Commodores

Three Times a Lady

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 Motown 6:38
Greatest Hits 1978 Motown 6:36
No Image 1978 Motown
All the Great Hits 1982 Motown 3:37
The Commodores Anthology 1983 Motown 6:42
14 Greatest Hits 1983 Motown
All the Great Love Songs 1984 Motown 3:38
The Composer: Great Love Songs with the Commodores and Diana Ross 1985 Motown 6:38
Great Motown Love Songs - Three Times a Lady 1986
Various Artists
Motown 3:38
Motown Legends: Love Songs 1987
Various Artists
Universal Special Products / PSM 3:36
Every Great Motown Song, Vol. 2: The 1970's 1989
Various Artists
Motown 3:38
No Image 1990
Various Artists
Motown
Heart Rock, Vol. 2 1992
Various Artists
3:36
Hitsville USA, Vol. 2: The Motown Singles Collection 1972-1992 1993
Various Artists
Motown 3:39
Soul Devotion [Alex] 1994
Various Artists
3:36
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
Quiet Storm 1995
Various Artists
Malaco 6:38
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
The Ultimate Collection 1997 Motown 6:38
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
Solid Gold Soul: Soul Gems 1998
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 3:39
No Image 1998
Various Artists
Razor & Tie
Body + Soul: Love Serenade [1999] 1999
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 6:40
Kuschelrock Special Edition 1999
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution
Election 1999
Original Soundtrack
Sire 3:38
With Love [Universal] 1999
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 3:37
20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: Best of the Commodores 1999 Motown 6:40
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
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
Spectrum Music 3:38
Love Unlimited 2001
Various Artists
Telstar TV Records 3:36
Motown All Time Greatest Hits 2001
Various Artists
UMVD 3:36
Ultimate Power of Body & Soul 2002
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 3:38
The Definitive Collection 2003 Motown / Universal Distribution / Universal International 3:39
Rhythm, Love and Soul: The Sexiest Songs of R&B [WQED] 2003
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution / Shout! Factory 3:38
Rhythm, Love and Soul: The Sexiest Songs of R&B [Shout] 2003
Various Artists
Shout! Factory 3:38
Motown Greatest Hits 2003
Various Artists
Universal Music TV 3:37
Drivetime [Universal] 2003
Various Artists
Universal Music 3:36
Wedding Songs [Time Life] 2004
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 3:40
Motown Number 1's 2004
Various Artists
Motown / UTV 3:38
Brick House 2004 Motown / PolyGram / PSM / Universal 3:37
Classic Soul Ballads: Sweet Thing [2 CD] 2004
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 3:39
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
Peabo Bryson Presents Classic Soul Ballads 2005
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 0:00
Ultimate 16: Lite FM Body and Soul 2005
Various Artists
Madacy 6:39
Gold 2006 Hip-O / Motown 6:40
The Love Songs Album [#3] 2006
Various Artists
Universal International 3:38
#1 Hits of the 70s [Madacy] 2006
Various Artists
Madacy 6:38
The State I'm In 2006
Various Artists
Hip-O 3:38
Billboard #1s: The '70s 2006
Various Artists
Rhino 3:38
True Drivetime 2006
Various Artists
Spectrum Music 3:36
#1 Rock and Roll Hits 2006
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 6:38
To Go: Stick It in Your Ear 2006 Motown 6:41
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
No Image 2007
Various Artists
Motown 3:38
Motown Legends Love Songs 2007
Various Artists
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
Classic Soul Ballads [Time Life Box Set] 2007
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 3:39
A Mother's Day Tribute 2008
Various Artists
Hip-O 3:37
The Ultimate Collection 100 Hits: Love 2008
Various Artists
Union Square Music 3:38
Gold 2008 Motown 6:42
Motown 50 Fanthology 2008
Various Artists
Universal 0:00
Motown: The Complete #1s 2008
Various Artists
Motown 3:38
20th Century Masters -- The Millennium Collection: The Best of 1978 2008
Various Artists
Universal
Memories of Motown 2009
Various Artists
Motown / Universal Music 3:39
Love Songs 2009 Motown 6:41
No Image 2009
Various Artists
Spectrum Music
The Definitive Collection 2009 Motown 6:38
Motortown Review 2009
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 3:37
The Best Collection 2009 Universal / Universal Music 6:39
Motown 50: Love 2009
Various Artists
Universal Music TV 3:37
Sweet Soul of the '70s: Just to Be Close to You 2009
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 3:39
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
Romantically Yours: Being with You 2012
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 6:40
Greatest Ever Mum: The Definitive Collection 2014
Various Artists
Greatest Ever / Union Square Music 3:39
Acoustic '70s [Warner] 2017
Various Artists
Rhino / Warner Music
Timeless Love Songs [2018] 2018
Various Artists
Universal 3:41
'70s Soul Number 1's
Various Artists
Motown / Universal 3:37
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
All Time Ballads
Various Artists
Universal 3:39
No Image Navarre
No Image
Various Artists
Universal 3:39
Love 70's [International Version]
Various Artists
Universal 3:37
Love Songs Number 1's
Various Artists
Universal 3:37
No Image
Various Artists
Universal Music 3:36
Romantically Yours
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 6:40
No Image
Various Artists
Allegro
The Best of 1978: 20th Century Masters
Various Artists
Universal 6:42
The Greatest Love Songs of the '70s
Various Artists
Time Life 3:39
The Motown Story
Various Artists
Universal 3:37