Steve Winwood was just a teenager when he rocketed into the international spotlight as the prodigious singer of the Spencer Davis Group. The blues and R&B-influenced rock of ‘Gimme Some Lovin’ and ‘I’m a Man’ had Winwood’s singing drawing comparisons to that of his idol Ray Charles - despite his tender age.
Seeking a wider artistic palette, in the next decade Winwood formed Traffic with friends Jim Capaldi, Chris Wood and Dave Mason and then the “supergroup” Blind Faith with Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and Rick Grech, producing some of the most inventive and arresting music of the time.
With 1977’s Steve Winwood a rich solo career launched in earnest. Arc of a Diver (1980) featured the hit ‘While You See a Chance’, whilst Talking Back to the Night (1982), Back in the High Life (1986), and Roll With It (1988) produced era-defining songs including ‘Valerie’, ‘Higher Love’, ‘Back in the High Life’, and ‘Roll With It’.
Later albums Refugees of the Heart, Junction 7, About Time and 2008’s Nine Lives (which gained his highest ever Billboard album debut at #12) all continued to display Winwood’s supreme musical talents.