After Dark's legendary (and only) 7-inch is an undiscovered classic - largely because it's so hard to find a copy!
The style of Evil Woman is quite hard to pin down - in the best NWoBHM tradition, it mixes in a bit of everything, and After Dark were one of the few NWoBHM acts to feature a keyboard player.
I guess the closest comparison would be the heavier side of Journey, with all the attendant melodic catchiness you'd expect - but imagine that with Joe Elliot of Def Leppard on vocals and Michael Schenker on lead guitar.
Yup - it's a great guitar solo worthy of the great man himself, with dynamic, melodic shape, a precise, cutting, metal edge like a laser in coal shed, and plenty of "blues note" action in the pentatonic shredding. Not your average bluff.
And the short melodic interjections in the verse and chorus sections are worthy of note - the chorus counter-melody is so strong it makes you wonder why this didn't become more widely known.
Flip the single and you're presented with not one but two more slabs of quality British rock. Not quite up to the standard of Evil Woman - but then, this is the B-side after all.
Johnny is an uptempo chugger in A, with a sensuous wah-drenched solo and dramatic slower-tempo piano-driven mid section, again showing a strong Def Leppard inspiration.
Lucy begins with an acoustic guitar and crunching power chords, with a Hammond-sounding backing adding a touch of the Deep Purple flavour. It doesn't descend predictably into a ballad - although it does have balladic moments. The tempo is raised again for the solo, naturally, but sadly, this solo lacks inspiration - and there are moments in the song, despite its creative use of tempo changes, in which it drags.
This single really is a lost classic - and brings with it a sense of real sadness that the band didn't go on to record much more material.
If you ever see a copy in a second-hand vinyl shop, pick it up and buy it, whatever it's condition. You'll need a record player - but this is one 7" that practically justifies the purchase of such a device!
Keep on Rockin'