Guide to British Music of the 1960s

August 1998

CD Review

Spencer Davis Group - Autumn '66


Autumn '66 was the third album from the Spencer Davis Group. It includes the chart-topping Somebody Help Me which had reached number one in the UK charts in the Spring of 1966. At this stage, the group was not writing much original material. However, the seventh single When I Come Home marked the songwriting debut (with Jackie Edwards) of Steve Winwood, the outstanding talent in the band. Many of the songs on Autumn '66 are covers of standards. Take This Hurt Off Me was also covered by The Small Faces, When a Man Loves a Woman is the Percy Sledge song and is ideally suited to Steve Winwood's soulful voice. Indeed Steve Winwood shows that he ranks alongside Steve Marriott and the Action's Reggie King as England's top soul singers at the time.

Autumn '66 is another transitional album like Revolver, the Small Faces (Immediate) or Aftermath in that it represents a crossroads in the career of the band. In this case, it represents a move away from the band's roots in blues towards a more commercial sound as shown in the single Somebody Help Me. There is also a move away from the blues harmonica towards more tracks featuring Steve Winwood's Organ playing. What is clear though is that the band enjoyed making this record. Midnight Special is a standard that Spencer Davis used to play on street corners across Europe during his days as a student. On the Green Light is a studio improvisation, the green light being the recording light. Together 'Til The End of Time starts the album on a slow note and it represents an excellent showcase for Winwood's vocals. Dust My Blues is another standard and there is also a Yardbirds version of this. The album finishes with the single Somebody Help Me. This helps to confirm the fact that the Spencer Davis Group made some excellent singles. It ranks alongside Gimme Some Lovin' and Keep on Running.

mp, July 1998

Released: 1966
Fontana TL 5359
Highest UK Chart Position: 4

Essential Tracks:

  • When a Man Loves a Woman
  • Somebody Help Me
  • Dust My Blues

Track Listing:

  1. Together 'Til the End of Time
  2. Take This Hurt Off Me
  3. Nobody Knows You When You're Down & Out
  4. Midnight Special
  5. When A Man Loves A Woman
  6. When I Come Home
  7. Mean Woman Blues
  8. Dust My Blues
  9. On the Green Light
  10. Neighbour, Neighbour
  11. High Time Baby
  12. Somebody Help Me

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