1001 Songs Challenge,  1970s,  Music

1001 Songs Challenge #348: Superstition (1972)

On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenging of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.

My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.

I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.

So long as I post everyday (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be…


Stevie Wonder – Superstition (1972)

It was a great day in Cameroon doing a spot of dancing but now it’s back to the US and to Michigan, dear reader. Today, we are in the company of a musician who went blind shortly after his birth but showed great potential, scoring a chart topping song in the US when he was just 13 years old. We are talking about the legendary Stevie Wonder. We pick up his story in 1972 when he has released his latest album – Talking Book. On that album was a song that wonder worked on with gifted guitarist, Jeff Beck. Beck was supposed to release a version first but instead Wonder got in there with Superstition.

In Superstition, Stevie Wonder regales us with a series of different superstitions that people abide by. Such examples include seven years of bad luck if one breaks a mirror. It sounds strange to think some people follow such tales but they do. Wonder considers each of these superstitions in turn and during the chorus informs us that we will only suffer if we “believe in things that you don’t understand.” He admonishes us about superstitions and tells us they are not the way we should be living our lives, that they do more harm than good.  

Bolstered by some fantastic music on the keyboard, Superstition is a stunning and addictive piece of music. The lyrics make a valid point about the strange superstitions that many of us grow up with and believe. I can recall, as a child, being told not to walk under ladders leaning against walls, for instance, and I still don’t to this day! The song has a good message but it is that music that really makes this one stand out. Nearly fifty years old, it still sounds as fresh as ever.


Favourite songs so far:

The Animals – House of the Rising Sun (1964)

Simon & Garfunkel – The Sounds of Silence (1965)

The Beach Boys – God Only Knows (1966)

The Doors – The End (1967)

The Beatles – A Day in the Life (1967)

The Kinks – Days (1968)

Derek & The Dominos – Layla (1970)

David Bowie – Life on Mars? (1971)

Rod Stewart – Maggie May (1971)

Stevie Wonder – Superstition (1972)

My name is Dave and I live in Yorkshire in the north of England and have been here all my life. I hope you enjoy your visit to All is Ephemeral.

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