Steve Winwood's "Higher Love"

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by Zingeroo, May 5, 2015.

  1. Zingeroo

    Zingeroo Member

    Messages:
    4,338
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2012
    Wonder what it would sound like without that 80s production?

    It's such a great song but I think it's been overdone with what Ann Wilson called the "wedding cake" treatment in the studio.

    It totally has all those cheesy processed drums, horns, etc. Just imagine it with some real drums, horns, B3 organ or Rhodes piano, etc...
     
  2. EricPeterson

    EricPeterson Member

    Messages:
    49,051
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2006
    Location:
    Under the Big Sky
     
  3. derekd

    derekd Member

    Messages:
    37,324
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2007
    Location:
    In a van down by the river
    Nice version.

    Had sort of an Island feel to it.
     
  4. jkg

    jkg Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,079
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Warren Zevon did an incredible stripped down version of Back in the Highlife Again (same album as Higher Love). Kind of gives you an idea of what kind of potential is there.

     
    A-Bone likes this.
  5. fetchmybeer

    fetchmybeer Member

    Messages:
    1,370
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2011
    I was still 13 when that album came out and there was something that bugged me about that song when I first heard it. Later, I came to realize that it's all those things you mention. However, the song really makes more sense when listened to within the context of the album. The vibe and production is very much what's on the rest of the album, which is 8 songs in excess of 5 minutes with booming drums, synth bass, and horns. When I listen to Higher Love now, it's hard to imagine it without any of those missing ingredients. Even that version posted above sounds naked to me. There are so many catchy elements thrown into that song on the different instruments, whether they be the horns, the girls singing backup, the funky guitar, to the synthesized fretless bass sound.
     
    spakuloid likes this.
  6. fetchmybeer

    fetchmybeer Member

    Messages:
    1,370
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2011
    Back In The High Life sounds almost like a reworking of If You See A Chance. It's the one song on the album that is a bit different from the rest.
     
  7. Zingeroo

    Zingeroo Member

    Messages:
    4,338
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2012
    I just hated hated hated the sound of the 80s. Everything about the 80s had that cheesy synth sound and fake drums. The mid-80s, that seemed the worst. I was just getting into high school. Heart put out that dreadful album full of hits and schlock.

    Maybe that's why I don't particularly care for that new Bruno Mars song. Sounds like all those 80s synth-funk-r&b bands at the time, reminds me of Was (Not Was) Walk the Dinosaur, or anything by Morris Day and the Time.

    But I digress. This is just such a great song that even the overproduction can't totally obscure the genius of Winwood.
     
  8. Improviser

    Improviser Member

    Messages:
    415
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2003
    Totally agree !
     
    SnidelyWhiplash likes this.
  9. Matt L

    Matt L Supporting Member

    Messages:
    11,088
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Location:
    Southern Maine
    I have a nostalgic thing for '80s production. I really can't hate it, because it's so tied into my favorite decade. Even stuff I hated at the time (that Jimmy Jam keyboard "WooOOOooo" they always threw into songs, the Stevie Wonder-style harmolodica solos everywhere, gratuitous sax solos, etc) is just funny to me now.


    Anyways, love Stevie Winwood's songs. Was just listening to Arc of A Diver.
     
    JiveTurkey likes this.
  10. aliensporebomb

    aliensporebomb Member

    Messages:
    5,215
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Location:
    mpls, mn, usa, urth
    Hey! Those gated reverbs cost money! They kind of had to use them! It was a legal requirement!
     
  11. radicool

    radicool Member

    Messages:
    1,692
    Joined:
    May 4, 2005
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Any good song will still be good if you take some of the bling off of it. But I don't mind all that '80s cheese on this one: that's the hit that I knew, so I expect to hear those things now.
     
    Balance likes this.
  12. caspersvapors

    caspersvapors Member

    Messages:
    1,961
    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    word
     
  13. robbes

    robbes Member

    Messages:
    1
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2016
    I Remember when that song came out. It was an instant hit and considered very cool. Steve Wynwood made an appearance on David Letterman Show when it was still in a small studio on NBC and performs higher love with Paul Shaffer and the band backing him. They really nailed it good with Anton on the drums. I guess that some of that 80's technology sounds kind of cheesy now, but the recording of higher love along with some of Madonna's bigger hits with Patrick Leonard sounds f****** great I think.
     
    Bluplirst likes this.
  14. Balance

    Balance Member

    Messages:
    1,039
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2003
    Location:
    Burbank, CA
    Yup.
     
  15. spakuloid

    spakuloid Member

    Messages:
    4,901
    Joined:
    May 6, 2007
    Location:
    Huntington Beach, CA
    That is one of the better 80's hit songs that encapsulates the pop era. I think the production is baked in. And that is the incredible Chaka Kahn singing those lady parts and killing it as usual. Awesome song.
     
  16. fjblair

    fjblair Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    12,053
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2011
    Location:
    NC High Country
    Not the only song to suffer unfortunately. The 80's were a wasteland of production values for the most part. More gated snare!
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice