Steve Winwood: Talking Back To The Night (1982)

Kronomyth 3.0: DIVER DOWN. Steve Winwood writes soulful, romantic synthesizer pop. I write progressive rock reviews. Not exactly a match made in heaven, so when I tell you that this is a second Arc, bear in mind that I wasn’t exactly on board with the first one. Talking Back To The Night does contain the perennial hit “Valerie” and a couple of near-misses (“Talking Back To The Night,” “Help Me Angel”), but writing a few good songs every couple of years just isn’t going to cut it with me. This is, after all, Steve Winwood we’re talking about. The man is a rock legend, and rock legends don’t get to write songs like “Still In The Game” or “While There’s A Candle Burning” without somebody like me carping. Talking Back To The Night is too little, too light and too much like his last album. Also, somebody needs to punch Will Jennings in the kidney. She was like jazz on a summer’s day? Seriously, how many maxipads do you have to buy for your girlfriend before you come up with that line? Of course, writing songs at the feverish pace of four of five a year, a few clunkers were bound to slip in. With nine new songs, I’m surprised they didn’t make this a double album. Honestly, I think Winwood got lucky with Arc; that was basically a boring synth pop album with two great songs on it. Talking Back To The Night only has the one great song, so it’s twice as boring as Arc. Even Winwood seemed bored by it all, slipping back into semi-retirement for four years before giving the world something to really talk about with his next album.

Original LP Version
A1. Valerie (4:05)
A2. Big Girls Walk Away (3:51)
A3. And I Go (4:12)
A4. While There’s A Candle Burning (3:11)
A5. Still In The Game (4:51)
B1. It Was Happiness (4:58)
B2. Help Me Angel (5:06)
B3. Talking Back To The Night (5:44)
B4. There’s A River (4:40)

All songs written by Steve Winwood and Will Jennings.

The Players
Steve Winwood (vocals, instruments) with Nicole Winwood (backing vocals on tracks 2 and 5). Produced by Steve Winwood.

The Plastic
Released on elpee and cassette on August 2, 1982 in the UK (Island, ILPS/ICT 9777), US (Island, ILPS/M5 9777), Australia (Island, RML/RMC-53018), Canada (Island, XILP/XM5-9777), Germany and the Netherlands (Island, 204.771.320), Italy (Island, ILPS1-9777), Japan (Island, 25S-129), Venezuela (Island/Rodven Discos, 7507) and Yugoslavia (Jugoton, LSI-11023); reached #6 on the UK charts and #28 on the US charts. Original elpees featured lyric innersleeve. Re-released on CD and cassette on June 4, 1990 in the US (Polygram, 842 366) and on digitally remastered CD in 1996 in the US (Mobile Fidelity, UDCD-674). Album cover by Tony Wright and photography by Lynn Goldsmith.

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