Superstition (song)

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For other uses, see Superstition (disambiguation).
Single by Stevie Wonder
from the album Talking Book
B-side "You've Got It Bad Girl"
Released October 1972
Format 7" 45 RPM
Recorded 1972, New York
Genre Funk, disco
Length 4:26 (album version)
4:07 (45 version)
Label Tamla
Writer(s) Jeff Beck, Stevie Wonder
Producer(s) Stevie Wonder
Certification Gold (BPI)
Stevie Wonder singles chronology
"Keep On Running"
"You Are the Sunshine of My Life"
Music sample

"Superstition" is a popular song produced, arranged, performed by Stevie Wonder for Motown Records and written with Jeff Beck in 1972. It was the lead single for Wonder's Talking Book album,[1] and released in many countries. It reached number one in the U.S.,[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 No. 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.


Jeff Beck did not play on the song, but may have written the main riff.[4] Carmine Appice, Jeff Beck's drummer, explains in an interview (May 2000) : "Our lyrics are a little different than Stevie’s version. He was not supposed to release his version until our version was released but he did – so our version, which was going to be the original version, looked like a cover version. The riff was Jeff’s riff I think..."[4]


The song's opening drum beat was performed by Wonder on the kit that Scott Mathews provided at the Record Plant in Hollywood. The 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.[citation needed]

The song also was Wonder's first number-one single since the live version of "Fingertips Pt. 2" topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 1963.[citation needed]

Jeff Beck recorded his own version of the song with the power trio Beck, Bogert & Appice.

Other recorded versions[edit]

Stevie Wonder performed a live-in-the-studio version of "Superstition" on Sesame Street in 1973. This version later appeared on the collection, Songs from the Street: 35 Years in Music.[5][6]

Stevie Ray Vaughan recorded a live version in 1986, which was released on his album Live Alive. The accompanying music video features Vaughan and a stage crew setting up for a concert he planned to do on Friday the 13th, and Wonder appears at the end.


Region Certification Sales/shipments
United Kingdom (BPI)[7] Gold 500,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Superstition: Stevie Wonder". Rolling Stone. December 9, 2004. Retrieved 2008-01-16. 
  2. ^ a b Dean, Maury (2003). Rock N' Roll Gold Rush. Algora. p. 276. ISBN 0-87586-207-1. 
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 635. 
  4. ^ a b "Carmine Appice Interview". 
  5. ^ "Stevie Wonder Visits Sesame Street In 1973". Sunday Cinema. JamBase. 4 August 2013. Retrieved 15 May 2014. 
  6. ^ Hornbach, Jean-Pierre (11 February 2012). Whitney Houston: We Love You Forever. p. 427. ISBN 9781471631795. 
  7. ^ "British single certifications – Stevie Wonder – Superstition". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Superstition in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Click Go

External links[edit]

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:

Preceded by
"You're So Vain" by Carly Simon
Billboard Hot 100 number one single
January 27, 1973 (one week)
Succeeded by
"Crocodile Rock" by Elton John
Preceded by
"Me and Mrs. Jones" by Billy Paul
Billboard's Best Selling Soul Singles number-one single
January 6, 1973 (three weeks)
Succeeded by
"Why Can't We Live Together" by Timmy Thomas