This is a Random Album Generator.
One album a day.
From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Arc Of A Diver

Steve Winwood

1980

Arc Of A Diver
Album Summary

Arc of a Diver is the second solo studio album by singer/multi-instrumentalist Steve Winwood. Released in 1980, Winwood played all of the instruments on the album. Featuring his first solo hit, "While You See a Chance" (which peaked at number 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States), this was Winwood's breakthrough album as a solo artist. It peaked at number 3 on the Billboard 200 album chart, establishing him as a commercially viable act. The cover artwork for the album is by Tony Wright. He took inspiration from Jazz by Henri Matisse, notably VIII: Icarus.

Wikipedia

Rating

2.89

Votes

10293
Genres
Rock
Pop

Reviews

Like a review? Give it a thumb up to help us display relevant reviews!
Sort by: Top Date
View Author
Mon Mar 27 2023
2

Editorial Note: I’ll be doing a preemptive review before listening and a second, post-listen, review of this record. Pre-Listen Review: Oh, jeesus - a Steve Winwood record from 1980. That’s like drinking milk 12 years after the sell-by date. Post-Listen Review: Refer to Pre-Listen Review.

👍
View Author
Wed Mar 03 2021
2

I can go for this type of 80s cheese sometimes. I have no particular nostalgia for this album but I was familiar with the lead track. Some of the choices of synth tones are a bit cringey at times. Where I start to have a real problem is on "slowdown sundown" - it sort of breaks the sound he had going for this folksier/rootsier thing and it sounds really out of place. I like "Spanish Dancer" alright but it is mixed so weirdly with those hyper prominent synth notes that it's kinda off putting. "Night Train" probably works best for me overall? By the time it got to the last track I just wanted it to be over (and it's not a long album). I like some individual tracks by him but I can't hang with it for a whole album. 2.5 down to 2.

👍
View Author
Thu Aug 03 2023
1

I did not enjoy this cut-rate, Peter Gabriel knockoff, Casio keyboard, yacht rock turd of an album. The opening track, "When You See A Chance" is considered Winwood's best work and, friends, I gotta be honest. That's not a compliment. It's bad. The drum sounds are cartoonishly fake and the synths are bad even for the time. I tried really hard to find something good here but, the more I listened, the more frustrated I became that THIS is what Winwood decided to do with his solo career. So much talent just... gone to waste.

👍
View Author
Thu Feb 02 2023
1

Traffic pleasantly surprised me. This... this is horrible. Tepid arrangements and ugly synth pads make this yet another embarrassing entry in this shoddy list.

👍
View Author
Sun Jan 15 2023
5

straight heat 🔥 set my ears on fire from the first ten seconds 10/10

👍
View Author
Thu Apr 14 2022
4

Spotify lists Steve Winwood as a 'slick upscale mainstay of adult pop' which makes me feel like a real square because my dad would definitely make fun of me for liking this album. This is 'normcore' in the sense that this album is so normal and palatable that you have to go out of your way to feel anything about it, but this album makes me feel like a mid 80s yuppie in the best sense.

👍
View Author
Fri Nov 19 2021
3

Winwood going synth would have seemed very odd in 1980, but in league with his blue-eyed soul songwriting chops the whole package works very well.

👍
View Author
Thu Nov 30 2023
1

1001 albums to hear before you die.. I feel like death is preferable to listening to this again

👍
View Author
Fri Feb 16 2024
1

Terrible right out of the gate. I hope the rest of the album isn't this bad. Yep. This is rough.

👍
View Author
Fri Jun 02 2023
5

A fine album that finds Winwood with a new confidence thanks to his writing partnerships. The result is a strong group of songs in which Winwood plays all the instruments. Highlights include the title track, the catchy While You See a Chance, and the soaring album closer, Dust.

👍
View Author
Thu Apr 01 2021
4

wow that opening synth riff is STRONG. Sets a rad 80's tone right away. Obvious he and Phil Collins worked together from that track alone, and the rest of the album only solidifies that bond. It is disappointing that it trails off into mediocrity at the end. Looking at the Side A and B divisions, I'd give side A a 5 for fun synthy pop, and side B a 2.5. The whole thing gets a 4 because of what it almost was, but I'm left feeling disappointed.

👍
View Author
Fri May 28 2021
4

Big fan of Winwood. Not his best album but a classic of the 80s.

