Steve Winwood: “Higher Love”

ALBUM: Back in the High Life

YEAR: 1986

WRITERS: Steve Winwood, Will Jennings

Topped both Billboard’s Hot 100 and Album Rock Tracks charts.

There’s a lot going on in Steve Winwood‘s 1986 classic “Higher Love” — backing vocals by Chaka Khan, funky guitars by Nile Rodgers and Eddie Martinez and lots and lots of percussion, much of it programmed on a drum machine by Winwood himself. He told us about how the song’s opening section came about. “The percussion at the beginning, in fact, was looped from the end of the song, and is not such an unusual occurrence as you might think. This kind of thing happens all the time and things get moved around from one part of the song to the other. It is a very strong part of the song and sometimes these things happen and you think, ‘Well, this song was just made like that.’ But often songs are put together and happen to fall together, sometimes even by accident. This wasn’t, like, accidental, but just something that worked.”

Steve Winwood celebrates his 69th birthday today (May 12th)


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