Monday, May 23, 2022

"Hearts on Fire" by Steve Winwood

Song#:  3836
Date:  03/18/1989
Debut:  87
Peak:  53
Weeks:  9
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  Winwood's #1 album Roll with It was on track to replicate the success of his '86 hit Back in the High Life. Each featured a #1, a Top 10, and a Top 20 single. Back in the High Life boasted another Top 20 hit and it was hoped that this fourth single from Roll with It would be able to match or exceed that result. Unfortunately, it couldn't get close. The song stalled short of the halfway mark while only reaching #22 at both AC and Rock. With that result, sales of the album slowed and it halted at the double-platinum mark, which was a drop from the triple platinum success of Back in the High Life. Still, it was a solid result that wrapped up the 80s for Winwood.

ReduxReview:  While this song was a good listen and worked well as an album track, it just wasn't as memorable or catchy has his previous hits. It was a solid, standard bluesy-rock tune from Winwood that featured horns and a backing vocal group. In other words, not all that different from what he had been doing. That certainly is fine and I'm sure pleased some fans as it did well at Rock and AC, but it wasn't going to get anywhere on the Pop chart.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  Winwood's next album, 1990's Refugees of the Heart, signaled a downturn in his popularity. Its first single, "One and Only Man," would only reach #18 Pop (#1 Rock, #9 AC) and would be the only song from the LP to chart at Pop and his last single to reach the chart. With that result, the album would halt at #27 and only go gold. He wouldn't release another solo effort until 1997. In between that time Winwood would reunite with his former Traffic bandmate Jim Capaldi, and the pair would record the first Traffic album in 20 years, Far from Home. The track "Here Comes a Man" would get to #10 Rock. The album would make it to #33. Between '70 and '74, Traffic would release four albums that all went Top 10 and were either platinum or gold, all without the benefit of a Pop Top 40 hit. In 2004, Traffic would be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. in 2009, Winwood would reunite with his Blind Faith bandmate Eric Clapton for a tour. Their NYC shows were recorded and resulted in the album Live from Madison Square Garden. It would reach #14 and earn two Grammy nominations.


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