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4.3 out of 5 stars82
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 13 July 2010
Revolutions - The Very Best Of Steve Winwood features sixteen tracks from a career dating back to the Spencer Davis Group period up to the present. As such it can only scratch the surface of a stellar career. However the tracks are well chosen and the selection is as good as you could get on a single cd.

My favourite period of Steve Winwood's career was his time with the Spencer Davis Group. This is represented by four tracks: Keep On Running,Somebody Help Me,Gimme Some Lovin' and I'm A Man. The digital remastering has these tracks sounding better than ever and breathes new life into these classic songs.

The collection on this cd then rolls on through the Traffic, Blind Faith and solo periods. This is a collection to enjoy. Highly recommended to all Steve Winwood fans and devotees of great music.
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on 10 July 2010
When I saw this cd advertised I wasn't too sure about buying it, but after I played it for the first time I was really pleased that I decided to get it. It has a good mix of Steve's time with the Spencer Davis Group, Traffic, Blind Faith and his solo work. The last track with Eric Clapton "Dirty City" is particularly good and the 2010 "Spanish Dancer" blends so well with this collection. Every Steve Winwood fan should have this album.
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on 27 May 2010
This looks good with some great tracks from Steve who has one of the most distinctive voices in music ever. However, have you noticed that a really great track: 'Roll With It' is on the 'Revolutions' standard edition but not on this deluxe edition? Considering the price of the deluxe edition, they could at least include all the tracks from the standard edition.
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on 15 August 2010
Don't get caught out with some of the rather "anoraky" reviews on Amazon about different track selections. This is easily Winwood's best compilation because:

* It has all his career phases right up to 2010.
* Its currently a stunning price for this 4 CD package on Amazon.
* The single compliation version CD is pretty poor because it can't possibly cover all bases.
* Winwood shows why he's way beyond his contemporaries on this great selection.

What has always been SW's calling card (apart from his stellar gifts as a vocalist & musician) is his ability to change. Never content with pop music in early Traffic, he moved from blues to jazz to folk to latin to heavy rock to funk and all the way back again. Compare that with his 60's & 70's "top level" contemporaries - especially in their 2000 variants. The Stones are now a cartoon version of themselves and haven't cut a decent album in over two decades. Rod Stewart now aims for the Tesco & Asda markets with those truly grotesque covers albums. But all the while SW continues to re-invent himself with new styles and still takes risks.

For proof - buy the brilliant latin rock About Time from 2004. Beautifully recorded and sung - it was not really promoted properly but is SW at his peak - and some of the songs are on this compilation.

This 4 CD shows how to develop a career which doesn't dwell on fads & fashions, (his late 80's/90's period was a bit dodgy), but concentrates on musical skills, songwriting, vocal prowess and longevity. A class act indeed.
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Yes I know true fans are going to complain that this is a cursory sweep across a huge career; a musical attempt to squeeze a quart into a pint point; a "Very best of" that throws out the proverbial "baby out with the bathwater"; which misses X and what about Y and then of course there is the absence of Z my obscure personal favourite.....

Ok let's move on because doubts and complaints disappear from view as soon as you listen to THAT VOICE. It starts on "Keep on Running", the sound of the 15-year-old boy wonder of British 60s Rhythm and blues fronting the mighty Spencer Davis Group, the man who later played organ on Joe Cocker's album "With a Little Help from My Friends", recorded with Hendrix the earth shaking "Voodoo Chile", was a session musician on Lou Reed's best album "Berlin" and someone who just happened to play with those consummate cosmic "jammers" The Grateful Dead and Delta bluesman Howlin Wolf amongst a galaxy of others.

Steve Winwood has earned respect and for those who want to delve even deeper there is the simultaneous release of the gargantuan 4 disc "Deluxe Edition" of "Revolutions" where you can begin to explore the wonders of Spencer Davis (led by one of our great Welsh legends from Bonymaen), Traffic, Blind Faith and his later more pop orientated solo career. This short but punchy "best of" is one of those that are nice to just put on the CD player or in the car to listen to these wonderful tracks steeped in history without swapping between all the albums. It covers a career which spans five decades from a man who invented white "blue eyed soul" and much more besides. Listen to the visceral power of "I'm a man" with Spencer Davis firing on all cylinders and the swirling Hammond keyboards and Winwood's voice packing a punch as big as Mike Tyson. Play once again the brilliant "Gimme some lovin" where the Spencer Davis Group out "Motowned" many of the great songs coming out of the Motor City and note how you will need to have your feet surgically nailed to the floor not to move to the great Mod classic "Keep on Running".

As Winwood develops in this brief resume of his musical journey we see the influence he casts. Traffic's "John Barleycorn must die" and "Dear Mr Fantasy" is the template for the revival of Paul Weller's career in his "Wild Wood" phase, "Paper Sun" is one of the greatest pieces of English psychedelia/acid rock this side of Jerry Garcia's guitar, Blind Faith's "Can't find my way home" sees the invention of a key supergroup while "Valerie" is the staple song of every bad club singer in south Wales and still superb.

