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I Ain't Superstitious

"I Ain't Superstitious"
B-side "Just Like I Treat You"
Released December 1961 (1961-12) – 1962
Format 7" 45 rpm record
Recorded Chicago
December 1961
Genre Blues
Length 2:55
Label Chess (Cat. no. 1823)
Writer(s) Willie Dixon
Producer Leonard Chess, Phil Chess, Willie Dixon
Howlin' Wolf singles chronology

"Goin' Down Slow"/ "You'll Be Mine"
"I Ain't Superstitious"
"Three Hundred Pounds of Joy"/ "Built for Comfort"

"I Ain't Superstitious" is a song written by bluesman Willie Dixon and first recorded by Howlin' Wolf in 1961.[1] It recounts various superstitions, including that of a black cat crossing the pathway. The song has been recorded by a number of artists, including Jeff Beck, whose version has been acknowledged by Rolling Stone magazine.

Original song

"I Ain't Superstitious" is a mid-tempo stop-time blues song that does not follow the typical chord progression.[2] The song "is not merely an electric version of the blues practiced in the Delta; it is something wholly new, a more aggressive and sophisticated Chicago cousin that acknowledges contemporary jazz, R&B, and pop forms".[3]

Backing Wolf (vocal and guitar) are Henry Gray (piano), Hubert Sumlin and Jimmy Rogers (guitars), Sam Lay (drums), and Willie Dixon (upright bass).[1] "I Ain't Superstitious" is included on several Howlin' Wolf compilation albums, including the 1969 Chess album Evil.

Jeff Beck version

English rock guitarist Jeff Beck recorded "I Ain't Superstitious" for the 1968 debut album Truth by the Jeff Beck Group, featuring Rod Stewart on vocals. Called "a well-known classic-rock-radio staple",[3] Beck's version is "an inventive and inspired recording that manages to inject even more power into the updated arrangement".[3] The song's prominent feature is Beck's guitar work. "At every break, Beck's aqueous wah-wah tone makes his instrument sound like it's talking".[4] Jeff Beck's version was ranked number 86 on Rolling Stone's list of the "100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time".[4] This version was used in Martin Scorsese's 1995 gangster film Casino

Other versions

"I Ain't Superstitious" has been recorded by numerous artists, including George Lynch, The Upholsterers (Jack White's original band), Tesla (all based heavily on Beck's version), The Grateful Dead, The Yardbirds, and Savoy Brown. The song's author Willie Dixon recorded it for his 1970 album I Am the Blues. Megadeth covered it on their 1986 album Peace Sells... but Who's Buying? (with the lyrics changed significantly). Carlos Santana covered the song for his 2010 solo album Guitar Heaven: The Greatest Guitar Classics of All Time, with Jonny Lang on lead vocals.

Notes and references

External links

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