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Superstition

05:36 Download
Urban Funk
08/15/2013
Stevie Wonder

Story

"Superstition" is a popular song written, produced, arranged, and performed by Stevie Wonder for Motown Records in 1972, when Wonder was 22 years old. It was the lead single for Wonder's Talking Book album,[1] and released in many countries. It reached number one in the USA,[2] and number one on the soul singles chart.[3] Overseas, it peaked at number eleven in the UK during February 1973. In November 2004, Rolling Stone ranked the song at #74 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. The song deals with superstitions,[2] and mentions several popular superstitious fables in its lyrics.

Background

Jeff Beck created the original drum beat while in the studio with Wonder. After writing the song, Wonder offered it to Beck to record, but at the insistence of Berry Gordy, Wonder himself recorded it first.[4] Beck was instead offered "Cause We've Ended As Lovers", which he recorded on Blow by Blow in 1975. Jeff Beck played guitar on the Talking Book album track "Lookin' For Another Pure Love" and later recorded his own version of "Superstition" as a part of Beck, Bogert & Appice.

Wonder's music had been undergoing a marked change from his earlier fit with the Motown Sound to a more personal style. This shift had been evident on his two prior albums, Where I'm Coming From and Music of My Mind, but it was Talking Book and "Superstition" that brought the new style to the awareness of the public in general.

The song's opening drum beat was performed by Wonder on the kit that Scott Mathews provided at the Record Plant in Hollywood. Its iconic funky clavinet riff played on a Hohner Clavinet C was also played by Wonder. The song also features trumpet and saxophone, played respectively by Steve Madaio and Trevor Laurence.

To this day, Wonder regularly performs this song at his concerts, and even plays an actual clavinet onstage, the Hohner Clavinet D6

Lyrics

Very superstitious, writing's on the wall,
Very superstitious, ladders bout' to fall,
Thirteen month old baby, broke the lookin' glass
Seven years of bad luck, the good things in your past.

oo When you believe in things that you don't understand,
Then you suffer,
Superstition ain't the way

Very superstitious, wash your face and hands,
Rid me of the problem, do all that you can,
Keep me in a daydream, keep me goin' strong,
You don't wanna save me, sad is my song.

When you believe in things that you don't understand,
Then you suffer,
Superstition ain't the way, yeh, yeh.

Very superstitious, nothin' more to say,
Very superstitious, the devil's on his way,
Thirteen month old baby, broke the lookin' glass,
Seven years of bad luck, good things in your past

When you believe in things that you don't understand,
Then you suffer,
Superstition ain't the way, no, no, no
shut up!