Higher Love

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For the movie also known as 'Uncorked' and 'Trade Winds', see At Sachem Farm.
"Higher Love"
Steve Winwood - Higher Love.jpeg
Single by Steve Winwood
from the album Back in the High Life
Released 20 June 1986
Format CD Single , Cassette maxi ,,7" , 12"
Genre Pop, blue-eyed soul
Length 5:45 (Album Version)
4:14 (Single Version)
Label Island - IS 288
Writer(s) Steve Winwood
Will Jennings
Producer(s) Russ Titelman
Steve Winwood singles chronology
"Higher Love"
"Freedom Overspill"
Music sample

"Higher Love" is a 1986 song by English singer Steve Winwood.[1] It was the first single released from his fourth solo LP, Back in the High Life. It was written by Winwood and Will Jennings, and produced by Russ Titelman and Winwood. The female vocals on the song were performed by Chaka Khan, who also appeared in the promotional music video.

"Higher Love" was Winwood's first Billboard Hot 100 number-one hit, topping the chart for one week. It was preceded by Madonna's "Papa Don't Preach" and followed by "Venus" by Bananarama. The song also spent four weeks atop the US Billboard Album Rock Tracks chart. It peaked at number 13 in the United Kingdom, his highest charting solo hit there. It also earned two Grammy Awards for Record of the Year and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.

Music video[edit]

The music video, which uses the shorter single version, was shot in June 1986 by directors Peter Kagan and Paula Greif. The same duo shot an almost identical video for Duran Duran's "Notorious" in November of that year; coincidentally, both videos were nominated for several awards at the 1987 MTV Video Music Awards though neither won. Chaka Khan appears in the video, as does Nile Rodgers, who plays guitar with the backing band.

Appearances in media[edit]

  • Whitney Houston recorded a cover version which appears as a bonus track on the Japanese release of her I'm Your Baby Tonight album.
  • James Vincent McMorrow recorded the song in 2011 for a charity album "Silver Lining". Recorded and produced by students of the Sound Training Centre in Dublin. All funds raised went to Headstrong - Charity for Young Peoples Mental Health. It was also released as a B-Side on his 2011 EP "We Don't Eat".
  • The song was used in the closing credits of the hit 1988 film Big Business.
  • It was also featured in an episode of the television drama Cold Case, "Time to Crime".
  • The song was used in an episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia titled "Sweet Dee Has a Heart Attack" which aired 30 October 2008.
  • This song was used in the 1987 film Stakeout.
  • This song was used in the original 1987 debut of 21 Jump Street.
  • This song was featured in the Grand Theft Auto V Soundtrack, on the radio station Los Santos Rock Radio.[2]
  • This song is the background music for a Feb. 2016 Hershey's ad for S'Mores, titled "My Dad" and sung by Winwood's daughter Lilly with her father accompanying her.[3]
  • Miguel sang a version of the song on ABC's Greatest Hits on July 15, 2016.
  • Australian musician Anthony Callea covered the song for his album Backbone (2016).
  • Both the original and cover version performed by James Vincent McMorrow were featured in the TV series Elementary during the episode 'Render, and then Seize Her'.


Track listing[edit]

7": Island / IS 288 United Kingdom[edit]

  1. "Higher Love" - 4:14
  2. "And I Go" - 4:12

7": Island/ 7-28710 United States[edit]

  1. "Higher Love" - 4:14
  2. "And I Go" - 4:12

12": Island / 12 IS 288 United Kingdom[edit]

  1. "Higher Love" (Remix) - 7:45
  2. "Higher Love" (Instrumental) - 6:05
  3. "And I Go" 4:12

12": Island / PRO-A-2507 United States[edit]

  1. "Higher Love" (Edit) - 4:08
  2. "Higher Love" (LP Version) - 5:45
  • US Promo 12"


External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Papa Don't Preach" by Madonna
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
30 August 1986
Succeeded by
"Venus" by Bananarama
Preceded by
"Mad About You" by Belinda Carlisle
Canadian RPM number-one single
13 September 1986
Succeeded by
"Friends and Lovers" by Gloria Loring and Carl Anderson