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Traffic The Best of Traffic album cover
2.85 | 17 ratings | 6 reviews | 6% 5 stars

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 1969

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Paper Sun (4:12)
2. Heaven Is in Your Mind (4:16)
3. No Face, No Name, No Number (3:29)
4. Coloured Rain (2:42)
5. Smiling Phases (2:45)
6. Hole in My Shoe (2:52)
7. Medicated Goo (3:10)
8. Forty Thousand Headmen (3:14)
9. Feelin' Alright (3:02)
10. Shanghai Noodle Factory (5:04)
11. Dear Mr. Fantasy (5:45)

Total Time 40:31

Line-up / Musicians

- Jim Capaldi / drums, keyboards, vocals
- Steve Winwood / guitar, keyboards, vocals
- Dave Mason / acoustic guitar, guitar, vocals
- Chris Wood / flute, saxophone

Releases information

LP United Artist UAS 5500. (1969) / CD Polygram 846153 (1998)

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TRAFFIC The Best of Traffic ratings distribution

(17 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(6%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(29%)
Good, but non-essential (47%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (12%)

TRAFFIC The Best of Traffic reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
1 stars This is sadly one of those extremely poor compilation 'best of' albums thats offers nothing in the mix that individual albums could offer so best concentrate on their studio contributions instead.' Dear Mr. Fantasy', ' 40,000 Headmen' the highlights.Releasing Best of albums in the late 60's was really rare after only three albums. Now of course you are guaranteed a greatest hits album after one studio album. Perhaps that defines the deterioration of the music industry nowadays. Anyway Traffic had a lot more to do before trying this one on the public.
Review by daveconn
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.
Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This album is an early compilation of songs taken from the first three TRAFFIC albums - "Mr. Fantasy", "Traffic" and "Last Exit". It is a solid collection of the first phase of the band when they explored typical psychedelic and folk-rock textures of the British scene 1967-69. Seven songs are taken from the first album, and two songs each from "Traffic" and "Last Exit", giving a fina picture of the bands abilities. Completists would probably go for individual albums, but as an introduction, "The Best of Traffic" serves its purpose. If you like this period of music, it is a nice addition to your collection if you don't own original three albums. However, if you prefer more prog and jazz-oriented later works of Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi and Chris Wood during 1970s, you may skip this one.
Review by Guillermo
3 stars In my opinion, this was a premature compilation album with some tracks taken from their first three albums, "Mr. Fantasy" (1967) , "Traffic" (1968) and "Last Exit" (1969, with this third album also being really another compilation of tracks previously released on singles plus two live tracks!). Released in October 1969, I think that at that time, with TRAFFIC not existing as a band, the label still wanted to have a product from the music of this band, or maybe the demand for it was enough that they released this album then. Nobody knew then that the band was going to reform again in 1970, with Winwood, Capaldi and Wood.

I think that, despite being a premature compilation, it still has very good songs of the sixties period of TRAFFIC`history. "Paper Sun", "Smiling Phases", "Hole in my Shoe", "Shanghai Noodle Factory" and "Medicated Goo" were tracks previously released in singles, but it was the second appearance of "Shanghai Noodle Factory" and "Medicated Goo" in a TRAFFIC L.P. in the same year because they were also released in their "Last Exit" album in May 1969, which itself was a compilation album. "Hole in my Shoe" was a Psychedelic song which was composed by Dave Mason and the other members of the band didn`t like (as I read in an interview with Capaldi and Winwood done in 1994 in the now defunct British magazine called "Vox": "Mason and the A&R men were in one corner of the studio, and the other three members of the band were in another"), so it started a conflict about the musical direction of the band which made Mason leave the band several times between 1967 and 1968. Anyway, "Feelin`Alright", another song composed by Mason from their second album and which also was released as a single in 1968, was so popular that it became one of their most known songs of their sixties period.

From their first album, this album has "Heaven Is in Your Mind", "No Face, No Name, No Number", "Coloured Rain" and "Dear Mr. Fantasy", which are among the best from this album. From their second album this album has "Forty Thousand Headmen" and "Feelin' Alright", both very good songs from that album. So, I think that this is a good compilation. The inclusion of "Paper Sun", "Smiling Phases" and "Hole in my Shoe" for the very first time in a British album by TRAFFIC was a very good idea, and the inclusion of "Shanghai Noodle Factory" and "Medicated Goo" made this compilation a bit redundant, but both are very good songs anyway, and this compilation is good and representative of their sixities peiod, in my opinion. I also like the cover design, which is part of the very oiginal cover designs that TRAFFIC had for their albums.

Latest members reviews

5 stars To understand this album, you have to understand how expensive records were in the UK in the late 1960's. Traffic had disbanded, produced two great albums and a third made up from bits and pieces. It made sense to produce a Best of which made some of their better known and more accessible stuff ... (read more)

Report this review (#896686) | Posted by Dougless | Sunday, January 20, 2013 | Review Permanlink

1 stars PLEASE DO NOT START WITH A COMPILATION IF YOU WANT TO KNOW THEM: JUST GET THE ALBUMS!!! It is Mr. Fantasy (UK version) almost entire! There is a poor offer from their best 60' album: the self-tittled one. If there were three more songs from Traffic (1968) at least, and Withering Tree from Last ... (read more)

Report this review (#115315) | Posted by sircosick | Thursday, March 15, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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