Jeff Beck Helped Stevie Wonder Hit The Top

(Gibson) On this day in 1973, "Superstition" gave Stevie Wonder had his second no 1 single in the U.S., 10 years after his first #1. Gibson looks back: Although the multi-talented Wonder wrote, produced, played and sang on the single, he wasn't responsible for one key detail the song's distinctive beat.

It was none other than guitar legend Jeff Beck who created the drumbeat while working with Wonder on the R&B star's album, Talking Book. After finishing writing "Superstition," Wonder actually offered it to Beck. Sensing a hit, Wonder's manager requested that his artist should record it first. Instead, Wonder offered Beck an alternate classic, "Cause We've Ended as Lovers," which the guitarist recorded on 1975's Blow by Blow.

When recording "Superstition" at Electric Lady Studios in New York, Wonder played drums, clavinet, bass and sang, with the horns being performed by other players. The song was released in the fall of 1972 as the lead single off Talking Book, the second album in Wonder's so-called "classic period" (during which Wonder gained complete artistic control as a Motown artist).

"Superstition" rocketed up the charts, eventually landing the #1 spot on the Billboard charts. The single marked his second #1 hit and first chart-topper in nearly 10 years, following "Fingertips Pt. 2" in 1963. Although Wonder had been popular throughout the '60s, with classic hit singles such as "Uptight," "For Once in My Life" and "My Cherie Amour," he hadn't replicated the blockbuster success of his debut single until then. more on this story

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