1. The title of Steve Winwood's new LP, Back in the High Life, reflects a dramatic new twist in the career of this influential yet laid-back singer/songwriter. For the past 12 years Winwood has combined continued success with seclusion, emerging from his Gloucestershire retreat on only three occasions with completed albums. It was four years ago that he released Back To Night [sic], a record which, like its predecessor Arc of a Diver, he produced, wrote and played entirely by himself. Now, at the age of 37 [sic], Winwood has decided to return for another spell in the limelight.

  2. "I imagined that I'd play music. My father's a musician and he's one of 8 brothers and they all play a variety of weird stuff. On my mother's side (she's one of 9 children), her grandfather was an organist and fiddler. And I was fortunate while growing up that there were always instruments in the house. My father would go out and work - if there was a job for a bass player, he'd just pick up a bass off the wall on the way out the door. I got a place in music school when I was very young, two years earlier than usual. But I got thrown out.

  3. The son of a foundry worker, Winwood grew up in Birmingham. His father, an accomplished amateur musician, had him playing the piano at age 6. Steve turned pro at 7 when he joined the local Anglican choir. "I used to get a shilling for every wedding," he recalls. "That was when I first realized that one can make money out of singing." He went on to take two years of classical training in music at the Birmingham Midland Institute.


  4. A country gentleman residing in his dream house in Gloucestershire for a decade, Steve Winwood was born on May 12, 1948, in Birmingham, England, and well-nigh weaned on rock 'n' roll, making a living at the craft when most prospective candidates from the provinces wouldn't know a riff from a rafter. Famous by age 16, he's been praised and panned, celebrated and nearly eulogized in the years since. While assured of a place in the rock 'n' roll Hall of Fame, he was almost dismissed as a lifeless trophy on 2 legs before he strode seemingly out of nowhere to reaffirm his status as one of the most original and sagacious talents in the music industry.