Dirty City

Album: Nine Lives (2008)

Songfacts®:

  • This was a reunion of two members of the short-lived Blind Faith super group, which also featured Ginger Baker (Cream) and Ric Grech (Family). Among the tracks featured on the only album they recorded in 1969 were "Can't Find My Way Home" and "Presence Of The Lord." Clapton and Winwood originally reunited at Countryside Rocks at Highclere Castle, Hampshire, UK on May 19, 2007 and played together again in July 2007 at the Chicago Crossroads 2 concert. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    William - Melbourne, Australia
  • Steve Winwood was asked by About.com if Nine Lives is a concept album: "There is a concept to it, certainly, but I'm not sure that it's a concept album in the traditional sense of the word. The concept, for me, is that it has nine songs and it's my ninth album, and it's recorded live in the studio [rather than laying down individual parts separately] the old-fashioned way, everybody playing together. Although that sounds fairly obvious it's just that records aren't really done like that anymore. Originally I intended it to be a continuation of my last album, About Time, but as soon as I started to work on it I realized that many of the songs on Nine Lives were actually inspired, and came out of, many of the songs that the band had played in jams and sound checks. It turned out quite differently because it was inspired by what the guys in the band had been playing anyway. And I think that gave a more organic feel to the whole album, and the fact that it was recorded live by the same band that would be going out and playing it." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • Winwood explained to About.com why this was released as the first single from the album: "They don't even call it a single anymore... I think they call it the 'focus track.' Really, for me, when I've finished a record, I'm happy for whichever one to be the focus track. I think if there's any great significance for me, it would be that Eric Clapton is on there and I have just finished the shows with him, and if the decision was made for the right reasons it was because it was considered to be the best track rather than I had just finished the shows with Eric."
  • Winwood told Rolling Stone magazine about the album: "I've tried to combine ingredients of Latin music, gospel, bebop, and add them to the folk-rock-jazz elements I've always tried to have. It becomes a soup, and hopefully it's a tasty soup."
  • Winwood was asked about his songwriting process by Mp3.com. He replied: "Well there are various techniques, which have to be employed in songwriting. And they can vary. Sometimes you can start with music or sometimes start with a lyric or sometimes start with a title or a groove. Depending where you start there, it can change because obviously through the years I've kind of tried to develop more flexibility in writing and different ways of doing it. Actually, I haven't written any lyrics on Nine Lives. I've been working with a [lyricist] called Peter Godwin, unlike the last album, I did, About Time, for which I did quite a few lyrics. So it changes from time to time depending on what the situation is."
  • The Nine Lives album debuted in the Billboard 200 chart at #12, making it the highest-debuting title of Winwood's career.

Comments: 1

  • Greg from Sharon Hill, PaThis is a great song, by two great musicians. Clapton's guitar playing compliments Winwood's voice very well.

    Clapton's guitar playing in the last 2+ minutes of the album version is pure genius
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