Single review: MAGPIE – Dancing With The Devil

MAGPIE - Dancing With The Devil

3MS Records [Release date 17.07.21]

It’s no exaggeration to say that the late Cozy Powell’s seventies’ classic, ‘Dance With The Devil’ is etched into every rock fan’s consciousness.

It’s an eminently durable mini masterpiece that has withstood sweeping changes in music culture. It should be left alone, right? Well, you may have thought so until you heard this new, modified version, subtly retitled ‘Dancing With The Devil’.

Teenagers being no respecter of reputations, Dundee drummer extraordinaire, Garry (Magpie) Bowler (ex too many to mention), heard the track in his teens and modified it in part for his then band, Satan’s Empire, in the late seventies.

Forty plus years later he was invited to a commemorative lunch in honour of Powell’s musical legacy. As these things do, an exchange of ideas with Neil (Black Sabbath/ Whitesnake) Murray; David (Rainbow) Stone; Frankie (Bedlam) Aiello, and legendary guitarist, Bernie Torme spiralled up into the eventual recording of a new version, titled ‘Dancing With The Devil’.

It’s a stunning tribute, with just enough innovation to grab the attention of a 21st century audience. Bowler beats out the rhythm of change on a new, streamlined percussive intro and bolder drum patterns. New lyrics have been added to the melody. Each musician plays his part, bringing a slightly more contemporary sound to this classic track.

Suitably impressed, copyright owners, RAK Publishing have given Bowler special permission to release the track (on nostalgic 12” black vinyl), on Record Store Day, 17 July.

Classics never die.  ****

Review by Brian McGowan

An introduction to…Cozy Powell


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