It belongs to Steve Winwood, the former member of the Spencer Davis Group, Blind Faith and Traffic, who recorded a gem from the Autumn of 1985 to the Spring of 1986 that he named Back in the High Life. The album generated huge airplay on several different formats, including Top 40, Adult Contemporary and AOR stations. "Higher Love" won a Grammy for Record of the Year and also earned Winwood a Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. The album also won a third Grammy for Best Engineered Album. "The Finer Things" was a huge hit, while "Back in the High Life Again", "Freedom Overspill", "Take It As It Comes" and "Wake Me Up On Judgement Day" also received good airplay.
The album is highly consistent; there isn't a bad song on it and perhaps only one "average" cut (a Track Rating of 9.00). It has sold seven million copies to date, spending 14 weeks in the Top Ten and 86 weeks on the album chart.
- "Higher Love" (Steve Winwood and Will Jennings) – 5:45
- "Take It as It Comes" (Winwood & Jennings) – 5:20
- "Freedom Overspill" (Winwood, George Fleming, James Hooker) --5:33
- "Back in the High Life Again" (Winwood, Jennings) – 5:33
- "The Finer Things" (Winwood, Jennings) – 5:47
- "Wake Me Up on Judgment Day" (Winwood, Jennings) – 5:48
- "Split Decision" (Winwood, Joe Walsh) --5:58
- "My Love's Leavin'" (Winwood, Viv Stanshall) --5:19
Winwood plays several instruments to back his own cause, including acoustic and electric guitar, keyboards and synthesizer and synthesized bass. Additional keyboard work is provided by David Frank, Robbie Kilgore, Arif Mardin, Rob Mounsey and Andrew Thonas. Joe Walsh, Nile Rodgers, Eddie Martinez, Ira Siegel ad Paul Pesco play guitar on the album, Phillipe Saisse plays electric and synthesized bass and Jimmy Bralower, Steve Ferrone, John Robinson, Carol Steele and Mickey Curry play drums and percussion. Randy Brecker, George Young, Bob Mintzer and Louis Del Gatto play horns. A bevy of talent provides background vocals: James Taylor, James Ingram, Chaka Khan, Dan Hartman, Mark Stevens, Connie Harvey and Jocelyn Brown all line up behind Winwood.
Back in the High Life was recorded at the Unique Recording Studio and Power Station in New York City and the Netherturkdonic Studio in Gloucesterhire, U.K. You will see the name Power Station in several of the top 100 Albums; it is one of the best. The album was released in July of 1986 on Island Records. Winwood produced his own album along with assistance from Russ Titelman. It was mixed by Tom Lord-Alge. Jon Wolfson, Steve Rinkoff, Mike Nicholson, Scott Mabuchi, Chris, Tom and Jeff Lord-Alge, Bruce Lampcov, Dave Greenberg, John Goldberger, Rob Eaton, Jason Corsaro, Nobby Clark, Ed Bruder, Sean Chennery, Jim Boyer & Claude "Swifty" Achille engineered the project.
Here at #90--Back in the High Life, from Steve Winwood.