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Talking Back to the Night

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Editors’ Notes

With the success of “While You See A Chance” and the smooth, mildly synthesized blue-eyed soul of his second solo album, Arc of a Diver, Steve Winwood positioned himself as a commercial presence for the ‘80s. Talking Back to the Night lacks its predecessor’s element of surprise and doesn’t quite have the full-out panache of its follow-up, Winwood’s mega-successful Back In the High Life, but there are still many tuneful moments to consider, even if old-school Traffic fans might find themselves wondering what happened to the master of the jam. These are pop songs, folks. “Valerie” weighs in with a synthetic bounce reminiscent of his previous “Chance” hit. “Big Girls Walk Away” features a tight harmony arrangement with a stuttering dance groove that allows his voice to soar for the verses. “And I Go“ and “While There’s a Candle Burning” surf a smooth, glossy wave. In the end, this recast Winwood would prove surprisingly resilient for the rest of the decade, channeling his experimentalism into the subtle textures of these carefully framed pop songs.

Customer Reviews

Original version of "Valerie."

This album has the orinal version of the song "Valerie." Most of you are probably thinking "Oh great the ORIGINAL, it's probably better!" It's not. I strongly advise on getting the "Chronicles" version. Just listen to the difference yourself. Preview the song. You'll see it has a much "louder" "remastered" sound. It's overall much better. I learned it the "expensive" way.

Valerie '82 vs. Valerie '87

I have listened to both versions of the track "Valerie" and have to say that they both have their merits. The original 1982 album version has more of a pulsating, analog warmth (along with excellent electric piano), has a crisper sounding synth solo, and lacks the annoying late '80s drum part on the remix. However, the production of the remix lends it a glossy sheen, along with the advent of digital synthesizers, which gave the remix more of an echo-like qualities. It is a tossup, but I must say the original is probably better. As for the album, there's quite a lot of warm keyboard textures and fine playing by Winwood. The songs are fairly intelligent pop.

Valerie original IS better

I disagree strongly that the Chronicles version of Valerie is better. It is NOT. The original is dated but has more soul to it. However, if you want a version that is something you can dance to then go ahead and buy the Chronicles version. For me, I like the original...


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...
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Talking Back to the Night, Steve Winwood
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