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Arc of a Diver

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Steve Winwood had made his name as a young musical wunderkind, fronting the Spencer Davis Group, Traffic and Blind Faith (with Eric Clapton) and recording with Jimi Hendrix on his Electric Ladyland album. His fusion of jazz, blues, pop and psychedelia combined with a soulful voice that drew comparisons to Ray Charles gave him a prestige beyond his twenty-something years. By the time of his second solo album, 1981’s Arc of a Diver, Winwood was nearly an old-hand. Over 30 and like many of his generation facing an unsure musical future, Winwood turned out this eminently catchy collection of tunes that modernized his sound without sacrificing his heartfelt soul. “Slowdown Sundown” recalls the dramatic ends of Traffic. The album’s hit single “While You See A Chance” is positively infectious, while the title track, “Second-Hand Woman,“ and “Night Train“ sport bright, energetic grooves that only slightly overdrive into the ‘80s. (The synthesizers are tastefully applied.) Winwood would continue to reinvent his sound and reputation for the rest of the decade.

Customer Reviews

Winwood's best

Steve Winwood's best album ever! I have listened to it dozens of times. My very favorite tune is "While You See a Chance".

His Best Solo

Stevie's best solo effort by far. High Life had the hits, but this album flows like fine wine and ages like it too.

good stuff

I weep for a generation of people who have no idea what this era was like. This album reminds me of my dad. I'm glad I can remember a time when he was cool, wore smoked glasses, a puka shell necklace and had sideburns. I would flip through all his record covers, staring at the pictures, trying to understand the words for hours. This album in particular reminds me of a long-gone time when my parents would have drinks by the pool and we swam all summer long without sunscreen and went to sleep burned and reeking of chlorine. Aside of being musically brilliant, it just has that great, funky, carefree 70's-80's vibe


Born: May 12, 1948 in Birmingham, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

As a solo artist, Steve Winwood is primarily associated with the highly polished blue-eyed soul-pop that made him a star in the '80s. Yet his turn as a slick, upscale mainstay of adult contemporary radio was simply the latest phase of a long and varied career, one that's seen the former teenage R&B shouter move through jazz, psychedelia, blues-rock, and progressive rock. Possessed of a powerful, utterly distinctive voice, Winwood was also an excellent keyboardist who remained an in-demand session...
Full Bio
Arc of a Diver, Steve Winwood
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