Higher Ground (1997)

Catalog Number(s):

Higher Ground CD cover

(Below: A look at the Higher Ground CD tray)

CD Tray

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Tracks

  1. I Believe / You'll Never Walk Alone [6:10]
    (“Believe” - E. Drake / I. Graham / J. Shirl / A. Stillman;
    “You'll” - R. Rodgers / O. Hammerstein II)
  2. Higher Ground [4:22]
    (S. Dorff / G. Green / K. Agee)
  3. At The Same Time [4:16]
    (A.H. Callaway)
  4. Tell Him (Duet with Celine Dion) [4:51]
    (D. Foster / L. Thompson / W. Afanasieff)
  5. On Holy Ground [6:12]
    (G. Davis)
  6. If I Could [4:23]
    (R.L. Miller / K. Hirsch / M.V. Sharron)
  7. Circle [4:14]
    (J. Friedman / C. Weil)
  8. The Water Is Wide / Deep River [5:31]
    (traditionals)
  9. Leading With Your Heart [3:32]
    (A. Bergman / M. Bergman / M. Hamlisch)
  10. Lessons To Be Learned [4:41]
    (A. Rich / D.S. Gazeley / M. Malamet)
  11. Everything Must Change [4:02]
    (B. Ighner)
  12. Avinu Malkeinu [4:07]
    (M. Janowski)

Individual track credits:

(mouse and click on each song to reveal the credits...)

1. I Believe/You'll Never Walk Alone

“I Believe” Written by: Ervin Drake, Irvin Graham, Jimmy Shirl, Al Stillman

“You'll Never Walk Alone” Written by: Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II

Produced by: Barbra Streisand and Arif Mardin

Orchestra Arranged and Conducted by: Jeremy Lubbock

Keyboards & Programming: Scott Frankfurt

Recorded by: David Reitzas

Mixed by: Frank Filipetti

2. Higher Ground

Written by: Steve Dorff, George Green, Kent Agee

Produced by: Barbra Streisand and Arif Mardin

Orchestra Arranged and Conducted by: William Ross

Piano/Keyboards: Greg Phillinganes

Acoustic Guitar: Dean Parks

Bass: Neil Stubenhaus

Drums: J.R. Robinson

Percussion: Bob Zimmetti

Recorded by: David Reitzas

Mixed by: Frank Filipetti

3. At the Same Time

Written by: Ann Hampton Callaway

Produced & Arranged by: Walter Afanasieff

Orchestra Arranged & Conducted by: Jeremy Lubbock

Keyboards, Synth, Bass, Drum & Rhythm Programming: Walter Afanasieff

Additional Keyboards and Drum & Rhythm Programming, Sound Design & Computer Programming: Dan Shea

Guitars: Dann Huff

Background Vocals: Phillip Ingram, Alex Brown, Lynn Davis, Jim Gilstrap and The Carol Lombard Children's Choir

Recorded by: David Gleeson, Dave Reitzas, Jeff Balding

Mixed by: Mick Guzauski

4. Tell Him (Duet with Celine Dion)

Written by: David Foster, Linda Thompson, Walter Afanasieff

Produced & Arranged by: David Foster (For Chartmaker Inc.) and Walter Afanasieff (For WallyWorld Productions)

Orchestra Arranged & Conducted by: William Ross

Keyboards & Synthesizers, Drum & Rhythm Programming: Walter Afanasieff

Additional Keyboards and Synthesizers: David Foster

Sound Design & Computer Programming: Dan Shea

Guitars: Dann Huff

Drum Programming: Simon Franglen

Recorded by: David Gleeson, Dave Reitzas, Humberto Gatica (for Hum Inc. Productions), Jeff Balding

Mixed by: Humberto Gatica

5. On Holy Ground

Written by: Geron Davis

Produced by: Barbra Streisand and Mervyn Warren

Arranged & Conducted by: Mervyn Warren

Piano: Mervyn Warren

Drums: J.R. Robinson

Bass: Reggie Hamilton

Hammond B-3 Organ: Byron Smith

Percussion: Peter Michael Escovedo III

Choir: Maxi Anderson, Alfie Durio-Silas, Kristle Murden, Bridgette Bryant-Fiddmont, Jessica Williams, Lynn Davis, Carmen Twillie, Maxine Waters-Willard, Carmen Carter, Yvonne Williams, Bobette Jamieson-Harrison, Lynne Fiddmont-Linsey, Carl Graves, David Thomas, Richard Jackson, Willie Wheaton, Jeff Ramsey, Fred White

Recorded by: Frank Wolf

Mixed by: Dave Reitzas

6. If I Could

Written by: Ronald L. Miller, Kenny Hirsch, Martha V. Sharron

Produced by: Barbra Streisand and Arif Mardin

Orchestra Arranged and Conducted by: Jeremy Lubbock

Keyboards and Programming: Scott Frankfurt

Acoustic Guitar: Dean Parks

Recorded by: Dave Reitzas

Mixed by: Frank Filipetti

7. Circle

Written by: Jud Friedman, Cynthia Weil

Produced and Arranged by: Walter Afanasieff

Orchestra Arranged and Conducted by: William Ross

Keyboards, Synth, Bass, Drum & Rhythm Programming: Walter Afanasieff

Additional Keyboards and Drum & Rhythm Programming, Sound Desing & Computer Programming: Dan Shea

