------------------------------------------ VOLUME 100 (part 2), sent September 19, 1997, the date of the first US concert In this issue we've asked people to send us a list of their 5 favorite Winwood tunes, or the story of how they came to love Winwood's music, or both. If you would still like to send in your post, I will include them in the next SP, so don't be shy! We'll continue with the regular threads with 101, also. --BG Contributors in this issue: 1. Dialectic1@aol.com 2. Winwoodie@aol.com 3. "Don Farmer"
4. firstname.lastname@example.org 5. 6. MomeyKate@aol.com 7. 8. "Mary Katsikas" 9. PBurr10505@aol.com 10. BobbieG ------------------------------------------ 1*1*1*1*1*1*1*1*1*1*1*1*1 From: Dialectic1@aol.com Todd's Top 5 SW Tunes of All Time 5. I'm a Man - simple and pure 4. Dear Mr. Fantasy - My favorite Traffic tune... their signature song, in my opinion. 3. Don't You Know What The Night Can Do? - There's a truly tangible sense of passion throughout this song... Truly amazing vocals. 2. While You See A Chance - My "first" SW song. Still brings a smile to my face. 1. Back In The High Life - The signature song of SW's solo career. Beautiful, simple lyrics with vocals to match. Does it get any better than this???? Todd Craig 2*2*2*2*2*2*2*2*2*2*2*2*2 From: Winwoodie@aol.com I find it very hard to limit my list to only 5 favorite tunes but here's what I ended up with: "Mr. Fantasy" always sounds good & reminds me of old friends that I went with to an early Traffic concert. "While You See a Chance" always makes me feel good when I hear it. It's also a good philosophy to live by. "Gimme Some Lovin" has a great beat & you can dance to it, I give it a ten. I love it when SW really rocks. It also reminds me of my younger days dancing to it & a girl at my first job who liked it. "40,000 Headmen" has great musical depth & fantasy you can get lost in. "Low Spark of High Healed Boys" builds up to a fantastic piece of music. It's good that it reminds me that I'm always living beyond my means. Craig Loudon 3*3*3*3*3*3*3*3*3*3*3*3*3 From: "Don Farmer" This is my first entry to Smiling Phases. I've only been receiving it for the last couple months, but I have really enjoyed the connection. I am really glad to see that there are lots of other people who feel the same way about Steve Winwood. I thought I would send along my favorite SW songs for you to include in the 100th issue. Here goes: 1) Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys- This is the song that got it all started for me. A true classic. The number one song of all time as far as I am concerned. 2) Dear Mr. Fantasy- Great sound. Takes me back. 3) Can't Find My Way Home- The best One-Album band that ever existed. The first true Super-Band. 4) Gimme' Some Lovin'/I'm a Man- Can't decide which I like better so I included them both. Still can't believe he was only 16. What a voice. What a legend! 5) While You See a Chance- Still sounds great after all those years. Thanks for letting me share my opinions. I enjoy reading Smiling Phases and seeing what everyone else has to say. Thanks for the enjoyment. Don Farmer. 4*4*4*4*4*4*4*4*4*4*4*4*4 From: email@example.com Well you asked for it! Not the 55 song list of favorites I teased you about, but a sort of hybrid of your idea and Les'. It is too difficult to pick just 5 favorites - that is like asking someone to choose a favorite child - you love them all in their own way! Instead, with your indulgence, I would like tto tell about how I came to b a fan, by way of five stories/observations about his songs. I hope this is not too long, but since it is a special issue (#100!) I thought I'd just go for it.... "Empty Pages" - Walking down an upper east side street in Manhattan, 1986. WNEW was playing "Perfect Album Sides", and I didn't recognize the music (which turned out to be "John Barleycorn".) I couldn't even believe how good the music was, and I was anxious to find out who was responsible. Then, "Empty Pages" started to play - the opening organ chords and bass line! As it went on, I literally stopped walking, and stood there in the street listening, slackjaw. Wow! That amazing soaring organ, that beautiful piano break, and THAT VOICE! It was an epiphany, and I was hooked. "Back in the High Life" - The pretty melody, the optimistic "new beginning" lyrics, the lovely way Steve and James Taylor's voices blend together. Ah, so THAT'S where I've heard this guy's voice before! So, this Steve Winwood is the same guy from Traffic? And he's the "Gimme Some Lovin'" guy? And "While You See a Chance"? And "Can't Find My Way Home"? AND "Low Spark"? etc., etc. I'd been a fan of his music all my life and just didn't know it! Unfortunately, by the time I realized this, the tour had come and gone. :( "Had to Cry Today" - Driving down the West Side Highway, on the way to work. Had been delving into Steve's back catalog, and was blasting Blind Faith with the windows wide open. Marveling at the vocal gymnastics on this cut: How the hell does he do that jump in the middle of singing "word" anyway? "...but you want every wo-ORD to be free..." I decided to sing along and see if it was possible. Loudly. Suddenly, four guys in hard-hats in the car next to me yell "WAAAAAHHH" at me in unison! I was so startled, and a little scared, until they started laughing, and I realized that they were just mocking my singing! I relaxed and laughed back, and for several miles we kept yelling "WAAAAAAHHHHH" at