Dark Lady (song)

Dark Lady (song)
"Dark Lady"
Single by Cher
from the album Dark Lady
B-side "Two People Clinging To A Thread"
"Carousel Man" (Argentina)
Released February 1974
Format 7"
Recorded 1973/74
Genre Pop, rock, adult contemporary
Length 3:27
Label MCA
Writer(s) Johnny Durrell
Producer Snuff Garrett
Cher singles chronology
Carousel Man"
"Dark Lady"
"Train of Thought"
Audio sample
file info · help

"Dark Lady" is an pop rock song recorded by American singer actress Cher from eleventh studio album, Dark Lady. Produced by Snuff Garrett, it was released as the album's first single in early 1974. The song became Cher's third solo U.S. number one hit on March 23, 1974 and her last until "Believe" a quarter-century later.[1]


Song information and story

"Dark Lady" was written by The Ventures keyboard player Johnny Durrill. He recalled: "I spent a week in his (Snuff Garrett's) office playing him songs, one of which Cher recorded. Later, when I was on tour in Japan with the Ventures, I was writing an interesting song. I telegraphed the unfinished lyrics to Garrett. He said to 'make sure the bitch kills him.' Hence, in the song both the lover and fortune teller were killed." [2]

The "Dark Lady" of the song's title is a fortune teller. The narrator of the song learns that her lover has been unfaithful to her with, as the fortune teller says, "someone else who is very close to you." The narrator returns home in a state of shock and then realizes that she had once smelled, in her own room, the perfume the fortune teller had been wearing. She races back to the fortune teller's place with a gun and catches her lover and the fortune teller "laughing and kissing", and shoots them both to death in a fit of rage.

In 1974, "Dark Lady" topped the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 for one week, becoming Cher's third solo #1 hit. The song was also a #1 hit in Canada and Sweden, a top ten hit in Norway and a top twenty hit in the Netherlands. Like Half-Breed, the song struggled in West Germany and the UK, though it managed to reach top forty status in the UK.

Music video

The live version, and the cartoon version.

There are two version of the video. The first version of the video is a live performance that was aired in the third season of The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour in 1973. In this performance Cher was dressed in all black and was wearing a black veil on her head. The second video of the song is a cartoon. This second video follows the whole story of the song.

In 2002, a special remix medley was created by Dan-O-Rama for a video montage that was used in Cher's Living Proof: The Farewell Tour. The medley contains videos of "All I Really Want to Do", "Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves", "Half-Breed" and "Dark Lady". Unlike the other videos "Dark Lady" was unique because both the live and the cartoon videos had been mixed.

In 1999, Cher performed this song throughout her Do You Believe? Tour, for the first time in twenty-five years. In 2002, she performed the song 325 times in her Living Proof: The Farewell Tour.

Cher performed the song on the following concert tours:

Formats and track listing

  • UK and US 7"
  1. "Dark Lady" – 3:26
  2. "Two People Clinging To A Thread" – 2:40
  • Argentina 7"
  1. "Dark Lady" – 3:26
  2. "Carousel Man" – 3:02
  • White Label 2002 Promo Remix
  1. "Dark Lady" (White Label Remix) – 7:25

Credits and personnel

  • Cher – vocals
  • Johnny Durrell – lyrics
  • Snuff Garrett – producer

Charts, certifications and procession


Chart (1974) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 1
U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks 3
Belgian Singles Chart 22
Canadian Hot 100[3] 2
Dutch Mega Top 50 Singles Chart[4] 15
New Zealand Singles Chart 11
Norwegian Singles Chart[5] 10
South African Singles Chart[6] 4
Swedish Singles Chart 1
UK Singles Chart[7] 36


Region Certification Sales/shipments
United States (RIAA)[8] Gold 1,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone


Preceded by
"Seasons in the Sun" by Terry Jacks
U.S. Billboard Billboard Hot 100 number one single
March 23, 1974 – March 30, 1974
Succeeded by
"Sunshine on My Shoulders" by John Denver

Other versions

In 1974 Lea Laven recorded the Finnish rendering of "Dark Lady" entitled "Tumma nainen": the track was featured on Laven's Niin album and with the title cut "Tumma nainen" became a double A-side Top Ten hit in Finland affording Laven her career record. "Tumma nainen" was also recorded by Ami Aspelund for her 1974 Ami album.


  1. ^ Lamb, Bill. "Adam Lambert Songs - The Songs Performed on American Idol". About.com. http://top40.about.com/od/adamlambert/tp/adamlambertsongs.htm. Retrieved 2009-10-18. 
  2. ^ "Dark Lady". Songfacts.com. http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=2914. Retrieved 2009-12-29. 
  3. ^ Canadian Singles Chart
  4. ^ "Dark Lady" in Dutch Singles Chart [1] . Retrieved October 31, 2010.
  5. ^ "Dark Lady" in Norwegian Singles Chart [2] . Retrieved October 31, 2010.
  6. ^ South Africa Singles Chart
  7. ^ UK Singles Chart
  8. ^ "American single certifications – Cher – Dark Lady". Recording Industry Association of America. http://www.riaa.com/goldandplatinumdata.php?artist=%22Dark+Lady%22.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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