"Cocaine" is a song written and recorded by JJ Cale in 1976, and also known as a cover version recorded by Eric Clapton. Allmusic calls the latter "among [Clapton's] most enduringly popular hits" and notes that "even for an artist like Clapton with a huge body of high-quality work, 'Cocaine' ranks among his best."
Glyn Johns, who had previously worked with The Who, Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones, produced the Clapton recording, which was released on the 1977 album Slowhand and as a single in 1980. The live version of "Cocaine", from the Just One Night album recorded in Tokyo, charted on the Billboard Hot 100 as the B-side of "Tulsa Time", which was a No. 30 hit in 1980. "Cocaine" was one of several of Cale's songs recorded by Clapton, including "After Midnight" and "Travelin' Light".
J. J. Cale version 
Eric Clapton version 
Eric Clapton describes "Cocaine" as an anti-drug song. He has called the song "quite cleverly anti-cocaine", noting:
It's no good to write a deliberate anti-drug song and hope that it will catch. Because the general thing is that people will be upset by that. It would disturb them to have someone else shoving something down their throat. So the best thing to do is offer something that seems ambiguous—that on study or on reflection actually can be seen to be "anti"—which the song "Cocaine" is actually an anti-cocaine song. If you study it or look at it with a little bit of thought ... from a distance ... or as it goes by ... it just sounds like a song about cocaine. But actually, it is quite cleverly anti-cocaine.
Because of its ambiguous message, Clapton did not perform the song in many of his concerts; over the years, Clapton has added the lyrics 'that dirty cocaine' in live shows to underline the anti-drug message of the song.
Other cover versions 
A live cover by the Scottish rock band Nazareth appears on their albums The Fool Circle and Snaz. Guitarist Andy Taylor of Duran Duran recorded it for his 1990 solo album Dangerous.
In 2008, country singer Gretchen Wilson quoted the melody from the tag end of the chorus ("she don't lie, she don't lie, she don't lie") for her song "Work Hard, Play Harder" (which also borrowed from The Black Crowes). The hard rock band Black Robot covered the song on their 2010 self-titled album. Post-Grunge band Puddle of Mudd included a cover as a bonus track for their 2011 covers-album Re:(Disc)overed.
In popular culture 
The song was featured in the 2004 film Starsky & Hutch, and in the 2005 film Lord of War. The song is also featured in the 2005 remake of Bad News Bears with Billy Bob Thornton
- ^ Song Review of Clapton's cover of "Cocaine" by Allmusic
- ^ "Australian-charts.com – J.J. Cale – Cocaine". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Hung Medien.
- ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
- ^ "J.J. Cale – Cocaine – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Hung Medien.
- ^ "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche – musicline.de" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
- ^ "Charts.org.nz – J.J. Cale – Cocaine". Top 40 Singles. Hung Medien.
- ^ "Swedishcharts.com – J.J. Cale – Cocaine". Singles Top 60. Hung Medien.
- ^ "J.J. Cale – Cocaine – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart. Hung Medien.
- ^ "RPM 100 Singles" (PHP). RPM. Vol. 33 (No. 24): 9. September 6, 1980. Retrieved March 28, 2011.
- ^ "Eric Clapton: Chart & Awards – Billboard Singles". Allmusic. United States: Rovi Corporation. Retrieved March 28, 2011.
- ^ The Best of Everything Show, with Dan Neer
- ^ "Eric Clapton Rethinks Playing'Cocaine'". Fox News Channel. October 3, 2006. Retrieved July 9, 2010.
- ^ "Eric Clapton rethinks playing 'Cocaine'". Historyofalcoholanddrugs.typepad.com. October 5, 2006. Retrieved July 9, 2010.