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4.5 out of 5 stars
Chronicles
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53 of 54 people found the following review helpful
on 21 September 2000
This compilation from Steve Winwood's first four solo albums on Island Records was issued in 1987 to capitalise on his success the previous year with 'Back in the high life'. It includes the memorable 'Vacant chair', from his first solo album (in 1977) and three tracks from each of the subsequent albums before he changed record labels after hitting the big time with 'High life'. Winwood's urgent, soulful vocals are instantly recognisable, and the songs chosen here are all excellent examples of his style. His distinctive organ and synthesizer soloing is also well in evidence. Interestingly, the three selections from the 'Talking back to the night' album have been specially remixed by Tom Lord-Alge, who mixed the immensely successful 'High life' album, and as a result they have a more powerful, commercial sound than the original versions.
The album runs to 55 minutes and only 10 (albeit long) tracks, and it's a pity that more songs were not included. It can't be described as a 'Greatest hits' because there are only really three hit singles on it ('While you see a chance', 'Higher love' and 'Valerie') so this would have been an ideal opportunity to include perhaps an extra track from each of the four albums. However, it gives a good overview of the first 10 years of solo recording by one of Britain's most respected R&B vocalists.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 15 January 2000
An all round excellent album, even the 20yrs old tracks become catchy after listening to the under-rated hit singles
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 15 August 2008
This CD may be a bit miserable with the running time, but it's better to have ten good tracks rather than fifteen middling ones.

It has most of Winwood's better known songs, such as While You See a Chance and Arc of a Diver, so it's a good introduction to his music.In any case there are only two or three Winwood compilations available and the other one has material from his Spencer Davis and Traffic days.

The only drawback to this CD is the sound, which is somewhat muddy and transferred at a very low level.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Like most people I've loved Stevie Winwoods vocals from his early days in The Spencer Davis Group.
Around 1987 he had a belated hit albumn and this was released to capitalise on his popularity.
I bought it on LP and was totally amazed at how good each and every track was.

I can honestly say I have never tired of this LP/CD.

What stunned me too was his colaborators in writing some of the tracks on this all too short 55 minute long CD.
Vivanne Stanshall (of Bonzo Dog Do Dah Band no less) he wrote some fabulous lyrics.
Other equally tallented muscians and writers have taken Winwood up to another level.
The great thing about Stevie is that voice you can hear every word and on songs like Wake me Up on Judgement Day this really brings out the meaning of the song in full.
Bear with me on this.
American Country songs, to some naff, but to others they have that wonderful quality to articulate the unarticulate...
here Winwood does just that.
His songs have an extra level of meaning.
This is a wonderful place to revisit Winwoods Island albumns and maybe inspire you to seek them out.
The price at less than a fiver is a steal.
Recommended.
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on 18 November 2012
This was always a good way of making up for the fact that you had not picked up Steve's first four solo albums, with tracks from each. The vinyl version I got in the eighties contained shorter versions of the songs, and when I bought this CD I was a little thrown by not only these longer - presumably album - versions. I was also thrown a little by the varying volumes of each track - often a problem with compilations. Having said all that, and allowing for a questionable mix of "Valerie", this is still AOR of the highest quality, and a thoroughly recommended purchase! After all, Winwood is Britain's finest and most under rated rock musician. So let's be grateful for such great music!
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I've always enjoyed Stevie's soaring vocals and snappy and superior songs. Back in the 80's and 90's, I saw his albums in shops but never quite got round to buying any of them.

Now, when I found all those brilliant singles esp. Valerie, Arc of a Diver and Higher Love, I had no excuses! I love the way he echoes and interweaves around the organ. I'm not going to proclaim Mr Winwood as my all-time favourite but he is seriously underrated and as this pick of the crop shows how good that can be.
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on 3 June 2009
Some great songs on this compilation, but it sadly still misses some of the best tracks from the studio albums it covers and is only a snapshot of ' eighties' Winwood.At 10 tracks long it's also just a teaser really
When will someone get round to doing a more in-depth, well balanced career retrospective cd for him? It's long overdue!
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on 6 December 2012
To me this is the best compilation of steve winwood it has all the classics and brings back childhood memories of that special time that will never return. So this album is worth having in your cd collection. Valerie is one of my favourite songs of all time. Brilliant listening!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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on 22 November 2011
Very good compilation the small problem in this cd is the audio it's not remaster sound but for me is ok, and selled by a great seller.
Thank ou
My regards.
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on 25 October 2014
Dispatch received in time. Had 2 cd ordered. A cd stops every time at the last 3 numbers. Have also tried another cd player but gives the same failure.
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