Guitars: Dann Huff

Background Vocals: Phillip Ingram, Alex Brown, Lynn Davis, Jim Gilstrap

Recorded by: David Gleeson, Dave Reitzas, Dana Jon Chappelle, Jeff Balding

Mixed by: Dave Reitzas

8. The Water Is Wide/Deep River

Written by: Traditionals

Produced by: Barbra Streisand and Arif Mardin

Orchestra Arranged by: Arif Mardin

Conductor: Paul Bogaev

Pre-Programming: John Mahoney

Keyboards: Mark Mann

Uilleann Pipes: Eric Rigler

Recorded by: Dave Reitzas

Mixed by: Frank Filipetti

9. Leading with Your Heart

Written by: Alan Bergman, Marilyn Bergman, Marvin Hamlisch

Produced by: Barbra Streisand and Jeremy Lubbock

Arranged & Conducted by: Jeremy Lubbock

Keyboards: Jeremy Lubbock

Bass, Drums and Percussion Programming, Additional Synths: Scott Frankfurt

Recorded by: Dave Reitzas

Mixed by: Frank Filipetti

10. Lessons to Be Learned

Written by: Allan Rich, Dorothy Sea Gazeley, Marsha Malamet

Produced and Arranged by: Walter Afanasieff

Orchestra Arranged and Conducted by: Jeremy Lubbock

Keyboards, Synth, Bass, Drum & Rhythm Programming: Walter Afanasieff

Additional Keyboards and Drum & Rhythm Programming, Sound Desing & Computer Programming: Dan Shea

Guitars: Dann Huff

Recorded by: David Gleeson, Dave Reitzas, Jeff Balding

Mixed by: Dave Reitzas

11. Everything Must Change

Written by: Bernard Ighner

Produced by: Barbra Streisand

Arranged & Conducted by: Jeremy Lubbock

Piano: Randy Waldman

Recorded by: Shawn Murphy and Dave Reitzas

Mixed by: Frank Filipetti

12. Avinu Malkeinu

Written by: Max Janowski

Produced by: Barbra Streisand

Arranged by: Marvin Hamlisch and William David Brohn

Conductor: Marvin Hamlisch

Dialect Consultant: Chuck Feldman

Choir: Doug Anderson, Jeff Araluce, Lauren Azeltine, Mark Beasom, Samela Beasom, Bill Beck, Michael Fried, Meg Gister, Lisa Graham, Susan Holsonbake, Wendy Knudsen, Ed Levy, Susan Mills, Lisa Naulls, Greg Parker, Yoav Paskowitz, Dan Plaster, Joel Pressman, Cheryl Roach, Judy Siirila, Bill Smith, Janet Smith, John St. Marie, Sara Willard

Recorded by: Shawn Murphy

Mixed by: David Reitzas

About the Album

Higher Ground was Barbra Streisand's eighth number one album.

Streisand heard “On Holy Ground” at Virginia Clinton Kelley's funeral in 1994. Barbra was moved by the young singer and described it as an “electrifying moment.” In her liner notes for the album, Barbra wrote, “I love the sound of a gospel choir, with all its earthly passion...The lyric says that whenever we stand in the presence of God, we're on holy ground.”

The man who wrote “On Holy Ground,” Geron Davis remembered Streisand's reaction: “Here's a lady,” he said, “who's sung on Broadway. She has sung duets with every famous person in the country. She's produced, starred in, and directed movies. You think a 19-year-old's song is gonna electrify her? That's not what electrified Barbra Streisand. What happened to Barbra Streisand—and I believe she would agree—is that she got into the presence of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. She was electrified not by my song, but by the presence of God that she felt in the room.”

Arif Mardin and Streisand

(Photo, right: Arif Mardin and Streisand)

Arif Mardin produced four tracks on Higher Ground (“I Believe/You'll Never Walk Alone”, “Higher Ground”, “If I Could” and “The Water is Wide/Deep River”). He said, “Working on a [Neve Capricorn digital audio console] a few years ago on a Barbra Streisand project, she was in LA and we were in New York and we would mix the song, play it to her over the fibre-optic telephone line, she would critique it, we'd do the changes, and then she would say 'Oh, what about yesterday's mix?' If it wasn't a Capricorn, the assistant would have to set the mix up, look at his notes, set the EQs and everything. With the Capricorn you press one button and everything is recalled. So with Barbra Streisand, who's known to be very particular, we mixed five songs in seven days. Would you believe that? She was very happy. So in that domain, it was important that we worked on a digital desk.”

Ann Hampton Callaway, a gifted performer and songwriter, contributed “At the Same Time” to Higher Ground. She told Barbra News:

When I exchanged my first words with Barbra about some lyric rewrites for her, I was too cool for words, trying to remain as dignified as possible. We had a very interesting conversation about what she was looking for in the rewriting of the bridge of my song. It was important to her that the words be “simple but profound” and understandable to the listener upon first hearing. She was warm and expressive about the message she wanted to convey.
Dion and Streisand

"She has a certain clout and star wattage that is dazzling beyond almost anyone," Ms. Callaway said of Ms. Streisand. "The powerful impact she's had on me and anyone I know as a singer, as an interpreter of great American songs ... she's a force of nature. When she does a song, she owns it."

