|"Ain't No Way to Treat a Lady"|
|Single by Helen Reddy|
|from the album No Way to Treat a Lady|
|"Long Time Looking"|
|Helen Reddy singles chronology|
"Ain't No Way to Treat a Lady" is the title of a 1975 top ten hit by Helen Reddy.
An apparent farewell to a self-absorbed lover, "Ain't No Way to Treat a Lady" was first recorded by its composer Harriet Schock, who recalled having written its first verse and title on a serviette (napkin) on a plane while "leaving someone for...one of the last times I left him for the last time". The song was introduced on Schock's 1974 album Hollywood Town and issued as a single. Schock states that the program director at a key Los Angeles radio station was taken with the track but found its arrangement slow. 20th Century Records obligingly had Schock cut a brisker version which was delivered to the radio station on a Friday to start airing the following Monday. Schock recalls: "Well, Sunday the program director had a fight with someone at the station and quit." [attribution needed]
Despite the failure of Schock's own single version of "Ain't No Way to Treat a Lady" - and also that of a concurrent cover by a group named LAX - the song gained a reasonably high-profile via its inclusion on the 1974 album One Hell of a Woman by Vikki Carr. In 1975, Helen Reddy recorded "Ain't No Way to Treat a Lady" for an album which was entitled No Way to Treat a Lady. Personnel on Reddy's album included guitarist Lee Ritenour.
Although the choice of lead single from No Way to Treat a Lady went to the Leon Russell song "Bluebird", the influential LA radio station 93 KHJ began playing "Ain't No Way to Treat a Lady" resulting in its release as a single in August 1975 with a chart peak that October of #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 (#5 on the Cash Box Top 100 Singles chart).
"Ain't No Way to Treat a Lady" reached #1 on the Billboard Easy Listening charts on October 4, 1975. Although Helen Reddy would have one further Easy Listening #1 - "I Can't Hear You No More" - for a total of eight, "Ain't No Way to Treat a Lady" would be Reddy's final single to go Top Ten Pop. "Ain't No Way to Treat a Lady" was also a hit (#12) in New Zealand and became Reddy's final chart item in her native Australia at #94.
Schock has suggested that while her intent in writing "Ain't No Way to Treat a Lady" was to reference a specific personal experience, the song has come to be seen as a statement of how women are generally treated by men "because it was a hit by [Helen Reddy], the same artist who spoke so widely for all women in 'I Am Woman' ... [and] apparently other women wanted to say [what Schock's song says] to someone. I received a number of calls from women telling me it was just the kick they needed to get that divorce."
A disco version of "Ain't No Way to Treat a Lady" was recorded by Gonzalez and issued as the followup to their 1979 hit "Haven't Stopped Dancin' Yet" but it was not a success. The song has also been recorded by Anita Sarawak and - in Swahili - by Letta Mbulu. A Finnish rendition of the song: "Sä Tunnet Mun", was recorded by Eija Merilä (fi) while the French rendition " Je Veux T'aimer Comme Une Femme" was recorded by Mireille Mathieu.
A different song with the same title was written by Floyd Rose and performed by his band Q5 on their 1984 album Steel the Light. This song was covered by Great White twice. The first version is on their 1996 album Let It Rock, with lead singer Jack Russell singing in his normal range. The second version is included on the 2002 Great White tribute album, Recover, with Russell singing higher. This latter version is played and sung with a harder rock edge.
In 2005, Raven Records Australia reissued the song as a two-fer with "One Way Ticket" included as a bonus track.