A few months ago, I compared Stevie Wonder’s original version of “Superstition” to two other bands and their versions of the same tune. In my opinion, Stevie Wonder’s version is superior. It just sounds better with its funky clavinet groove. In that case, the original stands tallest. That’s not always the case with Stevie Wonder songs, however.
Stevie Wonder also wrote “Higher Ground” and again it features a funky clavinet. But this time, the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ cover is the superior version. With an amazingly awesome slap-funk bass line performed by Flea (yes, RHCP’s bassist calls himself Flea) and two distinct, layered guitar lines performed by John Frusciante, the RHCP version of Higher Ground is the definitive version of “Higher Ground.” When I think of this song I think the RHCP not Stevie Wonder. Take a listen and vote for your favorite.
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OK, I finally listened to both and I pick RHCP’s version as better. Stevie Wonder’s is good, but I like that RHCP’s version is a little more aggressive. I also had heard the RHCP version before, but not the Stevie Wonder version, so I may have a built-in bias.