Cover of 1982 UK re-release
|Single by Cliff Richard|
|from the album I'm Nearly Famous|
|B-side||"Love on Shine On"|
|Released||23 April 1976|
|Recorded||8–9 September 1975|
|Studio||Abbey Road Studios, London|
|Songwriter(s)||Terry Britten, Christine Holmes|
|Cliff Richard singles chronology|
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.
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. It was certified Gold by the RIAA in the US and the CRIA in Canada.
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
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!"
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.
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