Of course this album is an overture to the main opera and at best is a useful introduction. It is a point of entry into a great career that might just lead you to purchase an early but rare Spencer Davis album, a new copy of the "The Low spark of high heeled boys" (a nod at this point to the great Jim Capaldi and Chris Wood) or probably Winwood's best solo effort "the Arc of a diver". Granted like Clapton the career of Steve Winwood never quite scaled the peaks that he climbed in the 1960s and with the end of Traffic and the onset of punk rock he had a very difficult decade through the 1970s. To his credit however he came back and as the BBC rightly state latterly reached a "pop maturity with a grace that eluded many of his contemporaries". In these times of economic chill and cuts, of oil spills and other tragedies why not start a new journey with this great singer? Enjoy it and "roll with it".
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on 14 June 2010
When you have grown up listening to this music since the mid sixties when first seeing Steve as a precocious teen playing like someone twice his age, with the combination of an absolute dynamite vocal style, mean lead guitar and virtuoso Hammond organ playing for starters - then it's difficult to be objective about another best of compilation by one of the finest musicians this country has produced. But in that context, this is a fine compilation of his core achievements in one succinct package.
In the first phase of his career with Spencer Davis you get probably the best known four titles from that period between '65 -67 and what great recordings those were with immediate impact that gained the band a really strong following in the first British Beat invasion but gained Winwood himself not just a huge fan base and recognition from the beginning of his career but also the well deserved respect of his peer group as a musician's musician.
That he accomplished all of this long before reaching his 20th Birthday is nothing short of remarkable.These songs make it clear just how and why. Consider also that he shared the writer contribution on Gimme Some Lovin' and I'm A Man while playing/singing that well and it makes you understand what all the fuss was about.
Traffic was another brilliant evolution altogether and allowed Steve the perfect freedom and space to create more fluidly his own music and compositions within probably the most alchemical and effective creative partnership (and deep personal friendship) of Jim Capaldi and Chris Wood. The four Traffic numbers here capture the essence of not only that Band's unique late sixties pastoral English psychedelia but the way in which these three musicians in particular so complemented each others playing, as to produce some of the best music of that era without doubt.
It must have been quite something to have the feel of this music drifting across the ancient Ridgeway and Berkshire downs when in the first flow of it's creation. If you look at the spectrum of players and musicians who subsequently sought Winwood's involvement in the making of their own music, then the sound he crafted together with his other Band mates in Traffic is what really brought him into his own.
Moving on to Blind Faith and his partnering with Eric Clapton, " Can't Find My Way Home" is not only one of the finest songs ever written, it has one of the best vocal performances from any singer in any musical genre, it also captures the twilight of the sixties and that disappearing ethos as almost an epitaph of all the promise that period held but ultimately failed to deliver.The song itself does deliver and how. One of Steve's finest moments on record here.
His career took a big change during the 1970's and if there is one criticism I would level at this collection, it's the ommission of at least one track from his eponymous first solo album such as the great track "Hold On" or "Midland Maniac", the latter being covered in his recent concerts with Eric Clapton but you have to make some sacrifices with a one disc compilatiion.
In terms of the tracks from his solo 80's and 90's output then there is a good cross section of this material here which is expanded upon in the De-Luxe 4 Disc version, among them "While You See A Chance" and the obvious choice of "Higher Love" which gained him the Grammy recognition in the late eighties are stand outs but then "Roll With It" harks back to some of his best R&B based influences to great effect.
It's always a challenge to capture the body of a performer's work in a one CD package, especially when the artist is as versatile, prolific and as musically gifted as Steve Winwood, someone who's work I have grown up with myself since first hearing him at a Midland's Concert with Traffic in 1967 when I myself was a mere 14 years of age and he unbelievably himself was only 19 at that time and already a professional musician for some 4 years.
Revolutions demonstrates very aptly, why he is still making great music 5 decades later and captures many of those reasons in this compilation. Long may he continue to do so. Highly recommended.
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on 3 July 2015
I love Steve Winwood including the bands he was in before his solo career. This compilation covers the highlights of his three careers. There are some great picks on here but they have been all remastered way too loud. Clipped heavily and that is is not good because it means much of the peaks have been chopped. Winwood probably had no say in it. A good example is "Roll with It" which basically hurt my ears. I like remastering if it is done right, but this is not. Loudness does not mean better. I want the full dynamic range which Winwood originally released, not a clipped version that the record company wants to compete with today's new music.

This compilation features a 2010 re-recording of "Spanish Dancer" which is not a patch on the original. Overall fans should avoid this album and look for the 1995 box set "The Finer Things" which keeps the full dynamic range.
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on 18 May 2016
such a fantastic range of songs over the years from the Spenser Davis group , to traffic, blind faith and onto solo material a cross section from the 60's through to the 00.s
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on 25 September 2013
I brought this album because it had tracks that I love, but to get them would mean buying four CD's. 'Can't Find My Way home' and 'Dear Mr Fantasy' are my favourite Steve Winwood songs ever, plus the four Spencer Davis tracks. To me the rest are bonus tracks.
I am not a lover of re-mastered tracks and CD's as I feel they take the original 'earthliness' away from the recording. This one's not too bad but I can still feel/hear it's results.
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on 25 July 2013
I'm almost ashamed to say that I really only discovered Steve Winwood a year or so ago from the Eric Clapton Crossroads DVD. Then recently I caught a brilliant BBC Rockumentary called English Soul all about Steve's career. I could not stop watching it and off the back of that decided to buy this CD - I can't stop playing it in the car - this music, from all the phases of his career somehow get under your skin - in the best possible way. I was fortunate enough to see Steve in Bristol a month or so ago and he's as great as ever.
If you don't buy any other recording of Steve - get this you will never regret it.
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