Friday, August 30, 2019

"Freedom Overspill" by Steve Winwood

Song#:  2876
Date:  09/27/1986
Debut:  81
Peak:  20
Weeks:  15
Genre: Rock, Blue-Eyed Soul

Pop Bits:  Winwood's solo career reached a new level when "Higher Love," the first single from his fourth solo album Back in the High Life, made it to the #1 spot. It would also earn Winwood two Grammys including one for Record of the Year. The hit came nearly twenty-one years after Winwood first hit the Pop chart as a member of the Spencer David Group (1965's #76 "Keep on Running"). To follow it up, the label went with this track, which was already on its way to #4 on the Rock chart. The song would do fairly well at Pop just making it into the Top 20. It would help continue sales of the album, but Winwood and his label were probably looking for it to do better than it did. Luckily, they got a second shot at the Top 10 with the LP's next single.

ReduxReview:  This song has a nice groove and terrific production. It wasn't necessarily a bad choice for a single, but with at least two other better candidates on the LP, I'm a bit perplexed as to why they chose this one to follow "Higher Love." I've always thought it sounded akin to Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer" and perhaps they wanted to get the audience that made that song a hit. The problem though was that this song wasn't nearly as good or hooky as Gabriel's #1. Frankly, I think they got lucky when it made the Top 20. Most of Winwood's hits have been staples on radio for years, but this is one that got left behind after its initial charting days.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  Winwood was no stranger to supergroups forming the famous Blind Faith with Eric Clapton in 1969. That band would record only one album, but it would end up being a #1 classic. After Winwood left his band Traffic in 1974, he would end up in another supergroup of sorts that has kind of been forgotten. Japanese percussionist and keyboardist Stomu Yamashta had been combining classical, traditional Japanese, jazz, and rock into a World fusion style that got him record deals with Columbia and Island. In 1975, he began to compose and develop a project that would contain more pop elements. Eventually, he would bring in to the project Winwood along with Santana drummer Michael Shrieve. The band would then be filled out with former Tangerine Dream drummer and electronic music wiz Klaus Schulze and jazz fusion guitarist Al Di Meola. The project would be called Go and a debut album was issued out in 1976. The concept LP wouldn't produce any singles, but the names involved in the project got people interested and the LP would get to #60. The group would go out on tour and a live album would be pushed after. A second Go project would be recorded as Go Too in 1977, but it was done without Winwood as he had moved on to work on his solo debut album. The remainder of Go would head their separate ways after the second album.


No comments:

Post a Comment