👍
View Author
Sat Oct 30 2021
4

Just great, soulful pop music, nicely done. "When You See a Chance" is the obvious classic track here, worth the price of admission just for this song. "Arc of a Diver" and "Slowdown Sundown" are lovely as well. Nothing on here I didn't like. "Second-Hand Woman" was probably the weakest song overall. Yes, the top-of-the-line-for-1980 synthesizers are admittedly a bit dated. But it's forgivable thanks in large measure to Steve Winwood himself. You can't shortcut his talent as a vocalist with a machine, that lovely soulful and timeless voice. Bonus star for the fact that Winwood plays all the instruments on this album, and adeptly so. Fave Songs: While You See a Chance, Arc of a Diver, Dust, Slowdown Sundown, Spanish Dancer

👍
View Author
Thu Oct 20 2022
4

Good, but was it really outstanding? I'm not convinced, but I'll probably give it another whirl sometime.

👍
View Author
Wed Apr 19 2023
3

"Whoa. Hang on. It's all good. I got a Steve Winwood CD in my car. I'll go grab that." - Dennis Reynolds (IASIP)

👍
View Author
Thu Oct 27 2022
2

- Only knowledge of Steve Winwood before this was Higher Love or Dennis from Always Sunny - Boring 80s pop - Wouldn't listen to it again

👍
View Author
Tue Apr 27 2021
5

80's GOODNESS. Not a bad song on the album dude. Absolutely grooving the whole time.

👍
View Author
Wed Jan 11 2023
5

I just really love the energy of Steve Winwood's voice, throughout this album and all of his music

👍
View Author
Wed May 24 2023
5

Really appreciated this y'day. Great music. A slightly generous 5

👍
View Author
Thu Jul 27 2023
5

In 1986 I fell in love with Steve Winwood’s Back in the High Life. I played the heck out of that album. After several months I then bought Arc of a Diver. I fell in love with this album too, although it always ran a close second to the later release. One of the unexpected pleasures of this project has been the opportunities to revisit albums I already know with fresh ears. I really can’t remember the last time I listened to this album, but it could have easily been 20 years ago. It’s pretty cool to hear this moment where a seasoned artist re-launched his career… a solid foundation for Winwood becoming 80s musical royalty. Back in the day Steve Winwood was just an 80s star… I had no idea that I was witnessing a really impressive reinvention. I just loved the music. Although I still prefer Back in the High Life, I’m still very enthusiastic that this terrific album made it on this list!

👍
View Author
Sun Jul 30 2023
5

For better or worse, the '80s (and the '70s) had a lot of cheesy music. This genre of 'dad's playlist during a roadtrip' or 'uncle hitting the karaoke machine' might be my favorite. Steve Winwood does the grown-up soul-pop-rock hybrid really well, and even with the synths it doesn't feel gimmicky. Outdated maybe, but still a great listen. Plus, he has a great voice. I am giving everyone who worked on this record a massive side eye for creating a song like Second Hand Woman though, which just made me roll my eyes at how prehistoric it was. That aside though, I can't lie that this was banger after banger. Standout tracks are While You See a Chance and Arc of a Diver.

👍
View Author
Sun Oct 08 2023
5

Great! I really enjoyed this album.

👍
View Author
Wed Jan 17 2024
5

banger!! i like the synths. favorite songs: secondhand woman, night train

👍
View Author
Wed Jan 17 2024
5

Really hooks you in from the first song and doesn't let up. Such a great album and will have on repeat for a while.

👍
View Author
Fri Jan 19 2024
5

Love this album - both when it came out and to relisten today

👍
View Author
Fri Jan 19 2024
5

Great album and very nostalgic for me. Have recently got on vinyl. Great Tunes : arc of a diver, spanish dancer and while you see a chance which presaged Valerie on his next album

👍
View Author
Mon Feb 19 2024
5

Great album, great mixing, good to leave it on and listen for any occasions.

👍
View Author
Thu Mar 07 2024
5

Such a fun album. Second-Hand Woman is amazing. While You See a Chance is fantastic. Slowdown Sundown is a song I could picture my parents listening to in the living room when I was young young. Last few songs on the first disc kind of fall off but I will be coming back to Steve Winwood often. He has the added bonus of really reminding me of my parents' music. A nostalgia that will continue to tug at my heart.

👍
View Author
Sun Mar 24 2024
5

Really groovy and exciting. 5 stars.

👍
View Author
Wed Apr 03 2024
5

I think I was in the perfect mood for this. I know a few of them anyway. My favourite Winwood song is Valerie, on his next album - so good that he is consistent. Second-Hand Woman, While You See A Chance, Night Train, and Spanish Dancer stood out. Thanks Steve.

👍
View Author
Fri Apr 12 2024
5

Very 80’s, but an absolutely delightful listen.

