Devil Woman was recorded at Abbey Road in London on September 8 and 9, 1975, at sessions which also produced the popular Miss You Nights song. It was the first session produced by Bruce Welch exclusively and the first session recording with backing vocalists Tony Rivers, John Perry and Ken Gold, whom Cliff would use for many years to come. (Despite what is written in the album’s liner notes and various books, Tony Harding did not perform on the song.) The song had been presented to Cliff months earlier by writer Terry Britten, but Cliff had rejected it. It was at producer Bruce Welch’s persistence that Cliff finally recorded the song.
The song was released as a 7″ single in the UK by EMI on May 1976 with stock number “EMI 2448″ and having the Cliff Richard-penned song Love On (Shine On), a song unique to this single, on the B-side. It was also the 8th track on the I’m Nearly Famous album and the second single taken from that album (with the first being Miss You Nights). It is Cliff’s 66th single release (approximately, as the counting of Cliff’s singles varies depending upon how they are counted). The single was reissued in 1981 with the same stock number, but this time with an original picture sleeve and a new record label. It was released in the USA as a 7” single on a Rocket Record Company single (PIG-40574) with the same Love On (Shine On) song on the B-side and on the I’m Nearly Famous LP, the first Cliff LP release in the US since the Two A Penny soundtrack in 1968.
Devil Woman was released during a period when Cliff’s popularity and chart success were waning. It was the first top ten hit since 1973 and the third top ten hit of the 1970s. It entered the UK Top 50 chart on May 8, 1976, peaked at #9 on June 5, 1976, and spent 8 weeks in the chart. Although it was not a monster hit in the UK, it had big international success. It is also significant that it was a breakout hit for Cliff in the USA, being his first USA charting song since 1968’s Congratulations (which peaked at a meager #99). It entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart on July 4, 1976, reached #6 for three consecutive weeks on September 26, October 3 and October 10, 1976, spending 22 weeks in the chart. It is Cliff’s highest charting hit on the USA charts ever, being certified gold (having sold a million copies) on October 20, 1976. [Source]
[via Kjeld Tolstrup]