The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

While You See a Chance: Universal Expands Steve Winwood’s “Arc of a Diver” as 2-CD Set

with 7 comments

When Steve Winwood sees a chance for a deluxe reissue, he takes it!

Arc of a Diver, first released on New Year’s Eve 1980, marked the solo commercial breakthrough for the former Spencer Davis Group, Traffic and Blind Faith member, peaking in the U.S. at an impressive No. 3 on the Billboard 200 and spawning the hit single “When You See a Chance,” which earned a No. 7 placement on the Hot 100.  Due on September 24 in the U.K. from Universal/Island, the 2-CD deluxe Arc of a Diver comes a couple of years too late to qualify as a 30th anniversary reissue.  But this classic album begs the question: better late than never?

Steve Winwood’s second solo album following 1977’s self-titled debut, Arc of a Diver was performed entirely by the multi-instrumentalist, on acoustic and electric guitars, bass, keyboards, synthesizers, drums and percussion.  Alongside later smashes like 1986’s Back in the High Life, it remains one of the most enduring albums in the great musician’s catalogue.  Winwood wrote every track on the album, either on his own or in collaboration with Will Jennings (“Looks Like We Made It,” “My Heart Will Go On”), Vivian Stanshall (The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band) or George Fleming.  The one-man band recorded Arc at his own home studios in Gloucestershire, England, and produced and engineered the sessions himself, too.

What bonus tracks have been added for the new edition?  Hit the jump!  We’ve also got a pre-order link and full track listing with discographical annotation!

The deluxe edition includes three additional songs: “Arc of a Diver” (4:14 – the edited U.S. single version), “Spanish Dancer” (6:08 – 2010 Version Radio Edit) and “Night Train” (6:30 – Instrumental Version, from the U.K. 12-inch single).  The latter offers more guitar and keyboard parts than the album version.  The fourth and final track on the bonus disc is the BBC Radio 2 documentary Arc of a Diver: The Steve Winwood Story, narrated by Kate Thornton.

The single edit of the album’s most successful song, “While You See a Chance,” is absent from the new reissue. Despite the notoriously shortened edit, this version was nonetheless a smash hit.  Winwood previously elected not to include it on his 2010 multi-artist, 4-CD box Revolutions: The Very Best of Steve Winwood, with solo tracks alongside those by Traffic, Blind Faith and the Spencer Davis Group.   He did, however, include the edited version on the single-disc version of that set.  (“While You See a Chance” fared better than “Roll with It,” the Grammy-nominated song co-written with Jennings and introduced on Winwood’s 1988 album of the same name.  That song was left off the 4-CD Revolutions and only present on the single disc.)

The expanded Arc of a Diver features new liner notes by journalist and BBC presenter David Hepworth (Q, Empire, Mojo).  Hepworth writes, “Steve Winwood never for a moment imagined his love of music would turn into such a long career, that he would still be recording and touring nearly fifty years later.  Arc of a Diver is the record that made that not so much a possibility as a certainty.”

It’s available in stores beginning September 24 and can be pre-ordered below!

Steve Winwood, Arc of a Diver: Deluxe Edition (Island/UMC, 2012)

CD 1: Original LP (released as Island LP ILPS 9576, 1980)

  1. While You See a Chance
  2. Arc of a Diver
  3. Second-Hand Woman
  4. Slowdown Sundown
  5. Spanish Dancer
  6. Night Train
  7. Dust

CD 2: Bonus material

  1. Arc of a Diver (U.S. Single Version) (single A-side – Island IS-49726, 1980)
  2. Spanish Dancer 2010 (from Revolutions: The Very Best of Steve Winwood box set – Island/UMe, 2010)
  3. Night Train (12″ Instrumental) (single B-side – Island 12 WIP-6710, 1981)
  4. BBC Radio 2 Documentary – Arc of a Diver: The Steve Winwood Story (previously unreleased)

Written by Joe Marchese

August 16, 2012 at 09:29

7 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. It’s about time Universal tackled some of this stuff…but it seems like too little for a 2-disc set. They would’ve been better off just reissuing as a single disc with bonus tracks. The documentary may be interesting, but who would listen to it more than once? Maybe offer that as a free download instead.


    August 16, 2012 at 14:12

  2. Yeah this is pretty pitiful.. I can’t stand when a reissue can only muster up some random odds and ends. Surely there were live shows from that time with decent quality. Surely!

    Alex Pudlin

    August 16, 2012 at 14:24

  3. Re-issue joke of the year. Very disappointing indeed.


    August 16, 2012 at 16:37

  4. $34 for the 2-CD set is kinda exorbitant if you ask. The original CD costs only $13 so we’re talking about $21 for 4 tracks. And only 3 of the 4 tracks are songs. This is totally absurd.


    August 16, 2012 at 21:16

  5. The radio edit of “While You See A Chance” is one of the worst, sloppiest hatchet-jobs in the history of Record Company Suits Ruining Otherwise Great Songs (listen closely next time it bothers your radio … you’ll hear what I mean). Hell, I might spring for this reissue just to say “thanks” for NOT including it!


    August 17, 2012 at 21:24

  6. The good news for me is that I don’t own this on CD yet. So It’s at least an option. I would much rather see CD reissues of Back In The High Life (for the remix of “The Finer Things” alone) and Roll With It (would love to hear what session bits are about there – plus the 12″ of “…What The Night Can Do” is just awesome.

    Todd R.

    August 18, 2012 at 00:30

  7. more profiteering yet another “deluxe” version gets shovelled out, always looking to rob people of cash, 4 crap tracks that are exhumed from the B sides, i heards the interview on the radio about 4 years ago thats crap too, do yourself a favour and get the lp or the original CD for about a pound

    Karim Hetherington

    March 2, 2013 at 01:05

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: