The song originally appeared 1973’s Styx II, but it wasn’t originally successful when released as a single. “Lady” finally began to gain traction the following year, soaring all the way to No. 6 in March 1975. By then, Styx had already released their fourth album, Man of Miracles
DeYoung faced a return to schoolteaching, until “this guy, this programmer director Jim Smith, goes and picks ‘Lady’ out of thin air. I would have been done in music if ‘Lady’ hadn’t been a hit. I look at it and I think, ‘Wow! What a pivotal moment that that happened to me.’ It’s unbelievable to me, when I look back on it, how close we were to failure.”
He says he “always knew how close we were to complete failure” and that it had “made a big impression.” Of course, success often comes with a price, DeYoung added.