Ever since the dawn of MTV and Friday Night Videos, the music video has significantly impacted musical tastes and pop culture. It might not be as extreme as when the Buggles declared that "Video Killed the Radio Star", but there is no arguing that the music video certainly could make or break a song's popularity. So this regular Flashback Video feature will serve to remember some of the music videos from the great '80s decade that made an impact on me in one way or another.
This issue we will cover "Higher Love" by Steve Winwood. This was the first single released from his fourth solo album Back in the High Life in June of 1986. It went on to become Winwood's first Billboard Hot 100 #1 song, topping the chart for one week in starting at the end of August. "Higher Love" also earned two Grammy Awards, for Record of the Year and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. The song benefits hugely from Chaka Khan providing backing vocals in the chorus.
The music video for "Higher Love" was actually Winwood's first. It was directed by Peter Kagan and Paula Greif. Together the duo also directed other videos like Scritti Politti's "Perfect Way", Duran Duran's "Notorious" and Cutting Crew's "(I Just) Died In Your Arms". They also directed the commercial for Nike's Air Max using "Revolution" by the Beatles. "Higher Love" was very similar in style to the duo's other work featuring Winwood singing on a darkened sound stage with his band while various dancers are showed in fast edited quick cuts. Choreography was provided by Edward Love who went on to choreograph on the 1988 film Hairspray. Chaka Khan does appear in the video to sing her part in the chorus as does Nile Rodgers who plays guitar with the band. Here is the U.S. version of the music video for "Higher Love" by Steve Winwood...
"Higher Love" was nominated for several awards at the 1987 MTV Video Music Awards including Video of the Year, Best Male Video, Best Direction, Best Choreography, Best Editing, Best Cinematography and Viewer's Choice, but lost all of them (most to "Sledgehammer" by Peter Gabriel) that year.
Hope you enjoyed another trip back to the '80s thanks to Flashback Video!