Steve Winwood ‘Steve Winwood’

Today’s Cool Album of the day (#918 in The Series) is the debut self-titled solo release from Steve Winwood.

When discussing Steve Winwood’s solo albums the first one that’s usually mentioned Is Back in the High Life. That indeed was a huge album for “Stevie” and deserves all the praise it received. The 1986 release peaked at #7 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart and won Grammys for Record of the Year, Best Male Pop Vocal Performance along with an engineering award.  “Higher Love” was a #1 single.

Arc of a Diver also gets kudos tossed its way. And yes, it’s another good one. As far as hits there was the title cut along with “When You See a Chance,” “Spanish Dancer” and “Night Train.”  82’s Talking Back Through the Night did well on the strength of the hit “Valerie.”

But for me, if I could only take one Steve Winwood album with me to a desert island it would be this self-titled debut from 1977.

I often refer to this album as Steve Winwood’s forgotten album.  Not only do not many people have an opinion on it but not many people seem to know about it.

It was eight years after Blind Faith and six years after Traffic’s classic, The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys, and Winwood was losing his household name status. This effort wouldn’t help as radio hardly supported it which was a mistake. My guess is that the songs weren’t short enough to be considered “radio-friendly.”  Only the first track on the album, “Hold On” was shorter than five and half minutes long. The best songs on the album, “Time is Running Out” clocks in at 6:30 and the magnificent “Vacant Chair” is close to seven minutes.

Traffic’s Jim Capaldi co-wrote much of this album along with Winwood and their percussionist Rebop Kwaku Baah also makes an appearance. Long time studio aces Andy Newmark was on drums and Willie Weeks, bass.

While Steve Winwood has had albums that sold much better as we’ve acknowledged, we tell you that this one is not to be missed.  Go out and get it.

You can hear most of these gems below on the video playlist.

–Larry Carta

Track listing

All songs written by Steve Winwood and Jim Capaldi, except where noted

Side One

  1. Hold On – 4:33
  2. Time Is Running Out – 6:30
  3. Midland Maniac – 8:32 (Winwood)

Side Two

  1. Vacant Chair – 6:54 (Winwood, Viv Stanshall)
  2. Luck’s In – 5:23
  3. Let Me Make Something in Your Life – 5:33


  • Steve Winwood – Synthesizer, guitar, keyboards, vocals, producer
  • Nicole Winwood – Background vocals
  • Jim Capaldi – Percussion, background vocals
  • Willie Weeks – Guitar, bass guitar
  • Rebop Kwaku Baah – Percussion, conga
  • Brother James – Percussion
  • Junior Marvin (credited as Junior Hanson and Julian [Jr] Marvin) – Guitar
  • Andy Newmark – Drums
  • John Susswell – Drums
  • Alan Spenner – Bass guitar


Check out these albums from additional Hall of Famers

  • Led Zeppelin 'Presence'
  • Bob Dylan
  • Billy Joel '52nd Street'
  • Donald Fagen 'The Nightfly'
  • Complete Footage of “The Last Waltz” Concert Surfaces
  • The Allman Brothers Band 'Idlewild South'
  • Steve Winwood 'Steve Winwood'
  • The Who 'Live at Leeds'
  • Warren Zevon 'The Wind'
  • The Rolling Stones 'Black and Blue'
  • Bruce Springsteen 'Born to Run'
  • Brian Wilson 'Brian Wilson'
  • Talking Heads 'Naked'
  • Jefferson Airplane 'Volunteers'
  • Elton John 'Caribou'
  • Paul Simon 'The Rhythm Of The Saints'
  • David Bowie 'Young Americans'
  • Neil Young and the Bluenotes .. 'This Note's For You'
  • The Beatles 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band'
  • The Grateful Dead 'Rare Cuts & Oddities 1966' .. Plus a 'Record Store Day' Recap
  • Neil Diamond 'Gold'
  • Peter Gabriel 'Rockpalast Live 1978'
  • Original Santana Band to Reunite For New Album.
  • The Who 'Magic Bus: The Who On Tour'
  • Neil Young 'American Stars and Bars'
  • John Lennon and Yoko Ono
  • The Rolling Stones Bring a Bigger Bang to Tinsel Town
  • The Dave Clark Five
  • The Kinks
  • Attila
  • Derek and the Dominos
  • Bonnie Raitt "Nick of Time"
  • Paul Simon
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • The Beach Boys
  • Bob Dylan
  • Genesis
  • Queen
  • The Clash
  • Keith Richards
  • Neil Young and Crazy Horse to Release
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Levon Helm
  • Prince
  • Ringo Starr
  • David Gilmour
  • Bob Marley + The Wailers
  • John Fogerty
  • Neil Young
  • Peter Gabriel is Preparing Special 25th Anniversary Edition of his
  • Ringo Starr
  • Genesis
  • Faces, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Donovan, others are Rock and Roll Hall of Famers
  • Black Sabbath
  • The Band
  • The Beach Boys
  • Peter Gabriel
  • Frank Zappa
  • Elton John
  • Laura Nyro
  • Fleetwood Mac
  • James Gang
  • George Harrison
  • Traffic
  • R.E.M.
  • Van Morrison
  • The Beach Boys
  • The Band
  • Simon and Garfunkel
  • Dion
  • The Pretenders
  • Pink Floyd 6-Disc
  • Alice Cooper
  •  Ringo Starr and his All-Starr Band 'Ringo Starr and his All-Star Band'
  • Billy Joel
  • Graham Nash
  • The Ramones
  • Neil Young and Crazy Horse
  • The Police
  • Peter Gabriel
  • Steely Dan
  •  James Brown
  • Eric Clapton
  • Jeff Beck
  • Rolling Stones Hint at Possible 50th Anniversary Concert.
  • Dave Mason
  • Rave On Buddy Holly
  • George Harrison
  • Bruce Springsteen
  •  Crosby & Nash
  • Aerosmith
  • Leon Russell
  • Talking Heads
  • The Rolling Stones
  • ZZ Top
  • Paul McCartney and Wings
  • Mick Jagger Forms New Supergroup Called
  • Pink Floyd
  • David Gilmour, Nick Mason Join Roger Waters on
  • U2
Posted by Larry Carta

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