👍
View Author
Mon Sep 14 2020
4

3 listens, got better with each one. All instruments played by Steve. Would have been really cool to hear in 1980. Its sonic texture is dated and closely linked with 80s new wave, but ahead of the curve and easy listening.

👍
View Author
Wed Sep 30 2020
4

So 80s it hurts my teeth. Some great tunes on here. More impressive when you find out her played every instrument himself. A few songs last a little longer than they should, and we could've skipped "Dust" all together. Also, "Spanish Dancer" legitimately sounds like a song from the Spyro soundtrack. Favorite tracks: "When You See a Chance", "Spanish Dancer"

👍
View Author
Thu Feb 25 2021
4

I can feel the blues influences, however it also differentiates itself. An inspiring person and an inspiring album

👍
View Author
Wed Jan 20 2021
4

solo artist. great mix of vocals, synths, drums. Really like the songs While you see a chance, arc of a diver, spanish dancer. Created in the artist's home.

👍
View Author
Wed Mar 10 2021
4

Would listen to more of Steve Winwood

👍
View Author
Fri May 07 2021
4

Enjoy the sound of his music

👍
View Author
Thu Feb 04 2021
4

Loved this! Great songs, awesome music, cool vocals. Super solid. 4.3

👍
View Author
Tue Apr 20 2021
4

Parecido a Phil Collins. Un poco folk también. Le daré un 4.

👍
View Author
Sun Jan 24 2021
4

Synthy, 80s soundtrack feel opening. But good melodies.

👍
View Author
Wed Jun 09 2021
4

Тупа чил. В начале оттолкнуло архаичными синтами, но потом ухо попривыкло. Вступительная While You See A Chance как раз самой балдёжной предстала. Если вдуматься, то альбом состоит из достаточно примитивной и не особо оригинальной музыки своего времени. Но работает то складно. Тем боле этот звук 80-ых ныне развития особого не получил, так что спустя тридцарик лет кажется вполне интересным. Если в целом ценить эстетику. Я то в своё время Journey гонял, вот там схожая атмосфера. Ну и всё же фальшью не веет, звучит то искренне. В общем, Батя одобряэ.

👍
View Author
Mon May 10 2021
4

ha estado guapo la verdad me ha gustado bastante chill

👍
View Author
Mon Jun 28 2021
4

Enjoyed this album more than expected. The first song has a unique start. Arc of a diver is a great song. All of the songs are better than they should be and the instrumentals pair well with winwoods singing style. 7.7/10

👍
View Author
Wed Aug 04 2021
4

Good album. Impressive he played all the instruments on the album. I agree with the reviews not a 5. Its between 3.2 and 4.1.

👍
View Author
Sat Aug 14 2021
4

Nothing else on the album nears the peak of "while you see a chance", but the album is largely enjoyable and though i'd skip second-hand woman if listening to it, and songs like night train find a great groove.

👍
View Author
Thu Aug 26 2021
4

So many songs I liked in the 80's and I never actually learned the name of the person.

👍
View Author
Fri Sep 10 2021
4

This album brought me joy in a 1 hour commute drive

👍
View Author
Thu Sep 30 2021
4

Jammin' 80s pop. Can't ever go wrong with that.

👍
View Author
Fri Oct 01 2021
4

Nice album, great runtime and good mix of songs and instruments

👍
View Author
Fri Oct 01 2021
4

Solid album with a very unique rock sound incorporating lots of piano and synth. Massive respect to him for playing every part on the album.

👍
View Author
Thu Oct 21 2021
4

solid sound, got better with more listens.

👍
View Author
Thu Oct 21 2021
4

Interesting opener - until the vocals kick in, it sounds like the opening credits for an Eighventies sports show. It's also worth noting that I have a bit of a bias towards Brummie musicians... So this is unlikely to be entirely objective! Arc of a Diver has some strong Steely Dan vibes - and that's a good thing. The rest of the album washed over me as I worked. I am surprised at how poppy this is, given that my perception of Steve Winwood was more of a blues/rock/prog artist. More shocking is that it is good (but not great) pop. I had always assumed that Higher Love and Valerie were exceptions in his career, but it turns out he is actually a very talented pop writer - somewhere between Phil Collins and Donald Fagen. A surprisingly good album!

👍
View Author
Thu Nov 11 2021
4

Very nice album. Great vibe. Funky tunes. Liked the first couple tracks the most

👍
View Author
Thu Nov 11 2021
4

Sounds like Phill Collins. Enjoyed, nice and chill. Easy listening

👍
View Author
Thu Nov 18 2021
4

A little psychedelic and synthy, but actually overall pretty good.

