Producer Jerry Wexler puts the earthy vocals of Maggie Bell in a beautiful setting here. She stretches John Prine's "Souvenirs" to the max with Steve Gadd ably assisting by splashing the drums as deep as Bell's vocals. Her uptempo version of J.J. Cale's "After Midnight" is more captivating than Eric Clapton's; she oozes that Etta James sexuality while Reggie Young throws some tasty guitar into the semi-calypso groove. Bell's identity is unique on much of the material, but a couple of tunes have her paying tribute to some of her sisters. The title track, "Queen of the Night," is drenched in gorgeous harmonies by the Sweet Inspirations and is pure Genya Ravan, but conversely, the cover of "A Woman Left Lonely," embraced totally by Janis Joplin on Pearl, is a sweet vocal and totally alien to how Joplin ripped the song to shreds so wonderfully. It works on an entirely different level on Queen of the Night – Bell's voice is an instrument that slips into different styles on a moment's notice.
"Suicide Sal"(1975) was the second solo album by white, soul /blues belter, Glasgow-born Maggie Bell, sometimes called the Scottish Janis Joplin. Bell, formerly lead singer of the well-known Scottish group "Stone the Crows," has a voice unrivaled for its passion and power.
From a musical family, she sang from her teenage years, leaving school at the age of fifteen, to work as a window dresser by day and singer at night. Bell was introduced to Leslie Harvey, by his older brother Alex, after getting up on stage to sing with the latter. Leslie Harvey was, at that time, a guitarist with the Kinning Park Ramblers. Bell joined the group as one of the vocalists. After the band split up, Bell moved to the Mecca Band at the Sauchiehall Street Locarno, and later to the Dennistoun Palais Band.
Stone the Crows was a tough-luck, working class, progressive soul band that came out of the pubs of Scotland in the early '70s. They had everything going for them at the start: not one, but two gritty singers, a talented guitarist, a rhythm section that had played with John Mayall, and the name recognition of having Led Zeppelin manager Peter Grant as their producer. Despite favorable reviews by the critics, however, they never managed to sell their hybridized soul music to a large audience. In addition, they lost two of their key members early on, one of whom was tragically electrocuted, and the group broke up after four albums. Their biggest contribution to rock was the immense vocal talent of one Maggie Bell. Winner of several Top Girl Singer awards in Britain, Bell had a raunchy, gutbucket voice that, although it fell short of the naked emotion and range of Janis Joplin's, came probably closer to her style than any other female singer.
This is 1981 and MAGGIE BELL has joined forces with DAVE DOWLE to form MIDNIGHT FLYER a band she described at the time as Good, healthy rock ’n’ roll. Their management immediately set them to work opening for Bob Seger in Europe and AC/DC in America where they built up a healthy live following. Sadly their career was short-lived and they released only one album plus a maxi single from which the bonus tracks on this CD are drawn from. Certainly one for Maggie Bell fans and those who enjoy classic blues rock.