each other whenever we were keeping pace! (Still can't sing that bit, by the way.) "Roll With It" - Driving in New York again, and got a ticket for making a prohibited left turn. Maddening! Then, I realized that the fine would cost more than I'd earned at work that day. Defeated, embarrassed, and angry. As I made my way home, I started to cry. Reaching the George Washington Bridge, Steve came on the radio, singing, "When life is too much, Roll with it, baby!...You can make it!" It just felt at that moment that my old friend had come to cheer me up, and my attitude changed immediately. You're right Steve, to hell with it! Thanks, buddy! "Medicated Goo" - "Ooh, ooh, ain't it good for you!" Yeah, I know that this is most likely a druggie-hippy song, and that attitude is out now, but it has the most incredible hook! I hope to hear him play it in concert one of these days, unlikely as that is, given his anti-drug stance in more recent years. Still, it never fails to cheer me up - which is, of course, why I stole my AOL name from the lyrics. ;) Thanks, Steve, for all these years of music; inspiration, comfort, and fun! Here's to many more. Dawn 5*5*5*5*5*5*5*5*5*5*5*5*5 From: "." Five of what could be fifty five. 1: Gimme some lovin, i first heared this at xmas 1966 at the Marquee club in London, and i still get a buzz when i hear it now. 2: Can't find my way home. Hanging half way up a tree in Hyde park, watching Blind faith, this one, i will never forget. 3: Vacant chair. I listen to this track a lot on cans, and i keep hearing little bits that i didn't hear before. I love this one. 4: Dream Gerrard: You try getting your tongue around those lyrics. Steve does it in style. 5: Winner Loser: The live version. Great voice. 55: Holy ground: Brings a tear, and to quote Jim Capaldi [far from home tour] FOR ME, THE GREATEST MUSICIAN ON THE PLANET. Regards Patrick. 6*6*6*6*6*6*6*6*6*6*6*6*6 From: MomeyKate@aol.com Thank you, Bobbie, for the opportunity to post in your milestone issue of Smiling Phases! And congratulations on your 100th volume of Smiling Phases, the Steve Winwood Digest. My 5 favorite Steve Winwood songs ( although it is nearly impossible tonarrow it down to just five): Freedom Overspill: I picked this song because it is when I first became aware of Steve Winwood. (The cute guy on MTV with the great dance video) Of course, I wanted to hear and learn more about him! Arc of a Diver: This is beautiful music, with unique lyrics by Viv Stanshall, in a lovely album that is one of my very favorites! There's a River: Steve's and Will Jennings' "hymn"- so uplifting and spiritual. It took me a long time to love this song, and now it's one of my favorites. It does what music should do- it heals and makes the listener feel better with each listening. Empty Pages: Great lyrics (and wonderful electric piano break by Steve). This is from Traffic's masterpiece album, "John Barleycorn Must Die". According to Jim Capaldi, Steve wrote most of this himself, showing how good a songwriter he can be when he sets his mind to it! Can't Find My Way Home: This is one of the most beautifully depressing songs in rock- a song that can make you sad and happy at the same time. Steve's voice and acoustic guitar are all that are needed to make a classic, but Eric's guitar doesn't hurt, either. And my alternate: Talking Back to the Night: This is a musically intriguing and lyrically intricate song, with Steve at his most passionate. Dark and forbidding, it speaks to the dangers of drugs and what follows someone who lives this kind of dark life. 7*7*7*7*7*7*7*7*7*7*7*7*7 From: PETER NUTTALL I first got hooked on Steve Winwood after hearing Keep On Running back in 1966, strangely enough it was the driving bass that caught my attention, but it wasn't long before the vocals and fuzz guitar made an (lasting) impression on me. This impression was cemented with the release of Somebody Help Me and When I Come Home, but Steve's instrumental prowess really came to the fore on Gimme Some Lovin' and especially I'm A Man (fantastic organ). In picking my five favourite songs I've tried to cover different periods (phases) in Steve's career. For me personally, although I like the stuff Steve did with SDG, the love affair with Steve's music really began with Traffic. Traffic was a new form of musical expression for Steve and very different from anything you could hear at the time. No Time To Live - Traffic...............haunting, dramatic, with Steve and Chris setting the mood. A classic example of the unique sound that the original Traffic had. Glad/Freedom Rider - John Barleycorn Must Die.................inseparable, again Steve and Chris share the limelight while Jim carries the whole thing along with some tremendous drumming. This first reunion album really displays a lot of energy. (Sometimes I feel So) Uninspired - On The Road..................a really great song which doesn't often get the praise it deserves. This is a showcase for Steve's powerful but sometimes delicate vocals, and some of the guitar work makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Higher Love - Back In The High Life..............another Steve Winwood classic. This is a good example of the subtle rhythmic and harmonic undercurrents Steve achieves which add a lot of colour and depth to his music. Far From Home - Far From Home...............this song shows all Steve's talents as a vocalist, instrumentalist and composer, a truly fantastic number. This second reunion album is almost a Winwood solo with Jim featured on percussion. Peter. 