Devil woman Cliff Richard
Song Title: Devil woman
Artist: Cliff Richard
Date of release: 23rd of April 1976
Description: ” Devil woman ” is by Cliff Richard ( Harry Rodger Webb ), the British pop singer, musician, performer and actor. The song was written by Terry Britten and Christine Holmes.
Terry Britten is an English songwriter who, along with co-writer Graham Lyle, picked up Grammy Award for Song of the Year in 1985 for writing Tina Turner’s 1984 hit ” What’s love got to do with it “. He has also written songs for artists including Michael Jackson, Tina Turner, Olivia Newton-John and Status Quo.
Terry’s co-writer for this song was Christine Holmes. Christine was a member and lead singer of The Family Dogg. The group formed in England in 1966 and was best known for their debut Album ” A way of life “.
The song was produced by Bruce Welch ( Bruce Cripps ), Bruce is a member of The Shadows, who are a British instrumental rock group and backing band for Cliff. Bruce co-wrote along with drummer Brian Bennett ” Summer holiday ” a UK Number One in 1963 for Cliff Richard and The Shadows.
The song was released on the 23rd of April 1976 by record labels EMI (UK) and Rocket (US) and taken as the second single from Cliff’s 1976 Album ” I’m nearly famous “.
Cliff recorded the song on the 8th and 9th of September 1975 at the World famous Abbey Road studios in the City of Westminster, London. Cliff had been shown the song months earlier but rejected it. Bruce Welch thought the song was right for Cliff to record and eventually Cliff was persuaded.
It is not known why Cliff initially wouldn’t record the song, many think the reason is because of the original fortune-telling content and Cliff’s Christian beliefs. He agreed only after being allowed to edit some of the original lyrics, it is not known which of the original lyrics were changed.
” Devil woman ” is about a man who is jinxed when he encounters a stray cat with evil yellow eyes, after seeking help from a Gypsy woman, a psychic, to break the curse he finds out it is the Gypsy who puts the curse on him in the first place.
It was quite controversial at the time, many thought the song was about Occult and Witchcraft. At the time of the song’s release horror films The Exorcist and Carrie were popular in cinemas and frightening just about everyone who watched them.
However songwriters Terry Britten and Christine Holmes both said the song is actually about a fortune-telling Gypsy who goes out to seduce a man. Cliff never mentions or pays any reference to witchcraft or the Occult in the lyrics of the song.
In 1976 ” Devil woman ” may have caused some controversy with misunderstood lyrical meaning, years later however more controversy was caused when Britpop band Oasis released a single called ” The turning “.
The band was accused of plagiarizing ” Devil woman “, Janine Castle of the International Cliff Richard Movement said ” I’m astounded Oasis used Cliff as their muse – but delighted. I can hear the similarities “. She added that ” It’s about time Cliff’s musical genius got some recognition “.
A fan posted on the official Cliff Richard forum ” The intro is almost identical to the point that you can actually play Cliff’s song along with Oasis’ song at the same time and it fits perfectly “. Neither Cliff or Oasis commented publicly about the accusations.
” Devil woman ” was a commercial success for Cliff. In the United States the song peaked at number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart and spent 22 weeks on the chart there.
In the United Kingdom the song entered the UK chart on the 8th of May 1976 and peaked at number 9, it spent 1 week in the top ten and a total of 8 weeks on the UK chart.
The song is Cliff’s third biggest-selling single with over two Million Worldwide sales.
BillBoard Highest Chart Position: 6
UK Highest Chart Position: 9
Other Countries Highest Chart Positions: Australia (Kent Music Report) 3, Canada (RPM 100 Singles) 4, Denmark (Tracklisten) 12, France (SNEP) 8, Ireland (IRMA) 6, Italy (FIMI) 39, New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ) 5, Norway (VG-lista) 7, South Africa (Springbok Radio) 1
Official Website: Cliffrichard.org
FaceBook Page: Facebook.com/sircliffrichard
Wikipedia Page: Wikipedia.org/CliffRichard