Flyin' High (In the Friendly Sky)

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"Flyin' High (In the Friendly Sky)"
Song by Marvin Gaye from the album What's Going On
Released July 10,1971
Recorded May 1–10, 1971, Hitsville U.S.A. (Studio A)
Golden World (Studio B)
Hitsville West
Genre Soul, psychedelic soul
Length 3:49
Label Tamla
Writer Marvin Gaye
Anna Gordy Gaye
Elgie Stover
Producer Marvin Gaye
What's Going On track listing
"What's Happening Brother"
(2)
"Flyin' High (In the Friendly Sky)"
(3)
"Save the Children"
(4)

"Flyin' High (In the Friendly Sky)" is a 1971 song co-written and produced by singer Marvin Gaye, later issued as the third track on Marvin's lauded What's Going On album. The song continued in a song cycle that had begun with the previous track, "What's Happening Brother" as quickly after the song ended with the lyric, "Cause I'm slightly behind the time" creating a moody and ominous sound punctuated by the singer's falsetto. Co-written with wife Anna Gordy and confidant Elgie Stover, the song talked about drug addiction, the drug of choice in the song is heroin as explained in the lyric, "I know I'm hooked my friend/to the boy who makes slaves out of men".

Related to the song, numerous Vietnam vets struggled with heroin addiction. Marvin later stated the song title was a ploy at an ad made by United Airlines ironically with the slogan, "flying in the friendly skies". The song would be sampled by several hip-hop musicians. Marvin sings both lead and background vocals on this song.

The song was originally recorded under a slightly different mix a year before as "Sad Tomorrows" which Gaye co-wrote by Fuller Gordy and Delores Wilkinson and featured background vocals by The Originals, with whom had big hits under Gaye's productions. Like the later version of the song, Marvin also sings totally in falsetto. The song also ends faster than the later version and that version was later put in remastered re-issues of What's Going On including the Deluxe Edition issue.

Personnel[edit]