|Steve Winwood had a long and varied career. Only later he started with blues-rock, jazz and progressive rock. So that's why he's on this side.|
But I better start with the beginning:
His full name is Stephen Lawrence Winwood born in Birmingham, England.
Together with his brother Muff and their father, he played in the Ron Atkinson Band at the age of 8. There he soon mastered drums and piano, also he was playing some guitar.
During the early '60s his brother led a locally popular group called the Muff Woody Jazz Band. More and more they began to play R&B numbers. In 1963 both brothers chose for this music and with guitarist Spencer Davis they were the Spencer Davis Group. The group had an succesful run of major hits in both the UK and the USA, until they became too limited for Steve. In 1965 he wrote the hit "incense" under the name Steve Anglo, but is wasn't till 1967 that he left the Spencer Davis Group and formed Traffic and in that time he short played in Blind Faith.
He also was asked as a session musician and became the un-official in-house keyboard player for Island Records.
Then in 1972 he got peritonitis and when his contributions to Traffic got less, the band slowly died out.
Steve stayed low profile for some time. He became a musicians' musician, contributing keyboard and backing vocals to many fine albums including, John Martyn's One World, Sandy Denny's Rendezvous, George Harrison's Dark Horse and Toots And The Maytals Reggae Got Soul. His session work reads like a who's who: Jimi Hendrix, Joe Cocker, Leon Russell, Howlin' Wolf, Sutherland Brothers, Muddy Waters, Eric Clapton, Alvin Lee, Marianne Faithfull and many others. He performed with some bands, released an album but his brake through came in 1980. He released "Arc Of a Driver". In the USA this unexpected album became platinum and then he released "Talking Back to the Night". It's for his brother Muff, who dissuaded him, otherwise he was retired. In 1983 he did an European tour, with a lot of energie and confidence, standing in the spotlights where he had been while playing with The Spencer Davis Group.
He then met his wife Eugenia.
In 1986 he brought out his most commercial succesfull album up till then; Back in the High Live. This album, which was co-written by Will Jennings, also contained the number 1 hit "Higher Love". He made a transfer from Island Records to Virgin, and relaesed two succesfull albums for them.
From then on his successes grew less...