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|"(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||August 1967 (original version) |
June 17, 1998 (digitally remastered Dolby Surround re-release version)
|Recorded||July 6, 1967|
|Studio||Columbia Studios, Chicago|
|Label||Brunswick Records |
|Jackie Wilson singles chronology|
"(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher" is an R&B song written by Gary Jackson, Raynard Miner, and Carl Smith. It was recorded by Jackie Wilson for his album Higher and Higher (1967), produced by Carl Davis, and became a Top 10 pop and number one R&B hit.
The backing track was recorded on July 6, 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 wages paid by Motown.[better source needed]
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 members of Motown's house session singers The Andantes, Jackie Hicks and Marlene Barrow, along with Pat Lewis (who was filling in for Andantes member Louvain Demps), performed on the session for "Higher and Higher". Drummer Maurice White (better known as a singer for Earth, Wind & Fire) also played on the recording. Motown's Mike Terry played the baritone saxophone.
The song was originally written by Chess Records' in-house writers and producers Carl Smith and Raynard Miner, and initially recorded by The Dells for the label, but not released. Another writer, Gary Jackson, made some changes to the song and pitched it to Davis at Brunswick. When the singer recorded his vocal track, 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's advice, Wilson cut the lead vocal for "Higher and Higher" in a single take.
A publishing deal for the song was reached with Brunswick after Chess producer/A&R head, Billy Davis, intervened. Writing credits were agreed, with Smith, Miner, Jackson and Billy Davis all named. Later, Davis removed his credit and BMI now lists the song as by the three other writers. The Dells' version appeared on their album, There Is, for Chess subsidiary Cadet the same year.
Released in August 1967, the song reached number one on the US Billboard R&B chart and, in November, peaked on the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 6. Wilson's version also rose to number 11 and 15 upon the UK Singles Chart during 1969 and 1987 respectively.
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Gold||400,000‡|
‡ Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.
In popular culture
Wilson's original version and a cover version by singer Howard Huntsberry were both used in the 1989 comedy film Ghostbusters II, with Huntsberry's version also appearing on its soundtrack. It also appears in the end credits of the films The Bachelor, Disney's The Kid and Death to Smoochy.
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"|
3:28 (single edit)
|Songwriter(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 album Anytime...Anywhere (1977). Her version has a more moderate tempo than that of the uptempo original, and largely omits the chorus which is evidenced only in the background vocals sung under the repetition of the first verse with which she closes the song. Coolidge and her sister Priscilla Coolidge had sung background on a version of the song for a prospective album by Priscilla's husband Booker T. Jones; when that album was shelved, Coolidge asked him if she could cut the song using his arrangement.
Released as a single, Coolidge's version became her first major hit in nine years of recording: the track peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was kept from the No. 1 spot by "Best of My Love" by The Emotions. Cash Box ranked it at No. 1. "Higher and Higher" also reached No. 1 in Canada. Both the song and a subsequent release, "We're All Alone", earned Coolidge gold records for each selling a million copies.
In the UK it was released as the follow-up single after "We're All Alone" which had reached No. 6, but it only achieved a peak of No. 48 there.
|Australia (Kent Music Report)||6|
|Canada RPM Top Singles||1|
|Canada RPM Adult Contemporary||3|
|New Zealand (RIANZ)||7|
|UK (Official Charts Company)||48|
|US Billboard Hot 100||2|
|US Billboard Adult Contemporary||5|
|US Cash Box Top 100 ||1|
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||8|
|U.S. Cash Box||8|
Kevin Borg version
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