Album: Talking Book, 1972
Justification: There’s a decent argument that this doesn’t really require “rediscovering” since it’s a stone-cold classic, but hell: this is my list and I get to decide what needs rediscovering when. And now is a great time to rediscover ‘Superstition’, since it’s by far the catchiest song written about applying a rational approach to one’s life. Richard Dawkins writes a hell of book, but he’s never come up with something as pithy as “If you believe in things that you don’t understand, then you suffer / Superstition ain’t the way” – and even if he did, I bet he couldn’t back it with the best piece of unschooled drumming on the face of the earth. Just listen to the way that Wonder lags just behind the beat. Also note: those drum fills are just freakin’ perfect.
The song – which was created by Stevie just dicking around on the black keys, by the way – was originally written for Jeff Beck, but then Wonder realised what he had written and decided to go do it himself. And wisely so: it was a breakthrough single for him, topping the US charts and severing the connection with his past as Motown’s freakish musical prodigy Little Stevie Wonder. It’s parent album, Talking Book, was a massive success (the second disc of Wonder’s golden period from 1972’s Music in my Mind through to Songs in the Key of Life in 1976), and the fact that the man who wrote, produced and played damn near all the instruments on the thing was 22 years old should be enough to make you damn well sick.
It’s musically flawless (that bassline! Oh, those horns!), the lyrics are brilliant, the philosophy noble and the performer genius. I’ve also never seen this not fill a dancefloor when it’s dropped, and it’s as old as I am. Songs don’t get better than this.
It’s also what Models keyboardist Andrew Duffield was trying to write his equivalent of when he came up with the groove that was to become ‘I Hear Motion’. Go on, listen to them back to back. Pretty sweet, no?