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Steve Winwood - Higher Love (1986)

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  • 80's Score80's Score 80's score: 1.65
  • Find this song on: Music Stack

“Higher Love” is a 1986 song by English singer Steve Winwood. It was the first single released from his ...

“Higher Love” is a 1986 song by English singer Steve Winwood. It was the first single released from his fourth solo LP, Back in the High Life. It was written by Winwood and Will Jennings and produced by Russ Titelman and Winwood. The female vocals on the song were performed by Chaka Khan, who also appeared in the promotional music video.

“Higher Love” was Winwood’s first Billboard Hot 100 number-one song, topping the chart for one week. It was preceded by Madonna’s “Papa Don’t Preach” and followed by “Venus” by Bananarama. The song also spent four weeks atop the US Billboard Album Rock Tracks chart and earned two Grammy Awards, for Record of the Year and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. It also peaked at number 13 in the United Kingdom, Winwood’s highest charting solo entry there, and reached number one in Canada for a week.

Whitney Houston covered the song in 1990 and it was included as a bonus track on the Japanese edition of her third studio album I’m Your Baby Tonight. James Vincent McMorrow covered the song in 2011, on his first album “Early in the Morning”. In June 2019, Norwegian DJ Kygo reworked Houston’s cover into a tropical house track and it was released as a single worldwide, and on August 21, 2019, their version hit number one on Billboard magazine’s Dance Club Songs chart, making it Houston’s highest-charting posthumous release to date.

Music video
The music video, which uses the shorter single version, was shot in June 1986 by directors Peter Kagan and Paula Greif. It was edited by Laura Israel and Glenn Lazzaro. Kagan and Greif shot an almost identical video for Duran Duran’s “Notorious” in November of that year; coincidentally, both videos were nominated for several awards at the 1987 MTV Video Music Awards though neither won. Chaka Khan appears in the video, as does Nile Rodgers, who plays guitar with the backing band.

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