Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Steve Winwood - Arc of a Diver (1980)

This is truly a solo album. If my information is correct, then Winwood had his hand in writing every song as well as playing all the instruments, singing, and producing. As a result, there are a lot of keyboards on this disc, many dense layers of keyboards. While I've always considered Winwood to be a keyboard player, his bass and guitar playing isn't bad at all. While some of the songs are upbeat, the overall feeling of this release is very moody and midtempo. It's a solid record.

Steve Winwood is one of the few elder statesmen of Rock and Roll that has aged gracefully. Now that I think about it, he and Eric Clapton may be the only two in that category. That said, I haven't listened to any of his new releases since the late '80s.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #3
Peak on Cash Box album chart: #4

Tracks: While You See a Chance is such a great song. It always puts me in a good mood. The title track, Night Train, and Spanish Dancer are also very good. I could do without Slowdown Sundown, which becomes a dirge while attempting to be a R&B/soul/pop song, even with an uptempo middle section.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: When I was in high school, I found my friend Jim in a bad mood one day. When I asked him what was wrong, he replied that he had broken his Arc of a Diver LP that morning. He liked this release so much that he was depressed all day because he had accidentally broken his record. Ah, high school.

1 comment:

  1. This one is a great listen and I usually listen to it during daylight hours - it just sounds sunny to me. Same goes for Talking Back To The Night from 1982.

    Steve Winwood albums almost always pleasantly surprise me. Sure there are some disappointing tracks but the highpoints usually cancel them out.

    Case in point: his 2008 album, Nine Lives. Don't care for any of the tracks EXCEPT "Dirty City" which makes me feel like I'm taxiing down a runway for a long time until Eric Clapton's solo takes off and I take flight with it. It's a slow jam of a different kind.

    Do you have the 2012 Remaster of Arc Of A Diver?
    It's on Spotify.

    It's got a second disc with the single edit of the title track, an instrumental version of "Night Train" and the 2010 version of "Spanish Dancer". There's also an hour long track "The Steve Winwood Story" which I have yet to listen to.

    His Revolutions boxed set (box set?) encompasses his entire career but if you're a fan, you already have it all.