Arc of a Diver

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Arc of a Diver
Arc of a Diver cover.jpg
Studio album by
Released31 December 1980[1][2]
StudioNetherturkdonic Studios, Gloucestershire, England
ProducerSteve Winwood
Steve Winwood chronology
Steve Winwood
Arc of a Diver
Talking Back to the Night

Arc of a Diver is the second solo studio album by singer/multi-instrumentalist Steve Winwood, released in 1980. Winwood played all of the instruments on the album.

Featuring his first solo hit, "While You See a Chance" (which peaked at number 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States), this was Winwood's breakthrough album as a solo artist. It peaked at number 3 on the Billboard 200 album chart, establishing him as a commercially viable act.

The cover artwork for the album is by Tony Wright. He took inspiration from Jazz by Henri Matisse, notably VIII: Icarus.


The album was recorded at Winwood's Netherturkdonic Studios, built at his farm in Gloucestershire;[3] he played all the instruments, wrote all the music, and produced and engineered it himself.[4]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[5]
The New York Times(favorable)[6]

Reviewing for AllMusic, critic William Ruhlmann wrote of the album, "Utterly unencumbered by the baggage of his long years in the music business, Winwood reinvents himself as a completely contemporary artist on this outstanding album, leading off with his best solo song, "While You See a Chance.""[7] Reviewing for The New York Times, critic Robert Palmer wrote of the album, "Winwood's impressive playing and arranging and utterly distinctive vocals make several of his collaborations with Will Jennings, especially the brooding Night Train, almost as memorable."[6]

The album was also included in the books 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[8] and it was voted number 455 in Colin Larkin's All Time Top 1000 Albums 3rd Edition (2000). [9]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Steve Winwood and Will Jennings, except where noted.

Side one
1."While You See a Chance" 5:12
2."Arc of a Diver"Winwood, Vivian Stanshall5:28
3."Second-Hand Woman"Winwood, George Fleming3:41
4."Slowdown Sundown" 5:27
Side two
5."Spanish Dancer" 5:58
6."Night Train" 7:51
7."Dust"Winwood, Fleming6:20
Total length:40:02
2012 deluxe reissue: disc two
1."Arc of a Diver" (edited US single version)Winwood, Stanshall4:16
2."Night Train" (instrumental version) 6:44
3."Spanish Dancer" (2010 version) 6:13
4."Arc of a Diver: The Steve Winwood Story" (originally aired on BBC radio 2) 56:33


  • Steve Winwood – acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin, bass, drums, percussion, drum machines, pianos, synthesizers, organ, lead and backing vocals, production, engineering, mixing
  • John "Nobby" Clarke - additional engineering


Chart singles[edit]

Year Title US Billboard US Cash Box CAN
1981 "While You See a Chance" 7 10 3
"Arc of a Diver" 48 64 19


  1. ^ Chronicles liner notes[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ Steve Winwood facebook message
  3. ^ 1001 Albums: You Must Hear Before You Die. Hachette UK. 5 Dec 2011. p. 1315. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
  4. ^ Robert Palmer (21 January 1981). "Arc Of A Diver Review: New York Times : Steve Winwood". New York Times. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
  5. ^ Allmusic review
  6. ^ a b
  7. ^
  8. ^ Robert Dimery; Michael Lydon (7 February 2006). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die: Revised and Updated Edition. Universe. ISBN 0-7893-1371-5.
  9. ^ Colin Larkin, ed. (2000). All Time Top 1000 Albums (3rd ed.). Virgin Books. p. 164. ISBN 0-7535-0493-6.
  10. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  11. ^ "Top Albums/CDs - Volume 34, No. 23," (PHP). RPM. 16 May 1981. Retrieved 10 October 2013.
  12. ^ " Steve Winwood – Arc of a Diver". MegaCharts. Archived from the original (ASP) on 28 October 2013. Retrieved 10 October 2013.
  13. ^ "InfoDisc : Tous les Albums classés par Artiste > Choisir Un Artiste Dans la Liste" (in French). Archived from the original on 7 May 2013. Retrieved 20 February 2013.
  14. ^ " Steve Winwood – Arc of a Diver" (ASP). Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  15. ^ " Steve Winwood – Arc of a Diver". Archived from the original (ASP) on 18 October 2013. Retrieved 11 May 2014.
  16. ^ " Steve Winwood – Arc of a Diver". Sverigetopplistan. Archived from the original (ASP) on 28 January 2015. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  17. ^ "Steve Winwood > Artists > Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  18. ^ "allmusic ((( Arc of a Diver > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  19. ^ "Album Search: Steve Winwood – Arc of a Diver" (ASP) (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  20. ^ "RPM Top 100 Albums of 1981". RPM. 26 December 1981. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  21. ^ "Dutch charts jaaroverzichten 1981" (ASP) (in Dutch). Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  22. ^ "Les Albums (CD) de 1981 par InfoDisc" (PHP) (in French). Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  23. ^ "Billboard Top Pop Albums of 1981". Billboard. 26 December 1981. Retrieved 29 July 2016.
  24. ^ "Major fight economics with quirky rock originals". Billboard. 12 June 1982. Retrieved 31 December 2018.
  25. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Steve Winwood – Arc of a Diver". Music Canada. Retrieved 10 October 2013.
  26. ^ "British album certifications – Steve Winwood – Arc of a Diver". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 10 October 2013. Select albums in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Arc of a Diver in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  27. ^ "American album certifications – Steve Winwood – Arc of a Diver". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 10 October 2013. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 

External links[edit]