Steve Winwood is a British singer, songwriter, and musician. He began his career in 1967 and is associated with music genres, including pop rock, blue-eyed soul, blues rock, and rhythm and blues. Although Winward is predominantly known as a vocalist and keyboardist, he can also play various other instruments, including guitars, bass, drums, saxophone, and the mandolin. During the 1960s and 1970s, Steve Winwood was a member of the Spencer Davis Group, Blind Faith, and Traffic. He did not begin his solo career until 1977, and he went on to have many hit singles as a solo artist throughout the 1980s. However, he continued to release music beyond the 1980s and is still a performing artist today. As a solo artist, Steve Winwood released nine studio albums, six compilation albums, two live albums, two soundtrack albums, and 25 singles. Here are the 10 best Steve Winwood songs of all time.
10. Talking Back to the Night (1982)
‘Talking Back to the Night’ is a synthetic pop song, and it demonstrates Winwood’s skills as a multi-instrumentalist. It was the third single he released from his 1982 album of the same name. Although this single did not chart, it is a fan favorite. Other singles released from the album included ‘Valerie,’ ‘There’s a River,’ ‘and ‘Still in the Game.’
9. Freedom Overspill (1986)
‘Freedom Overspill’ was one of the singles released from the 1986 album ‘Back in the High Life.’ It stood out from the album’s other tracks, especially its art-film music video. Its biggest chart success was reaching number four on the US Mainstream Rock chart, although it was a top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100.
8. Dirty City (2008)
Ranker lists ‘Dirty City’ as one of the best Steve Winwood songs of all time. It was the last single released by Winwood, and it appeared on his 2008 album ‘Nine Lives.’ The song features Eric Clapton on the guitar. Although ‘Dirty City’ did not chart, it was number one on the Adult Alternative radio for three weeks. Winwood co-wrote this single with Peter Goodwin.
7. Holding On (1988)
‘Holding On’ achieved relatively decent chart and commercial success for Winwood, peaking at number one on the Adult Contemporary chart and at number two on the Mainstream Rock chart. However, it only reached number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100. Winwood co-wrote this track with Tom Lord-Alge, and it has a catchy chorus that gets people singing along. David Fincher directed the music video. It showed a photographer taking out his equipment, followed by snapshots of people from different walks of life and scenes of Winwood walking, playing solitaire, drinking coffee, and looking at the sunshine through his window.
6. The Finer Things (1987)
‘The Finer Things’ was the last of six singles that Winwood released from his 1986 album ‘Back in the High Life,’ although this track was not released until early 1987. It was a number one hit on the US Adult Contemporary chart, hogging the top spot for three weeks, and also reached number eight on the Billboard Hot 100. Like many of Winwood’s songs, he co-wrote this track with Will Jennings.
5. Back in the High Life Again (1986)
The greatest success of the 1986 single ‘Back in the High Life Again’ was reaching number one on the Adult Contemporary chart. It was also a top ten hit on both the Billboard Hot 100 and Mainstream Rock charts. This song was the fifth of six singles released from the 1986 album ‘Back in the High Life.’ In 1988, the song, which was co-written by Winwood and Will Jennings, was nominated for the Grammy Award for the Song of the Year.
4. While You See a Chance (1981)
According to Return of Rock, one of Steve Winwood’s best songs is his 1981 single ‘While You See a Chance.’ It was the first of Winwood’s singles to chart, and it was a top ten hit in the United States, reaching number two on the Mainstream Rock chart and number seven on the Billboard Hot 100. The single was also a number three hit in Canada. Winwood co-wrote the song with Will Jennings, and its introduction primarily features the organ as the other instrumentation was erased accidentally.
3. Valerie (1982 and 1987)
Winwood originally released ‘Valerie’ in 1982, and it came from the album ‘Taking Back the Night.’ Although it charted in several countries, it did not reach the top ten anywhere and peaked at number 13 on the Mainstream Rock chart. In 1987, Winwood did a remix of ‘Valerie,’ and the second time around, it achieved greater success. It peaked at number two on the US Adult Contemporary chart and at number nine on the Billboard Hot 100.
2. Roll with It (1988)
‘Roll with It’ topped the charts in Canada and also reached the number one spot in the United States on the Billboard Hot 100, the Mainstream Rock, and the Adult Contemporary charts. Although Winwood co-wrote the song with Will Jennings, the record label later credited the songwriters Holland-Dozier-Holland with co-writing the song, following allegations that there were similarities between this single and the Junior Walker hit ‘(I’m a) Roadrunner.’
1. Higher Love (1986)
Winwood’s biggest commercial success was ‘Higher Love,’ which was from the 1986 album ‘Back in the High Life.’ The single topped both the Mainstream Rock and Billboard Hot 100 charts and also topped the Canadian chart. Furthermore, it was Winwood’s first top ten single in Australia. It was recorded as a duet with Chaka Khan, but most of her vocals were wiped off the track prior to its release due to label issues.