"Higher Ground" is a funk song written by Stevie Wonder which first appeared on his 1973 album Innervisions. The song reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the US Hot R&B Singles chart. Wonder wrote and recorded the song in a three-hour burst of creativity in May 1973. The album version of the song contains an extra verse and runs 30 seconds longer than the single version. The unique wah-clavinet sound in the song was achieved with a Mu-tron III envelope filter pedal. The bass line is provided by a Moog synthesizer. Via overdubs, Wonder played all instruments on the track, including drums.
The song was also released in the UK "Higher Ground" but achieved only modest success, reaching only #29 in the UK Singles Chart.
I would like to believe in reincarnation. I would like to believe that there is another life. I think that sometimes your consciousness can happen on this earth a second time around. For me, I wrote Higher Ground even before the accident. But something must have been telling me that something was going to happen to make me aware of a lot of things and to get myself together. This is like my second chance for life, to do something or to do more, and to value the fact that I am alive.
In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked the song #265 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, adding: "'Ground' was recorded just before Wonder was involved in a near-fatal accident in August '73 that left him in a coma. Early in Wonder's recovery, his road manager sang the song's melody into the singer's ear; Wonder responded by moving his fingers with the music."
^Christopher Knowles (2010). Viva Editions, ed. The Secret History of Rock 'n' Roll. ISBN978-1573445641. "Milk gave the band much-needed hits with “Knock Me Down” and a cover of Stevie Wonder's “Higher Ground,” both of which worked the funk-metal vein."