17 Songs, 1 Hour 16 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Once known as the teenage wünderkind who led the Spencer Davis Group through “Gimme Some Lovin’,” Steve Winwood went on to even greater fame with the jazz-soul-R&B-progressive leanings of Traffic (“Dear Mr. Fantasy”, “The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys”). His participation in the “supergroup” Blind Faith, with Eric Clapton, and his solo career (where in the ‘80s he reinvented his blue-eyed soul to correspond with the keyboard-heavy and slick, grandiose productions of the decade) made him a performer who stood out in each era. This 17-song sampler of his 58-track career-anthology boxed set stands as a concise look into a career that has been packed with some incredible tunes and many diverse styles. “Forty Thousand Headmen” is a flute-fired piece of hard rock. “Can’t Find My Way Home” aches with the search for the soul at the end of the ‘60s. “While You See a Chance”, “Higher Love”, “Back In the High Life Again”, ‘Roll With It” and “Don’t You Know What the Night Can Do?” define an era of soulful pop that had Winwood as its major statesman.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Once known as the teenage wünderkind who led the Spencer Davis Group through “Gimme Some Lovin’,” Steve Winwood went on to even greater fame with the jazz-soul-R&B-progressive leanings of Traffic (“Dear Mr. Fantasy”, “The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys”). His participation in the “supergroup” Blind Faith, with Eric Clapton, and his solo career (where in the ‘80s he reinvented his blue-eyed soul to correspond with the keyboard-heavy and slick, grandiose productions of the decade) made him a performer who stood out in each era. This 17-song sampler of his 58-track career-anthology boxed set stands as a concise look into a career that has been packed with some incredible tunes and many diverse styles. “Forty Thousand Headmen” is a flute-fired piece of hard rock. “Can’t Find My Way Home” aches with the search for the soul at the end of the ‘60s. “While You See a Chance”, “Higher Love”, “Back In the High Life Again”, ‘Roll With It” and “Don’t You Know What the Night Can Do?” define an era of soulful pop that had Winwood as its major statesman.

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About Steve Winwood

Few classic rock artists evolved as subtly—and successfully—as Steve Winwood. A Dixieland fan from Birmingham, England, Winwood joined the R&B trio The Spencer Davis Group when he was only 14 (and even cowrote the timeless rave-up “Gimme Some Lovin’” about a year later), helped found both the pioneering fusion band Traffic and the blues supergroup Blind Faith (with Cream members Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker), and later struck major chart success with a sophisticated take on blue-eyed soul. At the heart of Winwood’s genius is his uncanny ability to synthesize disparate styles into a seamless whole. Listen to Traffic’s 1971 album The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys, whose blend of jazz, soul, psychedelia, and English folk set the course for the modern-day jam band, or Winwood’s commercial peak, 1986’s Back in the High Life (featuring the radio-staple title track and the Chaka Khan collaboration “Higher Love”), whose touches of funk and adult pop influenced artists from Sting to Dave Matthews Band and John Mayer. Reflecting on his childhood stint in music school, Winwood said, “I was asked, ‘What kind of music do you like to listen to?’ and I said, ‘Well, I do like Paul Hindemith and Igor Stravinsky, but I also like Fats Domino and Ray Charles,’ and they literally said, ‘Either forget about that or leave.’” He left.

HOMETOWN
Birmingham, England
GENRE
Rock
BORN
12 May 1948

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