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Cocaine (song)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

JJ Cale - Cocaine.jpg
German picture sleeve
Single by J. J. Cale
from the album Troubadour
A-side"Hey Baby"
Songwriter(s)J. J. Cale
Producer(s)Audie Ashworth

"Cocaine" is a song written and recorded in 1976 by singer-songwriter J. J. Cale. The song was popularized by Eric Clapton after his cover version was released on the 1977 album Slowhand. J. J. Cale's version of "Cocaine" was a number one hit in New Zealand for a single week and became the seventh best-selling single of 1977.


Chart (1977–1979) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[1] 45
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[2] 5
Germany (Official German Charts)[3] 22
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[4] 1
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[5] 10
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[6] 2

Eric Clapton version

Cocaine cover.jpg
Dutch picture sleeve
Single by Eric Clapton
from the album Slowhand
A-side"Lay Down Sally"
Songwriter(s)J. J. Cale
Producer(s)Glyn Johns
Eric Clapton singles chronology
"Wonderful Tonight"

Glyn Johns produced the Clapton recording, which was released on the 1977 album Slowhand. A live version of "Cocaine" from the album Just One Night charted on the Billboard Hot 100 as the B-side of "Tulsa Time", which was a No. 30 hit in 1980. "Cocaine" was one of several of Cale's songs recorded by Clapton, including "After Midnight" and "Travelin' Light". AllMusic critic Richard Gilliam called it "among [Clapton's] most enduringly popular hits" and noted that "even for an artist like Clapton with a huge body of high-quality work, 'Cocaine' ranks among his best."[7]

Clapton described "Cocaine" as an anti-drug song intended to warn listeners about its addictiveness and deadliness. He called the song "quite cleverly anti-cocaine", noting:[8]

It's no good to write a deliberate anti-drug song and hope that it will catch. Because the general thing is that people will be upset by that. It would disturb them to have someone else shoving something down their throat. So the best thing to do is offer something that seems ambiguous—that on study or on reflection actually can be seen to be "anti"—which the song "Cocaine" is actually an anti-cocaine song. If you study it or look at it with a little bit of thought ... from a distance ... or as it goes by ... it just sounds like a song about cocaine. But actually, it is quite cleverly anti-cocaine.

Because of its ambiguous message, Clapton did not perform the song in many of his concerts; over the years, he has added the lyrics 'that dirty cocaine' in live shows to underline the anti-drug message of the song.[9][10]


Chart (1980) Peak
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[11] 3
Netherlands (Dutch Tip 40)[12] 14
US Billboard Hot 100[13] 30


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[14] Gold 75,000^
Italy (FIMI)[15] Gold 25,000double-dagger
Netherlands (NVPI)[16] Platinum 150,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[17] Silver 200,000double-dagger

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

See also


  1. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  2. ^ " – J.J. Cale – Cocaine" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved June 12, 2014.
  3. ^ " – J.J. Cale – Cocaine" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved June 12, 2014.
  4. ^ " – J.J. Cale – Cocaine". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved June 12, 2014.
  5. ^ " – J.J. Cale – Cocaine". Singles Top 100. Retrieved June 12, 2014.
  6. ^ " – J.J. Cale – Cocaine". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved June 12, 2014.
  7. ^ Gilliam, Richard. "Eric Clapton – Cocaine – Song Review". AllMusic. Retrieved June 12, 2014.
  8. ^ The Best of Everything Show, with Dan Neer
  9. ^ "Eric Clapton Rethinks Playing 'Cocaine'" (Press release). Fox News Channel. Associated Press. December 31, 1969. Retrieved July 9, 2010.
  10. ^ "Eric Clapton rethinks playing 'Cocaine'". Alcohol and Drugs History Society. October 5, 2006. Retrieved July 9, 2010.
  11. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 0234a." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved June 12, 2014.
  12. ^ "Tipparade-lijst van week 51, 1977". Dutch Top 40. Retrieved August 8, 2015.
  13. ^ "Eric Clapton – Artist Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved June 12, 2014.
  14. ^ "Canadian single   certifications – Eric Clapton – Cocaine". Music Canada.
  15. ^ "Italian single   certifications – Eric Clapton – Cocaine" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Select "2017" in the "Anno" drop-down menu. Select "Cocaine" in the "Filtra" field. Select "Singoli" under "Sezione".
  16. ^ Härtel, Alexander (1997). Platin Songs (in German). Berlin: Kupijai & Prochnow. pp. 12–17. ISBN 3-932051-46-7.
  17. ^ "British single   certifications – Eric Clapton – Cocaine". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved April 11, 2020.

External links

This page was last edited on 12 May 2021, at 19:10
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