👍
View Author
Thu Dec 02 2021
4

Unique sound, like someone was consciously trying to do an 80s sound after the 80s were over, sounds pretty influential considering when it was written.

👍
View Author
Fri Dec 03 2021
4

jag tycker om den! men vet inte om jag gör det eftersom han låter som phil collins? oklart, det låter jag vara osagt. men det svänger katten.

👍
View Author
Thu Jan 13 2022
4

I really like this album. Sounds like so many other influences, yet Steve Winwood is somehow so unique.

👍
View Author
Thu Jan 27 2022
4

Soft rock really isn't my thing but this was much more enjoyable than I expected. Would definitely listen again, though I much prefer Winwood's earlier group work.

👍
View Author
Wed Feb 16 2022
4

fun listen, i got surprised by it and I enjoyed it :)

👍
View Author
Fri Apr 22 2022
4

80s synth cheese, yes I'm game. Got weaker as it went on but still enjoyable

👍
View Author
Sat May 21 2022
4

Seems like slightly proggy late 70s pop. Bit of a Phil Collins vibe. Very inoffensive, but not too sickly sweet. Lots of talent, good songwriting and tasteful players. Also, 39min is the perfect runtime for an album I've never heard before. 4/5.

👍
View Author
Fri Jul 01 2022
4

Hey I liked this! Synthy samples with a very 80s feel.

👍
View Author
Thu Aug 04 2022
4

While You See A Chance is a great track Synths are really well orchestrated and the drums are nice too Singing is well done I dont have a ton of bad things to say about this album. I really liked it which I wasnt expecting 7/10

👍
View Author
Wed Aug 17 2022
4

Incredible pop rock with soul notes. I enjoyed more than I admit this album.

👍
View Author
Thu Aug 18 2022
4

Every song is really good, they all seemed well polished. No duds on this album.

👍
View Author
Fri Sep 02 2022
4

i enjoyed this more than i thought i would. it’s not my favorite, but it is catchy and fun!

👍
View Author
Sun Sep 04 2022
4

This was a fun album. The first half was more fun than the second but it was funky and the keyboard synthesizer thing was used really well. It's the most 80s sounding instrument you can get but it sounds great here

👍
View Author
Thu Sep 08 2022
4

This album - and in particular the lead single - will never not transport me to being a little kid / 1980 / good times. No way to remove the nostalgia from any objectivity in this one for me. In saying that, this is a highly melodic album with jazzy twists and turns. Nothing really comes close to matching the opening track "While You See a Chance" which is pretty much melodic softish-rock perfection, although the subsequent "Arc of a Diver" is a left-turn that showcases the best of Steve Winwood (who, incidentally, played all the instruments on this album). After a few ok tracks the album picks up again on the second half with "Spanish Dancer" and "Night Train" - the former stays restrained and the space keeps the tension throughout the song while "Night Train" has a catchy repetitive groove that works well. It's not perfect - I'm not a fan of the album closer "Dust" at all; could have used a better end to this album which overall is enjoyable. In particular I've always enjoyed the sound on this album - nice mix Steve. 7/10 4 stars.

👍
View Author
Thu Sep 08 2022
4

I really like this album; I knew the first song right off the bat but i actually hadn’t heard any others and i thought they were really interesting.

👍
View Author
Fri Oct 14 2022
4

Bravo pour la musique en sah (pas beaucoup plus a dire en particulier mais j'ai bien kiffé la vibe tah 80s et les ptits solos de synthé mama zboui zboui zbouiiiiiii)

👍
View Author
Wed Nov 30 2022
4

great album. Steve has always been a good listen

👍
View Author
Wed Dec 14 2022
4

Nice, had never heard it before

👍
View Author
Mon Dec 19 2022
4

This is better than it seems it should be. First two cuts are both top-class, and hold up well. "Second-Hand Woman" is an embarrassment really, as much for the troglodytic content as for the hideously '80s hook and the thin disco beat. "Slowdown Sundown" and "Spanish Dancer" right the ship, but only briefly, until the Jan-Hammerian "Night Train," another time-traveler that feels ready to explode when contacting 21st-century air. Considering how one's never liked Winwood's way-back-in-the-throat voice, one's surprised to find this of substantial quality ... the pluses meaningfully outweigh the Ultimate '80s embarrassments.

👍
View Author
Fri Dec 23 2022
4

Didn’t expect this kind of funky 80s music from Steve Winwood. Pleasantly suprised

👍
View Author
Fri Jan 06 2023
4

It’s kind of goofy sounding now, but overall impressive from a “one man in the studio” perspective and pretty enjoyable throughout

👍
Load more reviews