Devil's Gun

Album: Devil's Gun (1977)
Charted: 43 36

Songfacts®:

  • This disco track has a lyric that could be attached to a worship song, warning that the Devil has us in his sights, so we'd better change direction to a more Godly path.

    The song was written by the team of Gerry Shury, Ron Roker and Barry Green. Shury and Roker had a publishing company called Geronimo Music; some of their other compositions include "Guilty" by The Pearls and "Special Delivery" by Polly Brown. Green is a pseudonym for Barry Blue, a singer/songwriter who had a UK hit with "(Dancing) On A Saturday Night." It's not likely that these guys were trying to preach the Gospel when they wrote this track. They were probably just trying to write a hit.
  • C.J. & Co was a Detroit vocal group with three male singers and two female. They were assembled by the producers Dennis Coffey and Mike Theodore, who discovered Rodriguez of Searching For Sugar Man fame and produced his first album in 1970. Coffey was one of the top session guitarists in the '70s and in 1971 released "Scorpio," which became a hit the following year.

    Coffey played a lot of soul and psychedelic grooves for Motown, but had no trouble making the transition to disco. "I realized that was going to be a force to be reckoned with," he told Songfacts. "I really studied that genre and figured out what made it tick, and the result of that was 'Devil's Gun.'"

    He added: "Disco was kind of a dance record - you had a lot of breakdowns and you had a certain drum thing that went with it - it was either the kick drum on 1, 2, 3 and 4 or later on when Quincy Jones was doing Michael Jackson, they were doing the kick drum on the second and fourth beat.

    But, it had a lot of breakdowns and a lot of instrumental sections. Tom Moulton was doing some mixdowns of our raw tracks and he specifically copied things and edited things and made them so that they were for the dancers."
  • This was the first song played at the New York dance club Studio 54 when they opened for business on April 26th, 1977. The club opened with great fanfare, but it was a late arriving crowd, so when the DJ, Richie Kaczor, played it, few people were there. A few hours later the place was packed with socialites and celebrities, including Donald Trump, Cher and Brooke Shields.

    The selection of "Devil's Gun" is somewhat ironic considering the debauchery Studio 54 quickly became known for. If the Devil did have a gun, it likely would be aimed at the place.
  • The opening line, "Fee fie fo fum," comes from the fairy tale Jack And The Beanstalk, where the giant says it before warning, "I smell the blood of an Englishman."
  • This was the first single for C.J. & Co, and their only substantial hit. "Big City Sidewalk" reached #106 in 1978, and "We Got Our Own Thing" was later reworked by Heavy D. & The Boyz. They split in 1979 after just two albums.

Comments: 1

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn this day in 1977 {May 15th} "Devil's Gun" by C.J. and Company entered Billboard's Top 100 chart at position #98, eight weeks later it would peak at #36 {for 1 week} and it spent over a half-year on the Top 100 {29 weeks}...
    And on August 21st, 1973 "Devil's Gun" peaked at #2 {for 1 week} on Billboard's Hot Soul Singles chart, and the week it was at #2, the #1 record for that week was "Float On" by the Floaters...
    Note: According to https://www.discogs.com/artist/84669-CJ-Co and Wikipedia, group member Charles Clark was also a member of the group The Floaters, could it be he was a member of both groups at the same time?
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