Steve Winwood: Arc Of A Diver Alternate Format Discography

Alternate Format Discography

Want to scour the world and spend eternity seeking out all possible variants of Arc Of A Diver? Just bear in mind that there are over 105 editions available in various formats. However, you might find our handy-dandy run-down of the most significant variants fulfils your requirements.


Although recorded entirely at Winwood’s Netherturkdonic home studio, mastering of the album was entrusted to The Sound Clinic, an Island-owned facility in Chiswick, West London. The mastering engineer was the well-thought-of John Dent, whose name appears in the runout groove as Jonz. This edition [Island Records ILPS 9576] is often praised for its warmth and the openness of its sound.

Regular readers will already know my low opinion of 8-track cartridges. This one [Island Records M8 9576] is no different. The track order is jumbled and two songs, ‘Spanish Dancer’ and ‘Slowdown Sundown’, are spread over separate sections of the tape loop. Avoid…

When Island Records was pushing its short-lived One Plus One chrome cassette series, Arc Of A Diver also appeared in that format, with the whole album on one side, so punters could record whatever they wanted on the other [Island ICT 9576]. This was a neat marketing ploy, but one that never took off.

FIRST CD (1987)
Issued to tie in with Island’s 25th Anniversary, this remaster [P32D-25001] is highly thought of and, as far as one can detect, it is sonically identical to the MFSL Gold CD edition released six years later [UDCD 579]. You don’t need me to tell you that it’s one worth checking out.

The fact that this is an SHM-CD (Super High Material) release does not impress me in itself. However, I have an irrational soft spot for this cardboard-sleeved mini LP format [Island UICY-93690], as it takes up less space on my shelves.


This was remastered by Loud Mastering of Taunton, UK, run by John Dent who mastered the original vinyl. A Digipak in a slipcase, it’s quite a pretty package. Bonus tracks consist of just four radio edits of album tracks. Also included, however, is an enjoyable BBC Radio 2 documentary about the album [Island Records 5339903].

This is an expensive Japanese-originated artefact presented in a mini gatefold card sleeve replica of the original LP, with original obi, plus a boxed booklet. The disc is a straight transfer from the original master tapes but, for my money, the jury is still out on whether Platinum SHM-CDs are significantly superior in sound quality [UICY-40066].