Devil Woman

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"Devil Woman"
Devil Woman - Cliff Richard.jpg
Cover of 1982 UK re-release
Single by Cliff Richard
from the album I'm Nearly Famous
B-side"Love on Shine On"
Released23 April 1976
Format7-inch single
Recorded8–9 September 1975
StudioAbbey Road Studios, London
GenrePop rock
LabelRocket, EMI
Songwriter(s)Terry Britten, Christine Holmes
Producer(s)Bruce Welch
Cliff Richard singles chronology
"Miss You Nights"
"Devil Woman"
"I Can't Ask for Anymore Than You"
Music video
"Devil Woman" on YouTube

"Devil Woman" is a 1976 single by British singer Cliff Richard from his album I'm Nearly Famous.

A worldwide hit on its original release, the song saw a resurgence in popularity after appearing in the film I, Tonya (2017), as the theme for the character of LaVona Golden, played by Allison Janney.

The song was written by Terry Britten and Christine Holmes (singer of the Family Dogg). The song is told from the point of a view of a man jinxed from an encounter with a stray cat with evil eyes, and his discovery that the psychic medium (a Gypsy woman) whose help he sought to break the curse was the one responsible for the curse in the first place. However, the nature of the curse is not made clear.

Original release[edit]

Released in late-April 1976, "Devil Woman" made it's way up to #9 on the singles chart in the UK in June 1976. However, it became Richard's first single to reach the Top 20 in the US, making number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100, Richard's highest-peaking single and biggest seller in the US. "Devil Woman" is the third biggest-selling Cliff Richard single with over two million copies sold worldwide.[1][2] It was certified Gold by the RIAA in the US and the CRIA in Canada.[3][4]

The musicians featured on the recording are Terry Britten on guitar, Alan Tarney on bass, Clem Cattini on drums, Graham Todd on keyboards, and Tony Rivers, John Perry and A. Harding on backing vocals, with string arrangements by Richard Hewson. The song is heavily guitar-driven, with soft-distortion lines doubling the melody in the chorus and long, high, sustained single notes providing atmosphere over the verses. A Rhodes electric piano, bass guitar, drums and percussion are the only other instruments.

Snow White Pantomime version[edit]

The song was used for the show by Stageability named "Snow White: The Pantomime" originally in Act 2 Scene 2 before being put in Act 1 Scene 6, replacing Queen of the Night. Part of the song was cut down and the controllers changed the fading out to stopping before the character of Evilena said the word "Boo!"

Chart performance[edit]

Popular culture[edit]

The song was included in the soundtrack of the biographical black comedy film I, Tonya. The song served as the theme song for the character of LaVona Golden, the abusive, brazen and cold mother of figure skater Tonya Harding. Golden was portrayed by Allison Janney, who won an Oscar for the role.

The song appeared in the season 12 episode of Family Guy, "Mom's the Word", during a montage of Peter and his mother's friend Ruth spending the day together while she tries to seduce him.

In 2018, the song was also used in the soundtrack for the supernatural horror television show, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, produced by Netflix.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Steve Turner (2008), Cliff Richard, p. 274, ISBN 9780745952796
  2. ^ "William's Cliff Chart Site - Cliff Richard World Singles". Archived from the original on 2 June 2013. Retrieved 15 May 2006.
  3. ^ "American certifications – "Richard, Cliff"". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
  4. ^ "Canadian certifications – Cliff Richard". Music Canada. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
  5. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. Australian Chart Book, St Ives, N.S.W. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  6. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 26, No. 3, October 16, 1976". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
  7. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". 4 September 1976. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  8. ^ "CHUM Chart". Archived from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 9 June 2018.|
  9. ^ Refer to the Top 20/30 tab: "Denmark singles chart - Devil Woman". Retrieved 17 June 2014.
  10. ^ "France singles positions". Dominic DURAND / Infodisc. Archived from the original on 4 November 2015. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
  11. ^ "Ireland singles charts". Archived from the original on 3 June 2009. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
  12. ^ "Italy singles chart positions". Retrieved 17 June 2014.
  13. ^ " – Cliff Richard – Devil Woman". Top 40 Singles.
  14. ^ " – Cliff Richard – Devil Woman". VG-lista.
  15. ^ As presented on Springbok Radio/Radio Orion: "South African Charts 1969 - 1989". Retrieved 14 June 2014.
  16. ^ "Cliff Richard: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company.
  17. ^ "Cliff Richard Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  18. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-1993. Record Research. p. 200.
  19. ^ Steffen Hung. "Forum - 1970 (ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts)". Archived from the original on 2 June 2016. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  20. ^ "Top Singles – Volume 26, No. 14 & 15, January 08 1977". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Archived from the original on 19 March 2016. Retrieved 13 June 2016.
  21. ^ "Top Selling Singles of 1976 | The Official New Zealand Music Chart". Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  22. ^ "Top 20 Hit Singles of 1976". Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  23. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1976/Top 100 Songs of 1976". Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  24. ^ "Cash Box YE Pop Singles - 1976". 25 December 1976. Archived from the original on 21 October 2014. Retrieved 2 November 2015.