Commodores

Three Times a Lady

Composed by Lionel Richie

Song Review by

Picking eight songs for the Commodores' next album was an intense exercise. Encouraged by manager Benny Ashburn and producer James Anthony Carmichael, the six-man band was encouraged to submit their original songs for consideration. Quite naturally, this led to arguments and heated competition for the coveted slots. That is until Lionel Richie submitted "Three Times a Lady." Right off the bat, everyone agreed that the gentle, wispy ballad should be included on their upcoming Natural High album. Richie's inspiration for the song came after he attended his parents' 37th wedding anniversary and heard his father voice his appreciation for his wife. Released as the first single, some were puzzled why the band would put out a ballad during the commercial zenith of disco. "Three Times a Lady" stayed at number one R&B and pop for two weeks and number one adult contemporary in the summer of 1978. The Natural High LP went platinum, parking at number one R&B for eight weeks, peaking at number three pop, and yielding the number 21 R&B/number 38 pop single "Flying High" and the radio-aired favorites "Say Yeah," "I Like What You Do," and "Fire Girl."

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
No Image 1973
Various Artists
Motown
Natural High 1978 Digital / Universal 6:39
Greatest Hits 1978 Motown
No Image 1978 Motown
All the Great Hits 1982 Motown 3:37
The Commodores Anthology 1983 Island / Motown / Universal 6:42
No Image 1983 Motown
No Image 1984
Various Artists
Motown
Great Motown Love Songs - Three Times a Lady 1986
Various Artists
Motown 3:37
No Image 1987
Various Artists
Motown
Every Great Motown Song, Vol. 2: The 1970's 1989
Various Artists
Motown 3:38
No Image 1990
Various Artists
Motown
No Image 1990
Various Artists
Motown
No Image 1991 Motown
Heart Rock, Vol. 2 1992
Various Artists
Alex 3:36
Hitsville USA, Vol. 2: The Motown Singles Collection 1972-1992 1993
Various Artists
Motown 3:39
Soul Devotion [Alex] 1994
Various Artists
Alex 3:36
Motown: The Hits Collection, Vol. 1 1994
Various Artists
Motown 3:39
Radio City Love Songs, Vol. 3 1994
Various Artists
Columbia
Soul Train: Hall of Fame, 20th Anniversary 1994
Various Artists
Rhino 3:38
Slow Jams: The 70's, Vol. 4 1995
Various Artists
The Right Stuff / Capitol 3:36
Motown Love Songs: Motown Milestones 1995
Various Artists
Motown 3:35
The Very Best of the Commodores 1995 Island 3:38
Motown Love Songs 1996
Various Artists
BCI-Eclipse Distribution / Eclipse Music Group 3:36
#1 Hits: 1975-1979 1996
Various Artists
GNP/Crescendo 3:37
Bang & Olufsen: A New View on Music [Blue Cover] 1996
Various Artists
Polygram 3:37
No Image 1997 Island / Motown / Universal 6:39
AM Gold: 1978 1997
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:39
Motown 40 Forever 1998
Various Artists
Motown 3:38
Songs You Know by Heart: Motown, Vol. 3 1998
Various Artists
Unison
Class Reunion: The Greatest Hits of 1978 1998
Various Artists
PSM 3:35
Live! [Sound Barrier] 1998 Sound Barrier 8:12
Solid Gold Soul: Soul Gems 1998
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:39
No Image 1998
Various Artists
Razor & Tie
The Very Best of the Love Album 1999
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:36
Body + Soul: Love Serenade [1999] 1999
Various Artists
Time/Life Music
Kuschelrock Special Edition 1999
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 3:39
Election 1999
Original Soundtrack
Sire 3:38
With Love [Universal] 1999
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 3:37
Sounds of the 70's [Global TV] 1999
Various Artists
Global TV 3:37
Motown Chartbusters, Vols. 7-12 [Box Set] 1999
Various Artists
Polygram 3:38
Legends of Music: Soul of the 70s, Vol. 1 2000
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Legends of Music Collection 3:38
Perfect Love, Vol. 3 2000
Various Artists
Global TV 3:35
Drivetime Triple Set 2000
Various Artists
Spectrum Music 3:36
Number One Motown 2000
Various Artists
Polygram 3:38
Burning Hearts: Best Sad Songs for Your Soul 2000
Various Artists
Empire DisK / Polygram
No Image 2000
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 6:40
Back to Black: 1900-1999 2001
Various Artists
Universal International 3:39
Motown Chartbusters, Vol. 10 2001
Various Artists
Polygram 3:38
Love Unlimited 2001
Various Artists
Telstar TV Records 3:36
Singers And Songwriters: 1977-1979 2001
Various Artists
Time/Life Music
Love So Strong 2002
Various Artists
WSM / Warner Music
Last Dance [Spectrum] 2002
Various Artists
Spectrum Music
Ultimate Power of Body & Soul 2002
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 3:38
No Image 2002
Various Artists
Universal 3:40
Super Sweet: For Lovers Only 2003
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution
Rhythm, Love and Soul: The Sexiest Songs of R&B [WQED] 2003
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution / Shout! Factory 3:38
Amour [Universal] 2003
Various Artists
Universal Distribution
Rhythm, Love and Soul: The Sexiest Songs of R&B [Shout] 2003
Various Artists
Shout! Factory 3:38
Sweet Memories: 18 Love Classics 2003
Various Artists
Universal Distribution
No Image 2003
Various Artists
ZYX Music
