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Album Review

Steve Winwood's Chronicles presents an extremely brief overview of his material, beginning with Arc of a Diver and including tracks from 1982's Talking Back to the Night and 1986's Back in the High Life release. While songs such as "Higher Love," "While You See a Chance," and "Talking Back to the Night" are surely give-ins, the collection suffers from the absence of "Freedom Overspill," "The Finer Things," and "Back in the High Life Again," which were all Top 20 hits for Winwood throughout 1987. "Vacant Chair" and "Help Me Angel" are mediocre efforts, but the remixed version of "Valerie," which was originally recorded on Talking Back to the Night, is indeed one of this set's highlights. For anyone who isn't familiar with Winwood's sound or style from a solo point of view, these ten tracks will most definitely suffice, but to be regarded as a collection, Chronicles is still a little thin. Also, the parent albums from which these songs originate are excellent on their own, which makes Chronicles that much more dispensable. As a quick listen, this album stands up fairly well, but for those who prefer the "in depth," there's always the four-CD retrospective entitled The Finer Things, which focuses on Winwood's solo career in greater detail, but also includes some of his work from Traffic, the Spencer Davis Group, and Blind Faith.

Customer Reviews

Chronicles - Steve Winwood

This compilation, released between "Back In The High Life" and "Roll With It," is above all else an effort by Island records to capitalize on Winwood's success on the pop charts in 1986-87. It seems Island's focus was on three songs from 1982's overlooked "Talking Back To The Night" album, and so the songs - "Help Me Angel," "Valerie," and "Talking Back To The Night" - were duly remixed, and two of the songs became singles - "Valerie" which was a top 10 hit (the original version only charted at #70 in 1982), and "Talking Back To The Night" which charted just outside the top 40. The remixes do add a commercial sheen to the originals, as the remixed version of "Valerie" is considered the standard today, but that doesn't necessarily make them better. The charm of the original "Night" tracks were lost in these attempts to commericalize them. If this had been a serious effort at a hits collection, then Island would have included "Still In The Game" and his recent hits from "Back In The High Life," perhaps with some new tracks added. As it is, Island instead found an easy way out with the remixes, and a smattering of mildly interesting album tracks as filler, with only "While You See A Chance" and "Higher Love" being included as big hits. For hard core Winwood enthusiasts only.

sweet action

for you who wrote the first review, that eric guys last name is prydz. he's a famous dj. but good album.

Arc Of a Diver

What a sexy freakin' song. That's all I can say. It is a SEXY song,man. God I love it, it truly puts this woman in the mood.


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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Chronicles, Steve Winwood
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