(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher
|"(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher"|
|Single by Jackie Wilson|
|from the album Higher and Higher|
|B-side||"I'm the One to Do It"|
|Released||July 6, 1967 (original version)
June 17, 1998 (digitally remastered Dolby Surround version)
|Format||7" single, cassette single|
|Recorded||July 6, 1967, Columbia Studios, Chicago, Illinois|
|Writer(s)||Gary Jackson, Raynard Miner and Carl Smith|
|Jackie Wilson singles chronology|
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2010)|
The backing track for "(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher" was recorded on 6 July 1967 at Columbia's studios in Chicago. Produced by Carl Davis, the session – arranged by Sonny Sanders – featured bassist James Jamerson, drummer Richard "Pistol" Allen, guitarist Robert White, and keyboardist Johnny Griffith; these four musicians were all members of the Motown Records house band The Funk Brothers who often moonlighted on sessions for Davis to augment the meager wages paid by Motown. According to Carl Davis, the Funk Brothers "used to come over on the weekends from Detroit. They’d load up in the van and come over to Chicago, and I would pay ‘em double scale, and I’d pay ‘em in cash." Similarly two of Motown's house session singers The Andantes, Jackie Hicks and Marlene Barrow, along with Pat Lewis (who was filling in for Andante Louvain Demps), performed on the session for "Higher and Higher".
Davis brought the track to New York City for Wilson to add his vocal; Davis recalls Wilson originally sang the song "like a soul ballad. I said that's totally wrong. You have to jump and go with the percussion...if he didn't want to sing it that way, I would put my voice on the record and sell millions". After hearing Davis' advisement Wilson cut the lead vocal for "...Higher and Higher" in a single take.
The original songwriting credit for "Higher and Higher" was to Gary Jackson and Carl Smith who'd previously been house songwriters at Chess Records. When "Higher and Higher" reached the Top Ten, Chess songwriters Billy Davis and Raynard Miner sued claiming the song as their composition which Jackson or Smith had appropriated from Miner's briefcase while at Chess Records; Davis and Miner alleged Jackson and Smith had slightly amended the lyrics and then presented "...Higher and Higher" to Davis as their own work. Davis and Miner were awarded eighty percent of the songwriting royalties with Jackson and Smith retaining twenty percent.
Released in August 1967, "Higher and Higher" reached #1 R&B and in November peaked on the Pop charts at #6.
In the UK Wilson's "Higher and Higher" would be a hit in 1969 (#11), 1975 (#25), and 1987 (#15).
The single's sales have been estimated as high as four million.
Columbia Records released a Higher and Higher album in November 1967: its chart peak was #163 (#28 R&B).
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (March 2010)|
Rita Coolidge version
|"(Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher and Higher"|
|Single by Rita Coolidge|
|from the album 'Anytime...Anywhere'|
|B-side||originally "I Don't Want to Talk About It" replaced on later pressings with "Who's To Bless And Who's To Blame"|
|Writer(s)||Billy Davis, Gary Jackson, Raynard Miner and Carl Smith|
|Rita Coolidge singles chronology|
Rita Coolidge remade the song as "(Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher and Higher" for her 1977 album Anytime...Anywhere. Coolidge's version "...Higher and Higher" is more mid-tempo than the driving original and largely omits the chorus which is evidenced only in the background vocals sung under the repetition of the first verse with which Coolidge closes the song.
Coolidge and her sister Priscilla Jones had sung background on a version of the song for a prospective album by Jones' husband Booker T. Jones; when that album was shelved Coolidge asked Booker T. Jones if she could cut the song using his arrangement.
Released as a single, "...Higher and Higher" became Coolidge's first major hit in nine years of recording: the track peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 – Cash Box ranked it at #1 – with appeal to light rock stations (#5 Easy Listening).
In the UK "...Higher and Higher" was released as the follow-up single after "We're All Alone" which had reached #6 but "(Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher and Higher" only achieved a peak of #48 UK. In Australia "...Higher and Higher" reached #6 and spent 33 weeks on the chart.
