|Single by Fleetwood Mac|
|from the album Bare Trees|
|"Sunny Side of Heaven"|
|Single by Bob Welch|
|from the album French Kiss|
|"Hot Love, Cold World"|
|Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie|
|Bob Welch singles chronology|
"Sentimental Lady" is a song written by Bob Welch. It was originally recorded for Fleetwood Mac's 1972 album Bare Trees, but was re-recorded by Welch on his debut solo album, French Kiss, in 1977. It is a romantic song, originally written for Welch's first wife. Welch recorded it again in 2003 for his album His Fleetwood Mac Years & Beyond.
The original 1972 version of the song as heard on Fleetwood Mac's Bare Trees album clocked in at 4 minutes 34 seconds, with background vocals by Christine McVie, who was not as well known then as she was during the band's peak years with Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. It had two verses, with a reprise of the first following the instrumental bridge.
A 1977 re-recording, the most well-known version of the song, was a solo hit for Welch when he recorded it for his first solo album, French Kiss, which was released in September 1977. The first single released from the album, "Sentimental Lady" reached the top 10 in both the U.S. Pop and Adult Contemporary charts.
Mick Fleetwood was invited to play the drums for the song on Welch's 1977 album. The re-recording of it featured Christine McVie and Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac as backing singers and producers (with Buckingham additionally doing the arrangement as well as serving on guitar), but unlike the original which had 2 verses, Welch's solo version only had 1 verse to cut it down to less than 3 minutes for the final radio cut.
The original placeholder/dummy lyrics for the chorus before the full lyrics were written was, "my legs are sticks and my feet are stones." The song has a notable introduction with a multilayered guitar piece by Lindsey Buckingham.
Welch told Songfacts.com: "The lyric was probably referencing my first wife (at the time) Nancy." In the song, he personifies the love of his life as a "sentimental, gentle wind [that is] blowing through my life again."
Donald Brackett, in his 2007 book, Fleetwood Mac, 40 Years of Creative Chaos has discussed Welch's poetic romantic lyrics in Sentimental Lady and writing and performing style. He describes the featuring of the song on the 1972 album Bare Trees as the best example of the group's move towards a new, softer and highly commercial style in the early 1970s. Brackett suggests that the essence of the lyrics and nature of the song are "almost too gentle", but describes Welch's voice as like "crushed velvet", in that he believes the voice is simultaneously gentle and threatening in tone, a symbolic balance between the emotions of hope and despair. He later says of Welch's song writing, "Welch had the unique ability to encapsulate in a single song the travails of personal intimacy as well as the larger social picture in which we all lived".