Top positive review
66 people found this helpful
on July 12, 2010
I keep saying, greatest hits and best-of compilations are not for die-hard fans. When will they get this into their heads? Such albums are for casual listeners. So all these complaints about single edits vs. album cuts and minor, mostly-forgotten hits not being on the album are purely academic. I, for one, am quite pleased with this CD. Though I have great respect for Steve Winwood as a highly creative and true professional, the only Winwood album I have ever owned is Traffic's Low Spark of High Heeled Boys (which is a masterpiece, by the way). As such, all I have every really desired is a single or two-disk compilation with all of the hits I grew up hearing, especially Steve's solo stuff. I've waited a long time for this, as Chronicles cuts off before "Roll With It" and the first boxed set was much more than I wanted to own or pay for. And, as far as what I do want, this finally has it all!
True, "Valerie" is not the more familiar re-mix; but, as the liner notes state, that was only a "slight" re-mix. The difference to the casual listener is not significant enough to matter. As for the edit of "While You See a Chance", I never owned Arc of a Diver, so I am not familiar with the album cut. This is the version I know from radio play and it's all I wanted. And when it comes to the radio edits of "Spanish Dancer 2010" and "Dirty City"-- well, these songs are new to me, anyway, and not the reason I purchased this. But they are great tracks and I love them just as presented, so good enough. I do, though, agree that labeling "Low Spark..." as an edit when it clearly is not is a silly mistake, but a small one.
While I would have preferred a comp of all solo recordings so as to have more of a taste of this material beyond the hits as well as a more consistent listen, I do love having the two Spencer Davis Group hits and the really great Traffic songs included. And good call including a sample of something from Blind Faith. I didn't have any of these recordings (other than "Low Spark...") and I'm glad I do now.
I know Winwood's real fans would see people like me as having a shallow view. But, come on; we can't be a die-hard for every artist. There's no way we can own the complete catalogs of every artist out there who catches our attention. I am a hard-core fan of certain artists that I collect that way. Winwood's just not one of them. For us, comps like this are a great thing. If you are a die-hard, great, don't buy CD's like this one. They're redundant to your collection and not for you. But don't rain on the parade for the rest of us!