After Celine Dion sang “I Finally Found Someone” on the Oscar broadcast, Streisand sent her flowers with a congratulatory note that ended with: “Next time let's do one together.”

David Foster wrote “Tell Him” for Dion and Streisand, with his wife Linda Thompson writing the lyrics with Walter Afanasieff.

“Barbra sang her part in Los Angeles,” Dion said, “ and a few days later in New York, I added my voice to hers.”

“Celine is all anyone could ask for in a singing partner—professional, easygoing, generous,” Streisand told McCalls. “Her amazing voice is surpassed only by her kind and gentle heart.”

Tell Him single

“Tell Him” was released as a single but failed to get played on radio stations (reflecting the change in the music business that's been happening for over ten years). A single was manufactured for sale, but withdrawn by Columbia Records in the U.S.—although fans overseas were able to find it in stores.

Au Coeur Du Stade frames

Note: Celine Dion's DVD, Au Coeur Du Stade, features the 56-minute documentary, Let's Talk About Love: The Sessions. Included is studio footage of Streisand, David Foster, and Celine Dion talking around the piano, as well as the complete video of “Tell Him”. The DVD (all-region) is out of print, but used copies can be found at Amazon.com. Here's a link to Amazon.

“If I Could,” by Ronald Miller, Kenny Hirsch, and Martha Sharron, has been covered by many artists including Celine Dion, Linda Eder, Ray Charles, and Nancy Wilson. The song obviously struck a chord with Streisand, who dedicated it to her son Jason on Higher Ground. Miller wrote for Streisand before—she's recorded his song “I've Never Been a Woman Before.”

“If I Could” was released as a single. Below is a foreign pressing with the single version of “I Believe” included.

If I Could single

Streisand first attempted to record “Everything Must Change” by Bernard Ighner in the summer of 1974 for her album, Butterfly. Ultimately, it was not completed for that album. The song must have stuck with her, though, since Streisand returned to it 23 years later for Higher Ground.

Click the play button below to listen to a snippet of Barbra's 1974 rehearsal tape, which then segues into the 1997 recording of “Everything Must Change”:

This text will be replaced by the flash music player.

Billboard Charts

The Billboard 200 is a ranking of the 200 highest-selling music albums in the United States, published weekly by Billboard magazine.

Here's the numbers for this Streisand album:

Gold: 500,000 units shipped

Platinum: 1 million units shipped.

Note: The record company must submit an album to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) where it undergoes a certification process to become eligible for an award. The process entails an independent sales audit, which calculates the quantity of singles or albums shipped for sale, net after returns. The audit surveys shipments to the entire music marketplace, including retail, record clubs, television sales, Internet orders and other ancillary markets. Based on the certification of these shipments, a title is awarded Gold, Platinum, Multi-Platinum or Diamond status. The data here comes directly from official sources, mainly the RIAA online database.

From The Barbra Streisand Music Guide:

[Higher Ground] debuted at #1 on The Billboard 200 album chart dated 11-29-97, having sold 207,000 units in its initial week of release (based solely on SoundScan reports), significantly more than 1993's Back To Broadway (121,000) in its first week, when it also debuted at #1. This is Barbra's eighth #1 album and allowed her to pass The Beatles as the act with the longest span of #1 albums, 33 years since People hit #1 in 1964.

[ ... ] The weekend of 11/14, following Barbra's 20/20 TV appearance, sales were reported higher than on the first day of release. In its second week of release, which included Barbra's landmark appearance on The Rosie O'Donnell Show, the album maintained a top 10 position, increasing sales to 267,000 and moving only to #3. In its third week, the album sold 247,000, moving to #4 but outselling the previous week's #1 album. Week four yielded 232,000 units and back up to #3 behind holiday supersellers Garth Brooks (1) and Celine Dion (2). In week five the album sold an amazing 321,000+ copies, retaining its #3 chart position behnd similarly huge-selling Brooks and Dion. 465,000+ units moved during week six, holding the album steady at #3 according to SoundScan, despite the Billboard chart holiday hiatus. Week 7 kept the album at #3, with 402,000 units sold. The post-holiday sales declines of virtually all albums took Barbra's CD out of the top 10 during week 8 (ending 1/4/98). The album charted for 27 consecutive weeks, concluding at #145 on 5/30/98. Billboard's year-end Top Albums chart lists the album at #16 (Dec. 6, 1997 - Nov. 28, 1998).

Album Cover Outtakes

Randee St. Nicholas photographed the striking cover image for Higher Ground, as well as the seaside shot of Streisand that graced the back cover of the CD.

Below is the final image used for the CD cover in its full, vertical crop.

Outtake 1

And below are alternates of this shot ... just as beautiful.

St. Nicholas outtakes

(Below: One of St. Nicholas' alternate shots from the CD tray ... )

End.

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