Group leader Sly Stone wrote and produced this song, as he did all their tracks. Unnaturally creative and extremely proficient, he created a funk sound that was unlike anything else out there. The band, formed in 1966, was just as unusual, with two white guys (drummer Gregg Errico and saxophone player Jerry Martini), a bass player who thumped instead of plucked (Larry Graham) and a female trumpet player (Cynthia Robinson).
Their breakthrough album was their fourth, Stand!
Released in 1969, the lead single, "Everyday People
" was their first #1 hit topping the chart in February 1969. "I Want To Take You Higher" was released a few months later and stalled at #60 in June, but after the band played it a Woodstock, it became one of their classics.
But in the later part of 1969, Stone started spiraling downward. He moved operations from San Francisco to Los Angeles and suddenly became much less productive and much more mercurial. Their record label was desperate for another album, but didn't one all through 1970. The band did deliver two hit singles that year, "Hot Fun in the Summertime
" and "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)
," then "I Want To Take You Higher" was re-released, this time reaching #38. The next album, There's a Riot Goin' On
, didn't show up until November 1971. It had another #1 single, "Family Affair
," but the bonhomie that defined the group was gone and they split for good in 1975.