Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Spencer Davis Group|
Eight Gigs a Week: The Steve Winwood Years
Genres: Pop, R&B, Rock, Classic Rock
1996 retrospective on Island featuring 51 classics by the'60s English rock group on two CDs in a double slimlinejewel case stored inside a slipcase with a 24 page full colorbooklet with a bio on the band & numerous photos.... more »
1996 retrospective on Island featuring 51 classics by the'60s English rock group on two CDs in a double slimlinejewel case stored inside a slipcase with a 24 page full colorbooklet with a bio on the band & numerous photos. Subtitled'The Steve Winwood Years', it showcases their best trackswith him from 1964-1966, including previously unreleasedlive versions of 'Kansas City' & 'Oh! Pretty Woman'.
The Compleat Stevie Years
Laurence Upton | Wilts, UK | 09/08/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The great thing about this mono 2CD set is that it contains virtually everything by the Spencer Davis Group during Stevie Winwood's tenure with the band. When they re-launched in 1967 with Time Seller they were essentially a different band.
None of the three albums released during this period ever made it to CD, so much of the material is on CD here for the first time. The first album was Their First Album, the second was The Second Album and the third was... Autumn '66. Apart from some uncredited backing vocals from Millie on the Ikettes' I'm Blue and a similarly anonymous chorus on Garnett Mimms and the Enchanters' Look Away, everything you hear on the albums is pretty much the band themselves.
They had nine singles, with some throwaway but highly atmospheric and indispensable non-album B-sides, and a 1965 EP of exclusive material, all nicely gathered up here. There are also two previously unreleased live-in-the-studio tracks (Kansas City and Oh, Pretty Woman - this is the Albert King blues, not the Roy Orbison hit), and Stevie's Groove, a very mod-friendly Hammond organ instrumental knocked up in five minutes and only to be found on a rare German B-side (the A-side, an atypical traditional beer-drinking song sung in its native German at the request of the citizens of Hamburg, is the only release not to be included, apart from the US rework of Gimme Some Lovin'). Their contribution to the film Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush, an instrumental called Waltz To Caroline, turned up on an Island label "Best Of" in 1968, retitled Waltz To Lumumba, along with the Back Into My Life Again from their final Jimmy Miller sessions and unreleased because it was "too commercial" - well, this was the sixties.
Stevie was born in May 1948 and was therefore barely sixteen when they made their first record, but had been performing live since he was twelve and his voice had an extraordinary maturity and soulful quality. The influence of Ray Charles is quite clear and I'll Drown In My Own Tears and Georgia On My Mind, both superb renditions, were presumably learned from his versions.
Their choice of material, ranging from the Soul Sisters, Brenda Holloway, the Malibus, the Coasters, Prince La La, Ike and Tina Turner, Rufus Thomas, Little Richard, Jimmy Hughes, Roy Alvin, Bettye Lavette, Bobby Parker, Bessie Smith, Stonewall Jackson, Leadbelly, the Impressions, Ivory Joe Hunter, Elvis Presley, Elmore James, Percy Sledge and Don Covay, shows their immersion in then hard-to-find current and older American music, some of it brought to their attention by manager and producer Chris Blackwell and Scene club proprietor and UK Sue label supremo Guy Stevens, though their own material (and songs tailor-made for them by Jackie Edwards) for singles tend to be the most polished productions. Keep On Running, Somebody Help Me and Gimme Some Lovin' were all number one hits in the UK, and their swansong I'm A Man, probably their finest single recording, was a top ten hit. Only their first single Dimples failed completely to chart in 1964 and that found itself in competition with John Lee Hooker's 1956 original, re-released while he was in the UK to promote it.
Although this collection begins in 1964 and all the most recent material is on the second disc, the running order is far from chronological, with the two 1966 albums spread over both CDs in seemingly haphazard fashion so some listeners may care to re-program their CD players at least once for an authentic listening experience"