|Single by Sam Cooke|
|B-side||"Farewell My Darling"|
|Released||May 16, 1961|
|Recorded||April 14, 1961|
|Studio||RCA Studio 1, Hollywood, California|
|Genre||Rhythm and blues|
|Sam Cooke singles chronology|
"Cupid" is a song by American singer Sam Cooke, released on May 16, 1961. It charted at number 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 20 on the Hot R&B Sides chart; the track performed best in the United Kingdom, peaking at number seven on the UK Singles Chart. Cooke's producers had asked him to write a song for a girl they had seen on a Perry Como TV show — but once they heard her sing, they kept "Cupid" for Cooke himself. It was Cooke's idea to drop in the sound of an arrow being fired "straight to my lover's heart." Personnel on the recording included Cooke's session regulars Clifton White and Rene Hall on guitar, Clifford Hills on bass, Earl Palmer on drums and Joseph Gibbons on guitar and banjo.
"Cupid" was ranked at number 452 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "500 Greatest Songs of All Time". AllMusic critic Bill Janovitz described the track as a "perfect pop song" which combines "Latin, R&B, jazz, and mainstream pop elements".
- In 1961, Dee Clark covered the song on his "Hold On....It's Dee Clark" album.
- In 1961, Roy Tierney covered the song in the United Kingdom.
- In 1964, Johnny Rivers covered the song on his live album In Action.
- In 1965, The Supremes covered the song on their tribute album We Remember Sam Cooke.
- In 1970, Johnny Nash's rocksteady and reggae version, released in late 1969, peaked at number 39 on the Hot 100 on January 24, 1970. In the United Kingdom, this version peaked at number 6 in May 1969. It was the B-side to his hit song "Hold Me Tight".
- In 1970, Czech lyrics were written by Jiří Grossmann, and the song (Úsvit) performed on Czechoslovak Television by Pavel Bobek in 1970.
- In 1975, Gary Glitter covered the song on his album G.G..
- In 1976, Dawn's cover peaked at number 22 on the Hot 100 on March 20–27, 1976 and number two on the Easy Listening chart.
- In 1980, the song was covered, in a medley with Michael Zager's "I've Loved You For a Long Time", by The Spinners. This version went to number four on 19 July - 2 August 1980 on the Hot 100, thus becoming the highest-charting version on the Hot 100, and number five on the R&B chart.
- In 1988, the song was covered by Graham Parker on his album The Mona Lisa's Sister.
- Otis Redding was also known for covering a number of Sam Cooke's songs including "Cupid". His cover was included on the 1993 box set Otis! The Definitive Otis Redding.
- In 1996, Bernadette Peters recorded a version of the song for her covers album, I'll Be Your Baby Tonight.
- In May 2002, Chris Walla of Death Cab for Cutie recorded a cover of the song at Tiny Telephone Recording in San Francisco, California. The recording was later mixed to tape in October 2002 at Walla's Hall of Justice studio in Portland, Oregon.
- In 2007, British singer Amy Winehouse included a cover of Johnny Nash's version of the song for the deluxe edition of her album Back to Black.
- In 2008, Colin Meloy covered this and several other Sam Cooke songs for his EP Colin Meloy Sings Sam Cooke.
- In 2009, Boyz II Men included a cover of this song on their Love album.
- In 2010, Canadian singer Melanie Fiona covered the song for her debut album The Bridge.
- In 2010, Grand Archives covered the song for the Starbucks compilation Sweethearts.
- In 2012, the chorus was sampled in a Carly Rae Jepsen song called "Tiny Little Bows", which is featured as the album opener track on her second album Kiss.
- In 2017, Slothrust covered the song for their covers EP compilation Show Me How you Want It to Be.
- This song was also featured in the 1987 movie Innerspace starring Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid.
- A reference to this song is found in the chorus of the song "Sleepwalker" by The Wallflowers: Cupid, don't draw back your bow / Sam Cooke didn't know what I know.
- The Siege of Jadotville features "Cupid" naturally but prominently in an early scene between the lead Commandant and his wife.
Charts and certifications
|UK Singles Chart||7|
|US Billboard Hot 100||17|
|US Hot R&B Sides (Billboard)||20|
|Chart (1976 – Tony Orlando and Dawn)||Peak|
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||22|
|Chart (1980 – The Spinners)||Peak|
|Australia (Kent Music Report)||17|
|Canada RPM Top Singles||20|
|Canada RPM Adult Contemporary||1|
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||4|
|U.S. Billboard Adult Contemporary||3|
|U.S. Billboard Hot Soul Singles||5|
|UK Singles Chart||4|
|Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)||49|
- "500 Greatest Songs of All Time: Sam Cooke, 'Cupid'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2014-06-28.
- Janovitz, Bill. "Cupid - Sam Cooke". AllMusic. Retrieved September 5, 2014.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 333. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- Čtyřicet Hitů od A do Z, Pavel Bobek, liner notes, 2006.
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 545.
- "HOJ Songs". Hallofjusticerecording.com. Retrieved 2014-06-28.
- "Sam Cooke - Artist - Official Charts". Official Charts Company. Retrieved February 28, 2014.
- "Sam Cooke – Awards". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved February 28, 2014.
- Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
- RPM Adult Contemporary, August 2, 1980
- Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–1993. Record Research. p. 225.