Sunday, January 12, 2020

"The Finer Things" by Steve Winwood

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  3010
Date:  02/07/1987
Debut:  95
Peak:  8
Weeks:  23
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  Winwood's fourth album, Back in the High Life, kicked off with the Grammy-winning #1 single "Higher Love." Its follow-up, "Freedom Overspill," was not as successful. It just barely scraped the Top 20 at #20. Still, it did well enough to call for a third single and this next track was issued out. It debuted low on the Pop chart, but eventually it eased its way into the Top 10 becoming Winwood's third song to do so. It would also get to #1 at AC and #5 Rock. The hit revived sales of the album and it would go on to sell over three million copies.

ReduxReview:  This tune was slightly unusual for a pop hit with its ballad-ish opening, bouncy chorus, and half-time bridge. It all flowed well together though and I think hooky chorus is what sold the tune. This really should have been the second single from the LP. I'm not sure why the lackluster "Freedom Overspill" was selected instead. It nearly killed the momentum of the album. Luckily, this song was strong enough to gain back what was lost.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  In addition to its main singles, the album featured two tracks that got enough airplay to make the Rock chart. "Take It As It Comes" would be a minor entry at #33. "Split Decision" would be a more significant hit getting to #3. That track was co-written by Winwood and former Eagle Joe Walsh. Walsh would also play guitar on the track. In 2008, Winwood and his former Blind Faith bandmate Eric Clapton got together for a series of shows at Madison Square Garden. They performed a variety of material from their Blind Faith days along with selections from their own careers. One of the songs they chose to do was "Split Decision." The shows were highly successful and an associated double-CD of selections from the shows was released (#14, 2009) and a DVD was also issued out. The DVD would be a double-platinum seller (200,000 copies for DVDs).


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