Steve Winwood Solo Debut: No Man Is an Island

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Steve_Winwood LPHis blue-eyed soul voice was already known to millions from such hits with the Spencer Davis Group as “Gimme Some Lovin'” and “I’m a Man” followed by stints in Traffic and Blind Faith when Steve Winwood released his eponymous solo debut on Island Records on June 20, 1977.

After all of the above accomplishments, he was still less than 30 years old.

Winwood produced the album with Island Records founder Chris Blackwell, who had signed the Spencer Davis Group and then Winwood as a solo artist. Four of its six songs were co-written by Winwood and his Traffic bandmate Jim Capaldi, and the album featured such well known session musicians as bassist Willie Weeks and drummer Andy Newmark. Also joining was percussionist (and Traffic contributor) Rebop Kwaku Baah. However, the album suffered tepid sales and only reached #22 on the Billboard Top 200, and #12 in the U.K.

Two songs were released as singles – “Hold On” and “Time is Running Out” – but neither caught on with Top 40 radio programmers and failed to chart.

The album has been out-of-print for many years. [Many of his recordings are available here.]

Three years later, Winwood’s follow-up album, Arc of a Diver, was a significant success. The album was certified Platinum in the U.S. thanks in part to the Top 10 single “While You See a Chance.” Soon enough, he became a Top 40 radio fixture with the chart-toppers “Higher Love” and “Roll With It,” as well as hits like “Back in the High Life Again,” “The Finer Things” and “Valerie.”

Related: Our Album Rewind of Arc of a Diver

Today, the Birmingham, U.K. native, born May 12, 1948, is said to split time between his homes in the English Cotwsolds and Nashville, Tenn. He’ll be touring in 2024 for the first time in years, as the opening act for the Doobie Brothers. Tickets available at Ticketmaster and StubHub.

Related: Winwood is represented in our story, 10 Great One-Man Band Albums

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