Back in the High Life Again

"Back in the High Life Again" is a 1986 single written by Steve Winwood and Will Jennings and performed by Winwood.[1] The single was included on his album Back in the High Life and included backing vocals by James Taylor as well as a prominent mandolin played by Winwood. "Back in the High Life Again" was Winwood's second number one on the Adult Contemporary chart. The single stayed at number one for three weeks and went to number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100.[2] "Back in the High Life Again" received a Grammy nomination for Record of the Year in 1988.

"Back in the High Life Again"
Cover art for UK and non-US editions
Single by Steve Winwood
from the album Back in the High Life
ReleasedDecember 1986
RecordedUnique Recording Studio
New York, 1985
GenreR&B, blue-eyed soul, pop
Length5:33 (Album Version)
4:20 (Single Version)
LabelIslandIS 303
Songwriter(s)Steve Winwood
Will Jennings
Producer(s)Russ Titelman
Steve Winwood singles chronology
"Freedom Overspill"
"Back in the High Life Again"
"The Finer Things"

Track listing

7": Island / IS 303 United Kingdom

  1. "Back in the High Life Again" - 4:20
  2. "Help Me Angel" - 5:06

7": Island / 7-28472 United States

  1. "Back in the High Life Again" - 4:09
  2. "Night Train" (Instrumental) - 4:10

12": Island / 12 IS 303 United Kingdom

  1. "Back in the High Life Again" - 4:20
  2. "Night Train" (Instrumental) - 4:08
  3. "Help Me Angel" - 5:06

12": Island / PRO-A-2620 United States

  1. "Back in the High Life Again" - 4:20
  2. "Back in the High Life Again" - 5:33
  • Promo


In popular culture

The song was in closing credits of the CBS Sports coverage of the NBA Finals in 1987,[4] and appeared in the It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia episode "The Gang Buys a Boat". It was also used in a photo montage of the NASCAR on TNN production crew after TNN's final NASCAR race broadcast, the 2000 Checker Auto Parts/Dura Lube 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.[5]

Warren Zevon subsequently covered the song on his 2000 album Life'll Kill Ya. The Zevon version appeared in season 6, episode 6 of Longmire entitled "No Greater Character Endorsement."


Chart (1987) Peak
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[6] 53
US Billboard Hot 100[7] 13


  1. ^ "Steve Winwood". Billboard.
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–2001. Record Research. p. 262.
  3. ^ Jimmy Bralower: Web Exclusive | Modern Drummer Magazine
  4. ^ 1987 NBA Finals on YouTube
  5. ^ 2000 Checker Auto Parts 500 – Part 13/13 (Closing) (montage starts at the 7:10 mark)
  6. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved January 26, 2019.
  7. ^ "Steve Winwood Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved January 26, 2019.

External links

1988 MTV Video Music Awards

The 1988 MTV Video Music Awards aired live on September 7, 1988, honoring the best music videos from May 2, 1987, to April 1, 1988. The show was hosted by Arsenio Hall at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles. [1]

Australian group INXS was the night's biggest winner and nominee, taking home five awards out of nine nominations. The group's awards included Video of the Year and Viewer's Choice, making this the very first of few times in which the same artist and video took home these two awards in the one night. INXS's nominations, meanwhile, totaled up to nine: eight for "Need You Tonight/Mediate" (making it the year's most nominated video) and one for "Devil Inside".

In the meantime, George Harrison and U2 were tied in for second place in terms of nominations, as each picked up eight nominations that year. Furthermore, both artists split their nominations between two different videos in 1988, and at least once both of their videos competed against one another in the same category (and so did INXS's videos).

Finally, this year's show saw the elimination of another category, as the award for Best Overall Performance in a Video was not handed out this year or ever again. At the same time, the category of Most Experimental Video was renamed "Breakthrough Video", a name that it still keeps (as of the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards).

Back in the High Life

Back in the High Life is the fourth solo studio album by English rock musician Steve Winwood. Released in 1986, it was a top ten hit on the album charts in the United States, peaking at #3, and has sold over five million copies. The single "Higher Love" topped the singles chart and won the Grammy Award for "Record of the Year"; "Back in the High Life Again" (US #13), "The Finer Things" (US #8, the second biggest hit from the album), and "Freedom Overspill" (US #20) were also big hits. After 20 years with the label, this was Winwood's last studio album with Island Records. The album also features collaborations in backing vocals, featuring Chaka Khan in "Higher Love", and James Taylor in "Back in the High Life Again". It also features the Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh performing slide guitar and co-writing the track "Split Decision".