Motown Greatest Hits 2003
Various Artists
Universal Music TV 3:37
Romance: The Most Loved Songs Ever 2003
Various Artists
Universal Distribution
Wedding Songs [Time Life] 2004
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:40
Sexual Soul 2004
Various Artists
Motown
Motown Number 1's 2004
Various Artists
Motown / UTV 3:38
Biggest & Best Ballads 2004
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 3:37
Brick House 2004 Motown 3:40
Capital Gold Soul Classics 2004
Various Artists
Universal Music TV
Tonight I Celebrate My Love 2004
Various Artists
Platinum Legends 3:37
100 Love Songs 2005
Various Artists
Madacy
Midnight Soul: Late Night Love 2005
Various Artists
The Right Stuff / Capitol 3:38
Old School Soul Party 2005
Various Artists
Shout! Factory/TJL 6:39
Old School Love Songs, Vol. 7 2005
Various Artists
Thump Records 6:40
Ultimate Wedding Songs 2005
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:38
Dancing in the Streets: Motowns Greatest Hits 2005
Various Artists
Universal Music TV 3:37
New Love Songs Collection 2005
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:37
Ultimate 16: Lite FM Body and Soul 2005
Various Artists
Madacy 6:39
The Love Songs Album [#3] 2006
Various Artists
Universal International 3:38
#1 Hits of the 70s [Madacy] 2006
Various Artists
Madacy 6:38
#1 Hits of the Summer: Hot Hits 2006
Various Artists
Collectables 3:38
To Mum Love Motown 2006
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 3:37
Billboard #1s: The '70s 2006
Various Artists
Rhino 3:38
Motown: The Ultimate Collection 2006
Various Artists
Universal Distribution
Greatest Ever! Number 1's: The Definitive Collection 2006
Various Artists
Union Square Music
No Image 2006
Various Artists
Universal 3:36
#1 Rock and Roll Hits 2006
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 6:38
Universal Masters Motown 2006
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 3:37
Essential Love [Madacy] 2007
Various Artists
Madacy 3:38
Casey Kasem Presents: The Long Distance Dedications 2007
Various Artists
Top Sail Productions 3:37
One Love [Universal] 2007
Various Artists
Universal Music TV 3:35
#1 Slow Jam Hits 2007
Various Artists
Madacy 6:39
To Mum With Love 2007
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 3:38
Number 1's: Love Songs 2007
Various Artists
Hip-O 3:37
Motown Legends Love Songs 2007
Various Artists
Motown / UMVD 3:36
Prime 17: Ultimate Soul #1 Hits 2007
Various Artists
Direct Source 3:37
Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 2007 Sound Barrier 3:35
No Image 2007
Various Artists
Dick Clark's American Bandstand 50th Anniversary 2007
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:38
Dick Clark's American Bandstand, Vol. 1: Best Of The Spotlight Dances 2007
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:38
Best of Motown, Vol. 2 2008
Various Artists
Motown / Universal Distribution 3:38
No Image 2008
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 3:35
The 70s Collection 2008
Various Artists
Brunswick 6:39
The Ultimate Collection 100 Hits: Love 2008
Various Artists
Union Square Music 3:38
Gold 2008 Polystar 3:37
Motown 50 Fanthology 2008
Various Artists
Motown / Strategic Marketing 3:37
Motown: The Complete No. 1's 2008
Various Artists
Motown / Island/Def Jam / Universal Music 3:38
No Image 2008 Universal 3:35
Love Songs 2009 Motown 6:41
Rock & Roll '70s 2009
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 6:38
Motown 50 Essentials Box 2009
Various Artists
Motown / Universal
The Definitive Collection 2009 Motown / Uni 6:42
Motortown Review 2009
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:37
Motown 50: Love 2009
Various Artists
Universal 3:37
Sweet Soul of the '70s: Just to Be Close to You 2009
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:39
Greatest Ever! Mum [2010] 2010
Various Artists
Greatest Ever 3:38
Total Motown 2010
Various Artists
Spectrum Music 3:39
Romancing the '70s 2010
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:38
The Motown Collection 2010
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:37
Sweet Soul of the '70s [Time Life] 2011
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:39
Motown Anthems 2012
Various Artists
Universal Music TV 3:37
Romantically Yours: Being with You 2012
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 6:40
100 Essential Love Songs
Various Artists
Universal Music 3:37
202 Motown Songs: The Complete #1's
Various Artists
Island/Def Jam / Universal Music 3:38
70's Soul
Various Artists
Universal 3:41
No Image
Various Artists
Eva 3:38
No Image Navarre
De Pre Historie: 1978, Vol. 1
Various Artists
Eva 3:35
Introduction to the Motown Elite 9000 Series
Various Artists
Motown 3:36
No Image
Various Artists
Universal 3:39
Love 70's [International Version]
Various Artists
Universal 3:37
Motown Collection, Vol. 5
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:37
Romantically Yours
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 6:40
The Greatest Love [Telstar]
Various Artists
Telstar 3:39
The Last Dance [Ireland on Sunday]
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 3:37
The Motown Story
Various Artists
Universal 3:37
blue highlight denotes editor's pick