Aah! Post number 50! Well, if you all were wondering why I didn’t update my blog in the past week or so, the reason is quite simple – I wanted to write the post on X-mas (You know, ending the year with a bang). By the way, let me take this opportunity to wish you all a very, very happy and prosperous X-mas! May all your wishes come true!
I was in a constant dilemma over which song to review. I finally came up with 26 songs which were eligible for the honor of the 50th post. I beat myself up shortlisting the song and came down to the final three, which were –
1) Elton John – Sacrifice
2) Cliff Richard – Devil Woman
3) Paul McCartney – Yesterday
I finally picked Number 2, and Numbers 3 and 1 (Respectively) will follow soon after. Hope I made the right choice (Fingers crossed!)
This song’s a given. Whenever you talk of Cliff Richard, you talk about “Devil Woman” or “Wired For Sound“. Personally, I prefer the former. There’s something in this song that activates every nerve in your body. All your attention is directed towards it. The lyrics are mystic, and the vocals are haunting, yet beautiful. Shall we get on with the review, then?
History: “Devil Woman” is a song written by Terry Britten & Christine Holmes, and performed by Cliff Richards (September 8, 1975). This song originally features in his album titled “I’m Nearly Famous“. Rumors suggest Cliff Richards had originally rejected this song, but producer Bruce Welch finally convinced him to record it (He remained hesitant, though). The rumors were later confirmed by Cliff Richards himself, and no one really knows why he hesitated in recording this song till today. Maybe it was because of the ominous lyrics of the song – Who knows? Back to the song; “Devil Woman” peaked at Number 9 on the U.K. charts in 1976, and Number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100. This song is Cliff Richard’s third best selling single (Preceded by “Do You Wanna Dance” and “Summer Holiday“), selling over two million copies worldwide. There is only one version of this song, viz. the Minute 38 Second Album Version (There are actually two versions – Christine Holmes’ version; in which she sings in the seductress’ point of view, and Cliff Richard’s version; which portrays the story in the man’s point of view).
What it tries to tell us: Okay, now there has been a LOT of speculation on the internet regarding the meaning of the song. According to the composer (Christine Holmes) and the producer (Bruce Welch), the song is simply about a man who is seduced by a woman, who incidentally happens to possess magical powers (A witch, in short) – Hence the title “Devil (Or Evil Witch) Woman”. But according to some people who apparently try to dig deeper into roots (Just to get entangled in them) suggest an alternative story. They think this song is about Divination. I know, I know; I’ll tell you what Divination is. Simply put, it is “The practice of seeking knowledge of the future or the unknown by supernatural means.” Now, according to the Bible (Deuteronomy 18:10), Divination is abhorrent. My suggestion – Stick to the first meaning, and pretend you never heard about the second one. For all those who’d like to dig deeper and seek the In-depth analysis of the song, click here.
Review: The background music of this song always puzzled me. So I rummaged through the internet to find the instruments which were used to give the song it’s haunting effect, and was surprised to discover that guitars, drums, bass and backing vocals can do the trick easily. The song contains a heavy dose of bass, a Minor D1 key, and slow beats to give the song it’s mystic flavor (The electric guitar is used in the chorus). Cliff Richard adds another layer of mystery by his astounding vocals, coupled with the background vocals (Tony Rivers, John Perry and Ken Gold). The song starts off with small keyboard piece, chunks of bass and slow but heavy beats. The pattern of the drum changes at 00:17, giving way for Cliff to initiate the vocals. All the way till the end, Cliff Richard has kept the tone low and slow, which seems to be the perfect mantra to make a haunting effect. You can distinctly hear the bass throughout the song. The first “pre-chorus” piece starts at 00:34, in which the electric guitar is introduced. The first chorus starts at 00:50 (it may seem that the chorus is looped twice, but it’s not), and the electric guitar is literally made to cry, as a monotonous string is held throughout the chorus. That distinct siren-type sound can be heard at the ending of every chorus. The tempo of the song increases considerably during the chorus, and it is maintained throughout the song. The small stanza after the chorus has been applied with the same tempo, probably to give it some emphasis (He drinks the sleeping potion in this stanza). The chorus follows suit, and initiates again from 01:47 and the “She’s Gonna Get You From Behind” slowly blends with the electric guitar. The rhythm of the song is completely broken off at 02:12, where Cliff Richards whispers “Stay Away, Look Out.” The drums escalate the broken down rhythm, and the song spirals back to the original, slow tune. Till today, the fact that an electric guitar is enough to create a strange, eerie background sound astonishes me. The song’s rhythm converges back to fast mode from 02:37, where the Pre-chorus begins, followed by the chorus (At 02:53). The song fades off while the chorus loops continuously, and ends at 03:38.
Rating: It’s a X-mas special, goddamn it! A 10/10 is to be expected!
Lyrics For “Devil Woman” : http://artists.letssingit.com/strictly-come-dancing-lyrics-cliff-richard-devil-woman-opxxtq9#axzz2G9uYZSe3
Download Link For “Devil Woman” : http://www.brain-magazine.com/mp3/cliff_richard-devil_woman.mp3 (Right Click on link, click “Save Link/Target As”)