Bill D'Elia

Bill D'Elia is an American screenwriter, producer, director and actor. He is linked to many popular and award-winning television shows.

Chris Kroeze

Chris Kroeze (born January 28, 1991) is an American singer. He is the runner-up of season 15 of the American talent competition The Voice.

Higher Love

"Higher Love" is a 1986 song by English singer Steve Winwood. 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 reached number 18 in South Africa. It also earned two Grammy Awards for Record of the Year and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.

John Robinson (drummer)

John Frederick Robinson known professionally as John "JR" Johnson (born December 29, 1954 in Creston, Iowa) is an American drummer and session musician. He is known for his work with Quincy Jones, including Michael Jackson's multiplatinum Off the Wall album and the charity single "We Are the World".

Robinson attended Berklee College of Music in Boston. He has released two solo albums: Funkshui (2004) and Platinum (2007). He was inducted into the Iowa Rock 'n Roll Music Association Hall of Fame in 2005.

Robinson has played on dozens of film soundtracks, including Grand Canyon, ER, My Cousin Vinny, Jerry Maguire, The Bodyguard, Independence Day, Man of Steel, Space Jam, That Thing You Do!, and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Life'll Kill Ya

Life'll Kill Ya is the tenth studio album by American singer-songwriter Warren Zevon. The album was released on January 25, 2000, by Artemis Records.

List of Adult Contemporary top 10 singles in 1987 (U.S.)

This is a list of songs that have charted in the top ten of the Billboard Adult Contemporary in 1987.

List of number-one adult contemporary singles of 1987 (U.S.)

These are the Billboard adult contemporary chart number-one hits of 1987.

MTV Video Music Award for Best Male Video

The MTV Video Music Award for Best Male Video was one of four original general awards that have been handed out every year since the very first MTV Video Music Awards in 1984. In 2007, though, the award was briefly renamed Male Artist of the Year, and it awarded the artist's whole body of work for that year rather than a specific video. However, the award returned to its original name the following year. It was replaced by the Artist of the Year category in 2017, combining Best Male and Best Female video categories.With three victories, Eminem is the artist with most wins in this category, and also has the most nominations with nine. Meanwhile, Tom Petty, Beck, Will Smith, Justin Timberlake and Chris Brown, all have won this twice, with the first three being the only artists to win the award for two consecutive years.

Revolutions – The Very Best of Steve Winwood

Revolutions – The Very Best of Steve Winwood is the sixth compilation album by Steve Winwood. The album includes music from Winwood's solo career, as well as groups with which he has performed, including The Spencer Davis Group, Traffic, and Blind Faith. The CD was released as a box set and a single disc. As of October 2014, the box set is out of print (but can be purchased digitally), while the single disc is still available. The songs "The Finer Things" and "Roll With It" are exclusive to the single disc version and cannot be found on the box set.

In addition the version of "The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys" on both versions of this compilation is a different mix where various solos not on the original album version are heard. There is no indication of this on the album, but like other songs on the compilation, it is clearly different.

Steve Winwood

Stephen Lawrence Winwood (born 12 May 1948) is an English singer and musician whose genres include progressive rock, blue-eyed soul, rhythm and blues, blues rock, pop rock, and jazz. Though primarily a vocalist and keyboardist, Winwood also plays the Hammond organ, bass guitar, drums, acoustic and electric guitar, mandolin, violin, and other strings.

Winwood was a key member of The Spencer Davis Group, Traffic, Blind Faith and Go. He also had a successful solo career with hits including "While You See a Chance", "Valerie", "Back in the High Life Again" and two US Billboard Hot 100 number ones: "Higher Love" and "Roll with It". He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Traffic in 2004.In 2005, Winwood was honoured as a BMI Icon at the annual BMI London Awards for his "enduring influence on generations of music makers". In 2008, Rolling Stone ranked Winwood No. 33 in its 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. Winwood has won two Grammy Awards. He was nominated twice for a Brit Award for Best British Male Artist: 1988 and 1989. In 2011 he received the Ivor Novello Award from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors for Outstanding Song Collection.

