|Single by Stevie Wonder|
|from the album Talking Book|
|B-side||"You've Got It Bad Girl"|
|Format||7" 45 RPM|
|Recorded||1972, New York|
|Stevie Wonder singles chronology|
"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, and released in many countries. It reached number one in the USA, and number one on the soul singles chart. 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, and mentions several popular superstitious fables in its lyrics.
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. 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.
Cover versions 
Notable covers of the song include:
- Beck, Bogert & Appice covered the song on their self-titled album. Jeff Beck has also performed the song on various live albums.
- Stevie Ray Vaughan performed a cover of the song; Wonder made a cameo at the end of Vaughan's music video.
Beck, Bogert & Appice's rendition of "Superstition". Stevie Wonder meant the song for Jeff Beck and thus this is probably how he envisioned it would be first recorded.
|Problems listening to this file? See media help.|
- Wonder, Bill Withers and Billy Preston performed "Superstition" on Quincy Jones' 1973 album You've Got It Bad, Girl.
- Melvin Van Peebles performed the song on his 1974 album What the....You Mean I Can't Sing?!
- Widespread Panic performed the song, with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, on Panic's 2000 release Another Joyous Occasion.
- It was remade by Raven-Symoné for the 2003 Disney movie The Haunted Mansion starring Eddie Murphy.
- The a cappella group Straight No Chaser do an all-vocal arrangement on their 1998 video, Live at the Musical Art Center.
- In 2005 UK soul singer Jaki Graham released a cover of the song in the UK.
- AC/DC jammed on Superstition during the 1996 VH1 "Uncut Rehearsals"
- Olly Murs covered the song at his 2009 audition for The X Factor. He then later performed it in the final.
- Igor Presnyakov covered the song in 2012.
- Amber Riley, Melissa Benoist and Darren Criss covered this song in an episode of Glee called Wonder-ful.
Uses in other media 
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (December 2011)|
- Wonder performed "Superstition" on the children's television show Sesame Street in 1973 (episode 514) and on WNET's Soul, both of which featured Steven Madaio on trumpet, as well as on Soul Train
- In John Carpenter's The Thing. T.K. Carter's character, Nauls, listens to it on a boom box in the kitchen, defiantly turning up the volume when he is asked to turn it down
- In Bernardo Bertolucci's movie Stealing Beauty (1996) during a party in a Tuscan villa
- In the beginning of the science-fiction thriller, I, Robot (2004) the protagonist, played by Will Smith, plays it during his morning routine
- It is a playable song in Guitar Hero 5 and was made available as downloadable content for Rock Band 3 in November 2011
- It is a playable song in Just Dance 4
- Texas Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler uses this song when he walks up to bat
- It is heard in a 2012 TV commercial for Bud Light beer. In a special Super Bowl ad, Wonder portrayed Baron Samedi.
See also 
- "Superstition: Stevie Wonder". Rolling Stone. December 9, 2004. Retrieved 2008-01-16.
- Dean, Maury (2003). Rock N' Roll Gold Rush. Algora. p. 276. ISBN 0-87586-207-1.
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 635.
- "Jeff Beck On World Cafe".
- You've Got It Bad Girl at Allmusic
- Tim Hughes, "Superstition", Groove and Flow: Six Analytical Essays on the Music of Stevie Wonder, University of Washington PhD dissertation (2003), pp. 140–177, which can be downloaded here: http://www.surrey.ac.uk/Music/NewsGenInfo/AcademicStaff/Hughes/GrooveAndFlow.pdf
"You're So Vain" by Carly Simon
|Billboard Hot 100 number one single
January 27, 1973 (one week)
"Crocodile Rock" by Elton John
"Me and Mrs. Jones" by Billy Paul
|Billboard's Best Selling Soul Singles number-one single
January 6, 1973 (three weeks)
"Why Can't We Live Together" by Timmy Thomas