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Back in the High Life Import

4.8 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Oct. 1 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Island
  • ASIN: B000001FKA
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews
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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'

Product Description

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

By Stephen Bieth TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on Aug. 20 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
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 Huston, Machael Jackson, Van Halen, Judas priest and say Yes all in the charts. Even thow I am not a huge fan of most 80's music I have to admit it was much cooler to have charts like that as teenager in comparison to today's list of company made Pop stars). This album is high energy, Winwood is in top voice and with songs like "Back In The Highlife..." and "Freedom overspill" which would stand out on most records but in this case the record is so solid they are just some other tracks.
Steve also brought back some of his blue eyed soul from his Spencer Davis days (which he would take further with his next record (Roll With It).
Overall great CD !!
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Format: Audio CD
Steve Winwood was indeed enjoying the high life after the release of this album in 1986. Back in the High Life is one of the best albums of that musically rich decade, providing Winwood with four huge hit singles. Winwood almost became too popular as a result of these songs; the radio played Higher Love, The Finer Things, Freedom Overspill, and Back in the High Life Again so often that even I eventually began to grow tired of them. As a result, I can say that I enjoy this album even more today than I did at the time of its initial release. Winwood's distinctive, laid-back music never goes out of style, and it soothes the soul while touching the heart with some quite emotional, really meaningful lyrics. I'm afraid I can't really describe the music; all I can say is that it combines drums, guitars, and horns in a way that is all its own.
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.
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Format: Audio CD
As an experienced artist, Winwood reaches his peak on this masterpiece.
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.
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Format: Audio CD
After a 20 year career with the Spencer Davis Group, Traffic, Blind Faith and as a solo artist, Steve Winwood finally hit big with this album of consistent quality from start to finish. Throughout, Winwood's high, soulful voice is on good form, and the songs are his most consistently commercial to date - every one being memorable. The Grammy-winning 'Higher love' opens the album, and from then on it's the same excellent standard, with potential hit after hit until the gentle closing ballad 'My love is leaving', with lyrics by former Bonzo Dog Band front-man and occasional Winwood collaborator Viv Stanshall.
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.
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