‘Winwood Greatest Hits Live’ is two CDs worth of all the Steve Winwood songs you think you know and a lot you probably wouldn’t realise were Winwood.
The album, his first release in nearly a decade, has been curated by Steve Winwood himself, and features his favourite live performances in a 50+ year career. Winwood has recorded every show for many years, and considers this to be as much a tribute to those band members and crew he’s worked with over the years, as to the songs themselves.
Known as much for his links to other famous bands and artists as he is to his solo work Steve Winwood was a the lead singer and keyboardist of the Spencer Davis Group, which he joined when he was only 15. He left to form Traffic, and he was also part of the super-group Blind Faith, formed with Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker, and Ric Grech, Fans will be very happy to know this album contains songs from all these groups.
Winwood’s voice is at once both memorable and striking. From the opening track on the album, ‘I’m A Man’, co-written by Winwood and released as a single in 1967 while he was still only 18, it’s hard to believe he was able to produce such a sound at that age. But his voice has never wavered, continuing to be strong and bluesy right through the 70s, 80s, 90s and beyond. It’s easy to forget that he’s still relatively young – as yet still only 69 – because he was thrust into the public eye while still in his teens.
Blues, jazz, R&B, funk, folk, classic rock, pop, even Afro-Caribbean and Brazilian rhythms are visited over Winwood’s career, and all are present in this album, which has been released as a 2CD/4LP gatefold package. Steve’s legendary skills on the Hammond B3 organ are demonstrated, as well as his guitar skills.
As well as those who relish Winwood’s collaborative works, those fans of his solo music from the 80s won’t be disappointed, with the album including beautiful live versions of ‘Back In The High Life’, ‘Higher Love’, and ‘While You See A Chance’, among others.