"Best of My Love" by the Emotions
|Cash Box #1 on Top 100 Singles chart
September 10, 1977
"Don't Stop" by Fleetwood Mac
A 1967 recording by Otis Redding – as "(Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher and Higher" – was released in 1969, 18 months after Redding's death, as the B-side of his "Free Me" single. This version reached #30 on the R&B charts, and #103 on the pop charts.
The Move covered "(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher" in 1968.
In 1969 Gamble and Huff produced a version performed by the Jaggerz for the Introducing the Jaggerz album; the track – which was titled as "Higher and Higher" – was issued as a single in the autumn of 1970 but did not chart (the Jaggerz were by then having more recent records issued by the Kama Sutra label).
Also in 1969, the Mexican rock and roll band "Los Hitters" recorded a cover of "Higher and Higher", renaming it "Alto mas Alto", for the album of the same name.
In 1970 the song was recorded – also just under the title "Higher and Higher" – by Canada Goose a group from Ottawa who'd been discovered by Jerry Ragovoy: this version with a shared lead vocal by Barbra Bullard and John Matthews became a hit in Canada (#44) and reached #92 on the Record World 100 Pop Chart.
Audio Adrenaline covered the song and changed the lyrics to reflect a Christian message.
In 2008 the song became a #9 Adult Contemporary hit for Michael McDonald who'd remade it for his Soul Speak album of classic soul songs: it was McDonald's 16 year old daughter Scarlett who suggested he record a version. In 1999, McDonald had been brought in as a sideman to sing lead on Chicago's Chicago XXVI: Live in Concert album, which closed with this studio track.
2008 also saw the song – as "Higher and Higher" – chart in Sweden due to Kevin Borg the eventual winner of Idol Season 8 performing it in the competition: downloads of Borg's version secured it a #29 ranking.
Overall "(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher" has proven more popular with female vocalists: besides Rita Coolidge, it has been recorded by Erma Franklin, Barbara Mandrell, Esther Phillips, Dolly Parton, Maria Mendiola (as "Higher and Higher"), Martha Reeves and Dana Valery.
Bette Midler sang a radically re-invented version on her 1973 Bette Midler album: Midler utilized the song as the finale for each performance of her 1975 Broadway show Clams on the Half Shell Revue, singing it while dancing atop a giant spinning record player.
In 1976 Séverine had a single release of the German rendering "Heißer Als Feuer".
Kate Ceberano recorded the song – as "Higher and Higher" – in 2003 for her album 19 Days in New York, a January 2004 release which marked the return to the studio of Billy Davis, a veteran of the classic Chicago R&B sound who coproduced with Leonard Caston Jr. (19 Days in New York was the final production of Davis who died 2 September 2004). Ceberano's "Higher and Higher" was released as a promo single to Australian radio.
A dance version – listed as both "Your Love is Lifting Me Higher" and "Your Love is Lifting Me (Higher and Higher)" – by Gioia was released in 2007.
A version by Dusty Springfield which she sang on a BBC radio broadcast on 5 January 1970, was issued on the 2007 Mercury Records compilation Dusty Springfield Complete BBC Sessions.
A live version by Tom Jones appears on his album, Special.
Bruce Springsteen has covered the song in concert more than a dozen times between 1977's Chicken Scratch Tour and 2012's Wrecking Ball, using it almost exclusively to close sets. Springsteen & The E Street Band also led an all-star band to end 2009's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25th Anniversary concert at Madison Square Garden to the song, with guests including John Fogerty, Billy Joel, Darlene Love, Sam Moore, Tom Morello, Jackson Browne, and Peter Wolf.
A radically different Ambient House version was recorded by the Newcastle based Electro pop band Moira Stewart. It features on their second album 'Whatever We Do Is Love'.
The Chemical Brothers created a dreamy version: Snow from the album Further.
In June 2013, Pixie Lott's version featured in the B&Q unloved rooms advert.
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- Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942–2004. Record Research. p. 630.
- "Country Music People 10/06". Archived from the original on 2009-05-06. Retrieved 4 May 2009.
- Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. "The Dells". Archived from the original on 2009-05-11. Retrieved 2009-05-09.
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"Funky Broadway" by Wilson Pickett
|Billboard Hot R&B Singles number-one single
October 7, 1967
"Soul Man" by Sam & Dave