Back in the High Life Import
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Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
|1. Higher Love|
|2. Take It As It Comes|
|3. Freedom Overspill|
|4. Back In The High Life Again|
|5. The Finer Things|
|6. Wake Me Up On Judgement Day|
|7. Split Decision|
|8. My Love's Leavin'|
In a career full of triumphs, this 1986 LP might have been the pinnacle for Winwood; it sold three million copies and gave him his first #1, the Grammy-winning Higher Love . It joins the infectious title tune; the hit Freedom Overspill; Split Decision , and more pop gems with guests Joe Walsh, James Taylor and others!
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Top Customer Reviews
While the album is remembered primarily for commercial successes such as Higher Love (featuring memorable backup vocals by Chaka Kahn) and Back in the High Life Again (featuring harmony vocals by James Taylor), it features eight songs of incredible quality. I might note that each track exceeds five minutes in length, so this album is not as short as it may appear. Take It As It Comes had real hit potential in my opinion. Wake Me Up on Judgment Day doesn't seem that memorable yet plays itself over and over in your mind after you hear it. Split Decision features some great guitar riffs, proving that Winwood can get down and rock a little when he wants to. The final track, My Love's Leavin', may well be the best song on the album, communicating both loss and hope in a way few artists can equal. You would be hard pressed to find a more impressive album from top to bottom than Steve Winwood's Back in the High Life.
The songs here differ, at least after repeated listenings, from most radio pop in their wonderful sophistication. Repeated changes in mood and texture abound in almost every track, and are especially marked on the outstanding "Finer Things" and "Split Decision", where they add a surprising dimension that keeps the songs listenable all through. Generally, the mood is sober and almost dark, and it is noteworthy that the best-remembered track "Higher Love" is by far the brightest and most emotional on the record. Will Jennings' love stories are put forward in such a sober, almost proper, manner that one can believe them easily.
The changes in mood I liken to patches of colour on a black background, and they work wonderfully with the flawlessly-crafted songs, such as "Freedom Overspill", "Wake Me Up On Judgement Day" and "Take It As It Comes". The music, despite its rather darkish tone, never gets tearful. The sophistication and tunefulness mean that not one of the forty-four minutes on the record seems excessive, and Winwood's cast (including Chaka Khan and Joe Walsh) backs him up very well, with Khan's voice elevating the still-famous "Higher Love" to a new level.
One of the major albums of the 1980s, and unrivalled as music to play when one's in grief over a lost lover.
The album's sound and style is very different from that of his earlier solo efforts, thanks to factors such as the large session band, the heavy use of percussion, synthesizers and horns, and the powerful overall sound of the recording contributed by the mixing style of Tom Lord-Alge. There are also notable contributions from a number of well-known artists, such as Chaka Khan, Dan Hartman, James Ingram and James Taylor (vocals), John Robinson and Steve Ferrone (drums) and Nile Rodgers and Joe Walsh (guitar). Although synthesizers and drum machines are quite prominent in the recording, they are tempered by Winwood's stylish vocals and Hammond organ playing, and the album certainly does not have a machine-like, soulless sound, but rolls along effortlessly assisted by the complex percussion arrangements. Guitars appear on most tracks, although the use of a synth bass rather than bass guitar does mean that the tracks do not 'flow' quite as naturally as they might have done.
Whilst not wanting to downplay Winwood's other albums (the subsequent 'Roll with it' is also excellent) this record is so consistent that it must be regarded as probably his best so far. Very highly recommended.
Most recent customer reviews
This is by far Steve Winwoods top selling CD as a solo artist. It contained several top 10 singles (you know it's funny back in the 80's you could have a top ten chart with Whitney... Read morePublished on Aug. 20 2013 by Stephen Bieth
There's only 8 tracks on this album, but half of it is some of his biggest hits ever. Included is "The Finer Things", "Freedom Overspill", "Back In The... Read morePublished on March 9 2004 by H3@+h
Back In The High Life has to be one of the best songs I have ever heard and I have been following folk and rock and roll since the 50's. Read morePublished on March 6 2004
Don't be a poseur. Steve Winwood rocks in a non-rocking way, and that's cool.
every track on this album is perfect for just chillin out to, and the title track has got to be... Read more
After only mixed results on three solo albums which he tried to record and produce on his own, Steve Winwood turned to the production talents of Russ Titleman and a number of guest... Read morePublished on July 22 2002 by Steven R. Seim
This is a great album that has many good songs on it. Every single song is worth listening to on this album. This album features the Number 1 hit for 1 week Higher Love. Read morePublished on July 4 2002
MY FAVOTITE CUT IS "FINER THINGS". I LIKE ALL THE REST OF THE SONGS ALSO. STEVE WINWOOD DOES NOT DISAPPOINT. Read morePublished on June 11 2002 by B. Martin