Steve Winwood - Winwood And Friends - 1972
As a solo artist, Steve Winwood is primarily associated with the highly polished blue-eyed soul-pop that made him a star in the '80s. Yet his turn as a slick, upscale mainstay of adult contemporary radio was simply the latest phase of a long and varied career, one that's seen the former teenage RB shouter move through jazz, psychedelia, blues-rock, and progressive rock. Possessed of a powerful, utterly distinctive voice, Winwood was also an excellent keyboardist who remained an in-demand session musician for most of his career, even while busy with high-profile projects. That background wasn't necessarily apparent on his solo records, which established a viable commercial formula that was tremendously effective as long as it was executed with commitment.
Available on record in various forms, this is an essential insight into SW's early years. Most commonly available on "Steve Winwood and Friends" on the American Springboard label (catalogue # SPB-4040) or the French BYG label, long since out of print, but can be found in decent second-hand record shops and sometimes through the small ads in the Record Collector magazine. This is nice raw stuff with "Mojo" featuring SW and Spencer up at the mic for an all-star jam session including Sonny Boy Williamson, Long John Baldry, Eric Clapton, and Art Themen among others.
01. Dimples - Steve Winwood
02. Night Time is the Right Time - Steve Winwood
03. Mojo Working - Winwood/Williamson/Baldry
04. Jeff's Blues - Jeff Beck
05. Too Much Monkey Buisness - Clapton/Yardbirds
06. Highway 69 - Clapton/Yardbirds/Williamson
07. Early in the Morning - Baker/Bruce
08. The 219 - Long John Baldry