|Arc of a Diver|
|Produced by Steve Winwood|
|Released on December 31, 1980|
|UK CHART POSITION #13 . . . US CHART POSITION #3 . . . PLATINUM RECORD (6/21/81)|
|Find it at GEMM|
|ILPS 9576 cover
[high resolution photo]
S o far as I can tell Steve Winwood has released two good albums and this is one of them. Even so, it’s the first two tracks that keep this album afloat; otherwise to the bottom it sinks to join its waterlogged brethren in Davey Jones’ record locker. Two out of seven songs may not seem like a compelling reason to buy this album, but consider the songs: “While You See A Chance” is an anglo-gospel (ok, I made that up) amalgam that sounds like a pop song but has far too much soul for pop music, “Arc of a Diver” is simply Steve’s catchiest song since “Empty Pages.” Unfortunately what follows is the parade of limp synthesizer confections, DIY songs that were DOA. Steve Winwood was one of the first artists to heavily employ electronic keyboards as the foundation for his arrangements, so what seemed refreshing at the time now strikes these ears as stale and limited. The result is sluggish music without the infusion of melody that the opening tracks have; even if you like “Slowdown Sundown,” for example, it’s unlikely you had any luck humming it later on. Of the also-rans, “Spanish Dancer” is mildly interesting, reminding me of Donald Fagen’s synthetic/jazz music (“Ruby Baby” and “My Rival” in particular); a remixed version of the single appeared as a single and soon disappeared. “Night Train” flirts with disco (which effectively carbon dates it) and “Dust” is just a bad idea. Honestly, Steve Winwood albums usually bring out the worst in me. When he’s good, he’s very very good, but when he’s bad he half-asses his way through amorphous compositions that already feel like remixes two minutes too long. I know that the lure of “Arc of a Diver” and “While You See A Chance” is strong, but don’t hold your breath expecting to salvage anything else from Diver.
|ILPS 9576 back cover|
STEVE WINWOOD --
Tony Wright -- cover
|REGION||RELEASE DATE||LABEL||MEDIA||ID NUMBER||FEATURES|
|UK||December 31, 1980||Island||LP/CS||ILPS/ICT 9576||lyric sleeve, purple skyscraper label|
|US||December 31, 1980||Island||LP/CS||ILPS/M5 9576||lyric sleeve, purple skyscraper label|
|AUS'L/NZ||1980||Island||LP||L 37468||picture sleeve|
|BRA/GER/NET/SPA||1980||Island||LP||203 207 320||picture sleeve|
|CAN||December 1980||Island||LP||XILPS 9576||lyric sleeve|
|FRA||1980||Island||LP||6313 124||picture sleeve|
|US||Island||LP||ILPS 9576||blue w. yellow sunset label reissue,
no picture sleeve
|WW||October 20, 1987||Island/Polygram||CD/CS||842 365|
|US||1993||Mobile Fidelity||CD||UDCD-579||original master recording|
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