Sunday, July 07, 2024

Steve Winwood: Night Train

It's strange how some music dates and some doesn't. You still hear the Spencer Davis Group singles Gimme Some Lovin' and I'm a Man in television commercials, and they're used to convey modernity rather than nostalgia.

By contrast, Steve Winwood's Eighties records now sound dated. Winwood has said himself that he was still doing what he had done in Traffic - combining folk and rock and blues and jazz - but the production of the day gave those Eighties records a surface gloss that has not aged well.

Arc of a Diver was Winwood's second solo album and the one that established him as a solo star - it sold more in the United States 

The title track has magic for me, because the lyrics are by Viv Stanshall, but Night Train is more representative. What I like about it is that it features Winwood as a guitarist - he played all the instruments on Night Train.

This reminds me of a story I read online recently. An American remembered watching some Eric Clapton's Crossroads guitar festival on television, but missing the name of the brilliant guitarist he'd been listening to.

He found out a few days later that it had been Steve Winwood - that guy all of whose records his Mom had and who he hated.

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