When Steve Winwood sees a chance for a deluxe reissue, he takes it!
Arc of a Diver, first released on New Year’s Eve 1980, marked the solo commercial breakthrough for the former Spencer Davis Group, Traffic and Blind Faith member, peaking in the U.S. at an impressive No. 3 on the Billboard 200 and spawning the hit single “When You See a Chance,” which earned a No. 7 placement on the Hot 100. Due on September 24 in the U.K. from Universal/Island, the 2-CD deluxe Arc of a Diver comes a couple of years too late to qualify as a 30th anniversary reissue. But this classic album begs the question: better late than never?
Steve Winwood’s second solo album following 1977’s self-titled debut, Arc of a Diver was performed entirely by the multi-instrumentalist, on acoustic and electric guitars, bass, keyboards, synthesizers, drums and percussion. Alongside later smashes like 1986’s Back in the High Life, it remains one of the most enduring albums in the great musician’s catalogue. Winwood wrote every track on the album, either on his own or in collaboration with Will Jennings (“Looks Like We Made It,” “My Heart Will Go On”), Vivian Stanshall (The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band) or George Fleming. The one-man band recorded Arc at his own home studios in Gloucestershire, England, and produced and engineered the sessions himself, too.
What bonus tracks have been added for the new edition? Hit the jump! We’ve also got a pre-order link and full track listing with discographical annotation!
The deluxe edition includes three additional songs: “Arc of a Diver” (4:14 – the edited U.S. single version), “Spanish Dancer” (6:08 – 2010 Version Radio Edit) and “Night Train” (6:30 – Instrumental Version, from the U.K. 12-inch single). The latter offers more guitar and keyboard parts than the album version. The fourth and final track on the bonus disc is the BBC Radio 2 documentary Arc of a Diver: The Steve Winwood Story, narrated by Kate Thornton.
The single edit of the album’s most successful song, “While You See a Chance,” is absent from the new reissue. Despite the notoriously shortened edit, this version was nonetheless a smash hit. Winwood previously elected not to include it on his 2010 multi-artist, 4-CD box Revolutions: The Very Best of Steve Winwood, with solo tracks alongside those by Traffic, Blind Faith and the Spencer Davis Group. He did, however, include the edited version on the single-disc version of that set. (“While You See a Chance” fared better than “Roll with It,” the Grammy-nominated song co-written with Jennings and introduced on Winwood’s 1988 album of the same name. That song was left off the 4-CD Revolutions and only present on the single disc.)
The expanded Arc of a Diver features new liner notes by journalist and BBC presenter David Hepworth (Q, Empire, Mojo). Hepworth writes, “Steve Winwood never for a moment imagined his love of music would turn into such a long career, that he would still be recording and touring nearly fifty years later. Arc of a Diver is the record that made that not so much a possibility as a certainty.”
It’s available in stores beginning September 24 and can be pre-ordered below!
Steve Winwood, Arc of a Diver: Deluxe Edition (Island/UMC, 2012)
CD 1: Original LP (released as Island LP ILPS 9576, 1980)
- While You See a Chance
- Arc of a Diver
- Second-Hand Woman
- Slowdown Sundown
- Spanish Dancer
- Night Train
CD 2: Bonus material
- Arc of a Diver (U.S. Single Version) (single A-side – Island IS-49726, 1980)
- Spanish Dancer 2010 (from Revolutions: The Very Best of Steve Winwood box set – Island/UMe, 2010)
- Night Train (12″ Instrumental) (single B-side – Island 12 WIP-6710, 1981)
- BBC Radio 2 Documentary – Arc of a Diver: The Steve Winwood Story (previously unreleased)