Music: "Roll with it," Steve Winwood (1988)


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About the time this came out some guys in jeans and very distinctive jackets showed up at the Presbyterian church my parents took me to. We all went up and stood at the front during communion, and I stood next to one of them. I kept thinking, That guy looks a lot like Steve Winwood.

A few days later my father asked me if I’d ever heard of “this Steve Winwood guy. He was at church with us last Sunday.”


Suddenly I have a craving for watered-down beer…


Not sure I’d call this music of the late '80s. This is Winwood doing some of his best homage to the blues and R&B singers of the early and mid '60s like Sam and Dave, Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke and many others. To me late '80s is The Eurythmics, Bonnie Tyler, Madonna, etc.

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In particular Ray Charles; there were (and probably still are) a number of people who thought that “Gimme Some Lovin’” was a Charles song.

Yeah. British R&B of the mid- to late '60s was all over that stuff. This particular song wouldn’t have been out of place in a Spencer Davis Group set list.


This is soul music. Soul? Stevie ALWAYS had it. There’s a recording of “I Don’t Need No Doctor” with Spencer Davis Group, when he was about 15. This same depth of soulful expression is all over the later whole of Traffic’s recorded output.

So the 80’s brought synths to join the Hammonds, and producers who abused the techniques from Chic 'Le Freak" and Bowie’s “Low”. :smile:

Other GREAT underrated artists, from the last great stand of white guys with soul? Peter Gabriel ( Steam, Sledgehammer, Big Time, etc.). Robert Palmer. Bobby Caldwell. They all go back to 60s or 70s.

Wouldbe’s and Wannabes: Michael Bolton, Rod Stuart, Phil Collins and Elton John. Never really cut it - no matter what their commercial successes.

You’re putting Rod Stewart below Robert Palmer as far as soulfulness? I suppose if you’re only looking at the '80s, just maybe, but otherwise I beg to differ.

Also, as far as vocals go, I think Gabriel could be good at expressing a soul in pain, but wasn’t so great at projecting warmth (by which I may mean sex) which is pretty important for a soul man.

Oh dear, what have I started…

EDIT: Heh, apparently nothing.

Michael Bolton? Arrrgghhh. A worse rip off artist than Pat Boone (Tutti Frutti). A commercial geek with a gravel voice used by producersto make soul music safe for young white girls.

You can probably add Paul Rodgers and Steve Marriott, albeit in a grittier fashion.

Paul Rogers? The echo is there.

Marriott YES. He was able to turn it on and turn it out! Even in his schizophrenic burnout of the late 70’s, “I’ve been hurt by love” shows how much he followed on from Otis Redding. Humble Pie are full of guitar anthems hiding soul gems. And if Zeppelin fans don’t know about Marriott with the Small Faces, that’s like being a Rolling Stones fan, never hearing Muddy Waters.


God, I hated this song back then (my senior year i high school, I believe it was). If I have to listen to past-their-prime white dudes sweating it up in a honky tonk, I’d really rather listen to this:

Honestly, I’d rather listen to Paul Rodgers than just about anyone.

Fool for a Pretty Face? (Mind you, I prefer Clemson to Frampton, so I’m partial to that incarnation of Humble Pie. Old Colosseum fan, me…) Some of those gems aren’t so hidden:

Pretty incredible. Yeah. “Fool for a Pretty Face”. From On to Victory, I think?

There’s a thin line from “guitar backed, blue-eyed soul” to “power ballad”.

After the latter, I always have to go listen to Bowie’s Young Americans record, to get my mojo back…

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Yup. Evidently Bobby Tench (ex-Jeff Beck Group) on guitars, not Clem Clemson. My mistake.

And we all forgot Boz Scaggs.
Listen to him do “Hercules”:

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