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Traffic - The Best Of Traffic CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

2.75 | 16 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars The question really is, Is this the best of Traffic?, and the answer is Yes, half of the best of Traffic anyway. When the band re-formed for Barleycorn, the second and arguably more interesting phase for Traffic began. Of course, that all took place after this album was released, and listeners were left to wonder if they hand't buried Traffic prematurely. Without benefit of a crystall ball, Traffic was preserved on this compilation as the psychedelic upstarts of "Paper Sun" through to the smokier storytellers of "Forty Thousand Headmen." Today, as I say, it's a half-told story, and so you could sandbag songs like "No Face, No Name, No Number" or "Hole In My Shoe" without losing much. The psychedelic constructions of their first phase, while very influential, haven't aged much better than most of their contemporaries. Between phases, on songs like "Shanghai Noodle Factory" and "Dear Mr. Fantasy," you hear the harbinger of Barleycorn and the progresive music that followed. Traffic went for an earthier sound which, while less influential, has aged better. While it represented a good way to acquire their singles at the time, Best of Traffic is equally valuable for condensing the best parts of Last Exit. Some day, when I find the time, I'll have to draw a connection between the band's earlier hits and the subsequent work of David Bowie and Genesis, or play "spot the allusion" on the Dukes of Stratosphear records from XTC. Note that the UK and US releases differ by one track.
daveconn | 4/5 |


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