Higher Ground Stevie Wonder / Red Hot Chili Peppers
“Higher Ground” will take you from the simplicity of major and minor scales, and now help you explore the concepts of relative major and minor scales and their pentatonic forms. When it comes to illustrating exactly how this works in music, “Higher Ground” is hard to beat! After you see how this all works in the original and the Chili Peppers’ version of “Higher Ground”, we’ll learn how to spice up your creativity in your own songs. This is one of the most successful “cover songs” in the whole Hit Music Theory program.
“Higher Ground” is a funk song written by Stevie Wonder which first appeared on his 1973 album Innervisions. The song reached number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 1 on the US Hot R&B Singles chart. Wonder wrote and recorded the song in a three-hour burst of creativity in May 1973. The album version contains an extra verse and runs 30 seconds longer than the single. The unique wah-clavinet sound in the song was achieved with a Mu-Tron III envelope filter pedal. The bass line is a Moog synth. Stevie Wonder played all instruments on the track, including drums and percussion.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers released a cover of “Higher Ground” as the first single from their fourth studio album Mother’s Milk. That version has been featured in films, TV shows and video games, including Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Beavis and Butthead, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Walking Tall, The Longest Yard, and The Karate Kid. FX used the song to promote The Ultimate Fighter: Live and it also serves as the show’s theme song. British magazine Total Guitar named it the second greatest cover ever in 2000.