That ain’t no way to treat a lady
No way to treat your baby, your woman, your friend
That ain’t no way to treat a lady, no way
But maybe it’s a way for us to end

I was only bein’ a picture
With all the colors I know
While you were busy looking into
Wide blue mirrors and lovin’ the show

That ain’t no way to treat a lady
No way to treat your baby, your woman, your friend
That ain’t no way to treat a lady, no way
But maybe it’s a way for us to end

There’s a funny kind of consolation keepin’ me sane

And I’d really like to share it crawl on deep in my brain
You see the times you never felt me lovin’ you or needin’ you
So leavin’ you now you still won’t know how to feel the pain

I was lookin’ out for my happiness
While you were looking within
And before you know your own reflection
Always starts to tire you and it’s happened again

That ain’t no way to treat a lady
No way to treat your baby, your woman, your friend
That ain’t no way to treat a lady, no way
But maybe it’s a way for us to end

That ain’t no way to treat a lady
No way to treat your baby, your woman, your friend
That ain’t no way to treat a lady, no way
But maybe it’s a way for us to end