8*8*8*8*8*8*8*8*8*8*8*8*8 From: "Mary Katsikas" First order of business is to CONGRATULATE YOU FOR #100 OF SMILING PHASES. You have done a wonderful job and many thanks are in order to you and all your hard work. Next order of business. It was around 1989 on a contemporary adult radio station when I first heard Steve Winwood's "Back in the High Life". I liked it immediately. I thought he was a new Australian singer. After I found out who and what I was listening to, I tried for over a year to find the album or cassette of "High Life" without success. Finally, a friend's son gave my a copy of his recording when he found out that I was actively looking for it. Apparently, "High Life" had been pulled from the racks for some reason. I even wrote either his manager or Virgin Records but never got an answer. The rest is history. I have collected several old LPs and all his new CDs. Some of my most favorites are "Back in the High Life", "While You See A Chance", "There's a River", "The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys", "And I Go" and on and on. It really is ludicrous for me to make a list. I just love his music because it has meaning and I feel good after listening to it. Very early one morning while I was vacationing in the beautiful northern mountains of NC, I turned on the radio and at that very moment "Reach for the Light" was playing. I realized it was SW. I thought I might be dreaming, but heard it again several days later in the afternoon. The problem is that I can't find a recording of it. Also, it was reported in our paper that "Roll With It" was played at the beginning of the Bill Glass Crusade held in my city. Mary 9*9*9*9*9*9*9*9*9*9*9*9*9 From: PBurr10505@aol.com My 5 favorite songs by SW are as follows (no particular order) 1) "Don't You Know What The Night Can Do?", 2) "In The Light Of Day", 3) "Freedom Overspill", 4) "The Finer Things", 5) "Back In The High Life Again". "In The Light Of Day" is prob my fav because of the music (I really like the vibes solo) and the words. The words of this song are spiritual and I admire SW for not being afraid or reluctant to record this sort of song. The other songs are either sad (Don't You Know) or more uplifting (Finer Things and Back In The High Life). Freedom Overspill is really neither in my opinion, but I still really like the words, even if it is about his divorce. It was hard to leave "Holy Ground", "Roll With It", "Every Night, Every Day" and "Talking Back To The Night" off but I guess I have to draw the line somewhere. 10*10*10*10*10*10*10*10*10 From: BobbieG Okay, I knew this would happen. I had this great list in my head of my own favorites, and then I had to go and read all these posts, and I kept thinking, "Oh, yeah! I like that one too! .... Oh, gosh, how could I have forgotten that one?!" and now my own original list is lost somewhere back in my subconscious and refuses to come out. Maybe if I just type really really fast, that list will come out again. Many a Mile to Freedom - those lyrics send shivers up my back. "Together we melt like the snow" - ah! (Thanks, Mary, for reminding me of the title.) Simple, effective arrangement. Withering Tree - I think I fixate on lyrics and vocals much more than instrumental parts, like most of you. I *adore* the screeching sound in this - "INTO THE ARMS of eternity". Crossing the Line - As someone wise once said, in this song Steve sounds most like Steve. He and the music just soar. I like the studio version more than the live; it seems to build more triumphantly. Forty Thousand Headmen - I have a live version from 1994 that blows away the original. I think that Steve must have used a vocal coach in the early 90's, his voice is so much more powerful and soulful these days. Or maybe it's just the effect of age and its wisdom. I actually took guitar lessons for a couple months so that I could learn to play this song. Unfortunately, I never practiced enough and I've lost the ability. The backing away from verse-verse-chorus-verse- chorus-bridge-chorus structure is refreshing. A nice story-telling song. Night Train - Lovely long intro, the first time I heard it I was thinking that it might be an instrumental. The rhythms are so evocative of a train. Hey, I get to list more, I compile SP! Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring and Berkshire Poppies - Sometimes I think we get too serious, and I enjoy the silliness of these songs a lot. And besides, SP'ers, we are not like all the rest, y'know! Low Spark - What can I say that hasn't been said already? Roll With It ("Steve testifies" dub) - The gospel version. If you haven't heard it, run, don't walk, to your nearest used-record store and find it! Now! And my absolute favorite is -- In the Light of Day - (I was astonished at how many of you mentioned this song, coming as it does, from one of the more obscure albums. Once again I find camaraderie in this lovely group of people.) The vibes are beautiful, and the lyrics even more so. Fade in at the beginning with that interesting rhythmic structure, and the somewhat odd timing of the vocals. (Could you sing along and 'come in' correctly, before you'd listened to it a half-dozen times?) Help us feel the light inside us, help us feel it everywhere, Bobbie ------------------------------------------ END OF SMILING PHASES, VOL 100 (part 2)