Steve Winwood – “Back in the High Life”

The Sleeve:
105_5276 105_5277

The Liner/Sleeve Notes:

Personal Review:
 So, this record ending up in the review queue on pretty funny circumstances – it basically started as a funny occurrence between a friend and I, every time when we played GTA: Online together, and he’d get into my car the song “Higher Love” would be playing – so I decided to review it, and here we are…

 The album, of course, opens with “Higher Love” – and one can only hope that by those first few notes that this is going to be a great album. I definitely love the chorus to this song, right off the bat, it’s great, catchy and Steve Winwood is amazing, what else is there? I just want to sing a long to this song, but it’s currently 2:14 AM, and that would be bad. Then there is that other verse of the song about setting the night on fire, or something, we need to go back bringing the higher love. And now, we venture into uncharted territory – the other songs on the album I’ve never heard, and that starts off with “Take It As It Comes” and immediately I’m reminded that this album was from the 1980’s – the song is alright, nothing overly special as it would seem, it is more of a… well I don’t really know, it doesn’t feel like dance music, and it doesn’t feel like driving music – this is more or less sit-on-your-back-porch-in-Florida type of music. (In my opinion.) The musicianship is pretty great though. “Freedom Overspill” comes next, and it has kind of that 80’s pop funk sound to it, and I’m getting really confused by this album, I like the first track, but the others are a bit confusing in genre, I’m not really liking this track, vocally, the musicianship is good though. Anyways, the A-Side ends with the ‘semi’ title track “Back in the High Life Again” – and it seems to start off a little slower, but Steve’s vocals make up for that. It makes me think of where Steve was before he was in the high life – again? Anyways, the song skips way too much (not Steve’s fault) so, I’m gonna nix it off from the review.

 The B-Side opens with “The Finer Things” and I find this album is more of a jazzy funk sound, no, correction, I was wrong, so horribly wrong – soon as that chorus hits, it becomes classic 80’s pop music! It’s definitely a good way to start the B-Side, I’ll give Steve that, I didn’t enjoy the song intro sadly. After that comes “Wake Me Up on Judgement Day” – it has a slow, synthy start to it, but it’s not bad. It’s an okay song, still not quite sure if this is dancing music or what, but it’s pretty good. “Split Decision” follows next, and it opens with some pretty nice guitar playing, I think that is a good way to open a song. It’s a pretty good song, I really can’t complain here. The only thing is that all of the songs are really long songs, it would be better if they were a bit shorter, and there was more. The album ends with “My Love’s Leavin’” and it’s a good song, a little slow, but a good way to end the album, the musicianship is good and the vocals are superb.

 Anyways, we’ll see Steve again when I do the Blind Faith album.

Interesting Facts:

Track Listing:
A1 – Higher Love
A2 – Take It as It Comes
A3 – Freedom Overspill
A4 – Back in the High Life Again

B1 – The Finer Things
B2 – Wake Me Up on Judgment Day
B3 – Split Decision
B4 – My Love’s Leavin’

Island Records

Catalog Number:
92 54481

Studio Musicians & Other Album Credits:
Vocals, Drum Programming, Producer, Synthesizer, Sequencer, Programming, Keyboards, Guitar, Hammond Organ, Bass Synthesizer, Piano, Mandolin & Moog Bass Taurus – Steve Winwood
Keyboards, Synthesizer & Programming – Robby Kilgore
Producer – Russ Titelman
Engineering & Mixing – Tom Lord Alge
Engineers – Jason Cosaro, Nobby Clark, Jim Boyer, Chris Lord Alge, Dave Greenberg, Bruce Lampcov, Malcolm Pollack & Jon Wolfson
Mastering – Ted Jensen
Assistant Engineers – Jeff Lord Alge, Claude Achille, Ed Bruder, Sean Chenery, Rob Eaton, Jon Goldberger, Roy Hendrickson, Scott Mabuchi, Shizuko Orishige & Steve Rinkoff
Guitar & Rhythm Guitar – Eddie Martinez & Nile Rodgers
Bass Synthesizer – Philippe Saisse
Drums – John Robinson, Mickey Curry & Steve Ferrone
Drum Programming – Jimmy Bralower
Congas, Tambourine & Percussion – Carole Steele
Backing Vocals – Chaka Khan, Dan Hartman, Jocelyn Brown, Connie Harvey, James Ingram & Mark Stevens
Synthesizer & Programming – Andrew Thomas
Synthesizer & Horn Arrangements – David Frank
Trumpet – Randy Brecker
Baritone Saxophone & Tenor Saxophone – Lewis Del Gatto
Trombone – Tom Malone
Tenor Saxophone – Bob Mintzer
Alto Saxophone – George Young
Slide Guitar & Guitar – Joe Walsh
Synthesizer, Keyboards & ARP Solina String Synthesizer – Rob Mounsey
Harmony Vocals – James Taylor
Guitar – Paul Pesco & Ira Siegal
String Arrangements – Arif Mardin

Other Albums I Own by Steve Winwood:

Other Albums I Own that Steve Winwood Appears On:
Blind Faith – “Blind Faith


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