In 1980, Steve Winwood carved out a persistent niche of the radio airwaves with several tunes from his Arc Of A Diver album – and that niche was well-deserved, given Winwood’s synth-driven (but still more rock ‘n’ roll than new wave) distinctive sound. Sadly, the follow-up to that, while it did yield hits of its own, lacked the “oomph” of Arc‘s originality; if anything, it smacks in a few places of reheated leftovers.
If anyone remembers one song off of Talking Back To The Night, it’s bound to be Valerie, a great song with a soaring DX-7 synth solo and some much-misheard lyrics. I never have gotten around to liking “Big Girls Walk Away” in the 20 years I’ve had to listen to it. The title track is a virtual carbon copy of Arc Of A Diver‘s lengthy “Night Train” single (a favorite of disc jockeys in gastric distress everywhere). The real gems aside from “Valerie” are “Still In The Game” and the joyful little number called “Help Me Angel”, which has a chord progression that just gives me a good feeling.
A mixed bag, but with the exception of “Still In The Game”, the good parts later appeared on Winwood’s Chronicles compilation, saving me the trouble of having to hear the rest of Talking Back To The Night again just to hear the good songs.
- Valerie (4:05)
- Big Girls Walk Away (3:51)
- And I Go (4:12)
- While There’s A Candle Burning (3:11)
- Still In The Game (4:51)
- It Was Happiness (4:58)
- Help Me Angel (5:08)
- Talking Back To The Night (5:44)
- There’s A River (4:40)
Released by: Island
Release date: 1982
Total running time: 40:50