Steve Winwood discography

The discography of Steve Winwood, a British rock artist, consists of nine studio albums, two live albums, six compilation albums, and twenty five singles. After performing in the bands, the Spencer Davis Group, Traffic, Blind Faith and Ginger Baker's Air Force, Winwood launched a solo career in 1977.

Winwood's self-titled debut album was released on Island Records in June 1977. Although the album peaked at #12 in the United Kingdom and in the Top 40 in the United States, its singles failed to gain success in either country. His second album, Arc of a Diver was issued in December 1980, certifying Platinum in the United States and Silver in the United Kingdom. The album's first track, "While You See a Chance" became a major hit in the United States, reaching #7 on the Billboard Hot 100. His 1982 follow-up album, Talking Back to the Night, did not produce any hits in the United States. However, the lead single, "Still in the Game" reached #19 on the Canadian Singles Chart and the second single, "Valerie" charted at #13 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.

Back in the High Life (1986) was aimed more towards Pop music, selling three million copies in the United States. "Higher Love" (spawned from the album) became Winwood's first number one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and Canadian Singles Chart, while also peaking at #13 on the UK Singles Chart. "Freedom Overspill," "Back in the High Life Again," and "The Finer Things" became major hits in the United States between 1986 and 1987. His fifth album Roll with It was released on Virgin Records in 1988, spawning the title track as the lead single. The song became Winwood's second number one single on the Canadian Singles Chart and the Billboard Hot 100. However, it only became a minor hit in the United Kingdom, reaching #53. "Don't You Know What the Night Can Do?" and "Holding On" both became major hits on the Hot 100 and Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart in 1988. Refugees of the Heart (1990) contained more Soul-inspired elements, debuting at #26 on the UK Albums Chart and #27 on the Billboard 200. Even though its first single, "One and Only Man" was a minor UK hit, it reached #5 in Canada and #18 in the United States.

Winwood released his next album, Junction Seven in 1997, which gained mixed reviews and had less success. It was followed by 2003's About Time and 2008's Nine Lives. Steve Winwood has sold over 7 million records in the United States alone, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.

The Finer Things

The Finer Things is a compilation album of recordings by Steve Winwood. It includes songs from his early days with The Spencer Davis Group through Traffic and Blind Faith and into his work during his solo career.

The Finer Things (song)

"The Finer Things" is a 1987 song written and performed by Steve Winwood. It was released as the fourth single from Winwood's 1986 album Back in the High Life. It went to number one for three weeks on the Adult Contemporary chart in 1987 and peaked at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100.

Warren Zevon

Warren William Zevon (; January 24, 1947 – September 7, 2003) was an American rock singer-songwriter and musician.

Zevon's most famous compositions include "Werewolves of London", "Lawyers, Guns and Money", "Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner" and "Johnny Strikes Up the Band", all of which are featured on his third album, Excitable Boy (1978), whose title track is also well-known. He also wrote major hits that were recorded by other artists, including "Poor Poor Pitiful Me", "Accidentally Like a Martyr", "Mohammed's Radio", "Carmelita", and "Hasten Down the Wind". Along with his own work, he recorded or performed occasional covers, including Allen Toussaint's "A Certain Girl", Bob Dylan's "Knockin' on Heaven's Door", Leonard Cohen's "First We Take Manhattan", Steve Winwood's "Back in the High Life Again", and Prince's "Raspberry Beret".

Initially successful as a band leader, Zevon struggled to have a solo career until his music was performed by Linda Ronstadt. This launched a cult following that lasted for 25 years with Zevon making occasional returns to album and single charts until his death from cancer in 2003. He briefly found a new audience in the 1980s by teaming up with members of R.E.M. in the blues rock outfit Hindu Love Gods.

Known for his dry wit and acerbic lyrics, he was a guest several times on Late Night with David Letterman and the Late Show with David Letterman.

Warren Zevon discography

This article lists the discography of American Rock singer-songwriter and musician Warren Zevon.

Will Jennings

Wilbur H. Jennings (usually Will; born June 27, 1944) is an American songwriter, who is popularly known for writing the lyrics for "My Heart Will Go On", the theme for the film Titanic. He has been inducted into the Songwriter's Hall of Fame and has won several awards including three Grammy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, and two Academy Awards.

Live albums
Related articles

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.