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A Solid Self-Produced Effort,
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This review is from: Arc Of A Diver (Audio CD)
Having been fortunate enough to catch Steve Winwood recently on his current tour (a live experience I strongly recommend), I opted to pick up a couple of remasters of some solo albums I didn't previously own on original vinyl. First released on new year's eve 1980, this was Steve Winwood's second solo venture after his 1977 debut and is in the true sense a real "solo" album in that everything you hear was performed by Winwood. Recorded at his private studio in Gloucestershire, the album is a considerable stylistic departure from much of Winwood's output from the prior decade: marked by an abundance of electronic instrumentation, the release is characterised by a contemporary aesthetic which continued through to the 1982 follow-up "Talking Back to the Night." Winwood's soulful organ playing and distinctive reedy synth leads are prominent sounds within the work. All content considered I found this a strong album musically, personal favourites being the synth-driven hit "While You See A Chance" which peaked in the top 10; the up-tempo "Second-Hand Woman", which boasts a great funky bass-line; and :Spanish Dancer." If you too find this album to your satisfaction, I strongly recommend additional purchase of it's successor "Talking Back to the Night" (my original Japanese LP of which is fortunately still in fine fettle and plays perfectly, a great edition for the vinyl enthusiasts among us): a 1982 album which continued in this style and aesthetic, in my opinion slightly exceeding "Arc of a Diver" somewhat in that I found a greater proportion of it more instantly memorable. Having said that, they're both excellent albums, and if you like one I'd be very surprised if you didn't like the other.
I should point out that any customers considering purchasing a copy of "Arc of a Diver" may be interested to note that there is a more recent double-disc issue (released in 2012 I seem to recall) which holds the same remastered content of this standard 1987 reissue, as well as alternative mixes and a Radio 2 documentary of Steve Winwood on the bonus disc. Although if you're happy to just own the standard album, this is an excellent copy.