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Music

Bruce Springsteen covers a Motown classic 'Higher and Higher'

@notmyyaztattoo

Bruce Springsteen, also known as New Jersey’s unofficial mascot, is not likely to be the first person to pop into your head when someone says “Motown”. However, that didn’t stop him from bringing his own flair to a Motown classic when he and the E Street Band covered ‘(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher’.

The song, originally by Jackie Wilson for his album of the same title, was written by Gary Jackson, Raynard Miner, and Carl Smith. Jackie Wilson was a prominent figure in the R&B and soul movement, putting out numerous studio albums in his lifetime. ‘(Your Love Takes Me) Higher and Higher’ is one of his most famous songs.

Bruce Springsteen, on the other hand, isn’t exactly in the camp of Motown or R&B. However, that doesn’t mean he can’t gather inspiration from a variety of places and genres, bringing him to this striking cover, which he has performed live multiple times with The E Street Band. Of course, Springsteen puts his own spin on it, as he does with all of his music. His distinct, powerful voice is highly recognisable regardless of the arrangement. However, The Boss does keep it to the Motown roots in the song as he performs with the full instrumental backing as well as the chorusing backing vocals.

Again, this song isn’t one he’s ever recorded as a part of an album in the studio, it’s simply a part of the live show repertoire every once in a while, and that’s a part of what makes it so special. When you watch the video of him and his band performing the song, it has a sense of live spirit that would be difficult to recreate in the recording booth. They’re excited to be there, Springsteen is excited to be there, and it makes for a captivating show.

Bruce Springsteen is still going strong making music. In fact, his most recent studio album just came out in 2020—so it’s safe to say there could definitely be more covers on the horizon. In a long career like his, it’s important to try new things and experiment with different sounds, and that’s exactly what covers like this are all about. Even if it’s a little unexpected, that almost makes the listening experience even better.

Whether you’re a huge Bruce Springsteen fan or a casual listener, this cover is bound to strike a little bit of curiosity. If you want to try giving a listen to Springsteen’s cover of this Motown classic, you can find the live video down below.