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TRAFFIC

Eclectic Prog • United Kingdom


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Traffic biography
TRAFFIC were formed in Birmingham, UK in 1967 by Steve Winwood, Chris Wood, Jim Capaldi and Dave Mason. Winwood had previously found fame in the SPENCER DAVIS GROUP whose biggest hit single was "Keep on running". While Traffic's sound then was very much of its time, the emphasis on Winwood's keyboards and Wood's wind instruments set them apart from their guitar driven peers.

The band's first single "Paper Sun", gave them instant chart success, reaching No. 5 in the UK. The follow up, Mason's "Hole In My Shoe", is probably their best know single, being a mildly amusing piece of psychedelia. Winwood was reportedly unimpressed with the song's success though, feeling it misrepresented his vision for the band.

The first album, "Mr Fantasy" followed the same year, but before it had even been released, Mason had left. Winwood's position as the dominant member of the band was already well established, his (and also Wood and Capaldi's) jazz orientation appearing at odds with Mason's lighter melodic style. Mason quickly returned however for the recording of the band's second album "Traffic" in 1968, writing or co-writing many of the tracks including his often covered "Feelin' Alright". It appears the band realised at that time that without Mason they would struggle to write sufficient material to meet their contractual obligations.

Mason was subsequently ejected from the band in 1969, Winwood later announcing that the band had run its course. Island records released what appeared to be a posthumous album of b-sides, singles, studio outtakes and live recordings in the form of the appropriately named "Last Exit". Winwood though was still contracted to Island for 2 more albums, so the following year he started work on a solo album, calling in Wood and Capaldi to assist. The TRAFFIC name was quickly resurrected, and the album, "John Barleycorn Must Die", was released. For many, this is Traffic's best album. While the title is taken from a traditional folk song, the music is a wonderful blend of prog, jazz, rock, and folk.

Following that album's release, Rick Grech (ex-FAMILY) joined, to ease the pressure on the multi-instrumental Winwood. Various subsequent line up additions and changes took place, including another return by Mason. The live album "Welcome To The Canteen" (strangely not credited to TRAFFIC, but to the band members individually) offers a good summary of their work during this period.

Despite further line up changes...
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Buy TRAFFIC Music


Low Spark of High Heeled BoysLow Spark of High Heeled Boys
Extra tracks · Remastered
Island 2002
Audio CD$3.78
$0.99 (used)
Traffic (The Definitive Collection)Traffic (The Definitive Collection)
Remastered
Island 2000
Audio CD$3.61
$3.49 (used)
John Barleycorn Must DieJohn Barleycorn Must Die
Extra tracks · Remastered
Island 2001
Audio CD$3.82
$1.84 (used)
Shoot Out at the Fantasy FactoryShoot Out at the Fantasy Factory
Remastered
Island 2003
Audio CD$1.81
$2.22 (used)
TrafficTraffic
Extra tracks · Remastered
Island 2001
Audio CD$3.61
$2.18 (used)
When the Eagle FliesWhen the Eagle Flies
Remastered
Island 2003
Audio CD$3.61
$5.98 (used)
Mr FantasyMr Fantasy
Import · Remastered
Island UK 1999
Audio CD$5.56
$3.48 (used)
Traffic GoldTraffic Gold
Remastered
Island 2005
Audio CD$5.60
$4.72 (used)
On the RoadOn the Road
Remastered
Island 2003
Audio CD$8.48
$7.77 (used)
Last ExitLast Exit
Remastered
Island 2001
Audio CD$3.61
$1.89 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
DOUBLE LP Various "Present D-World" 2020 D-VISION Audio Traffic, Deadbeats; NLO USD $19.58 Buy It Now 2h 11m
LP Shaw, Artie "Re-Creates His Great '38 Band" EMI CAPITOL ST 2992 - Traffic Jam USD $13.55 Buy It Now 2h 37m
TRAFFIC ON THE ROAD GATEFOLD COVER LP 778 USD $8.99 Buy It Now 3h 43m
The Album [PA] by Royce da 5'9" (CD, Nov-2008, Traffic Entertainment Group) USD $8.97 Buy It Now 4h 7m
78 rpm ARTIE SHAW traffic jam / serenade to a savage USD $15.08 Buy It Now 4h 11m
BACK ON THE ROAD Various DBL LP Black Sabbath, Cream,Traffic etc USD $12.06 Buy It Now 4h 28m
Human Traffic-1999-Original Soundtrack-40 Track-2 CD USD $38.90 Buy It Now 4h 45m
Black Ice (Montage) by Black Ice (CD, Aug-2012, Traffic Entertainment Group) USD $9.97 Buy It Now 4h 51m
The Michael Zager Band ?- Let's All Chant / Traffic Jam 1987 DISCO CLASSIC!! USD $4.51 Buy It Now 5h 3m
2000 [Deluxe Edition] [PA] by Grand Puba (CD, Jul-2009, Traffic Entertainment... USD $9.97 Buy It Now 5h 8m
Doe or Die [15th Anniversary Special Edition] by AZ (CD, Nov-2010, Traffic... USD $9.97 Buy It Now 5h 12m
TRAFFIC - SUPERB LOT! PINK ISLAND 3 RARE 1967/8 UK PSYCH 45s ALL LISTED! USD $15.35 [5 bids]
5h 19m
QUARTER ACRE Live From The Traffic Islands CD SINGLE Lightbulb 5 trks N/MINT USD $7.78 Buy It Now 5h 26m
TRAFFIC / MR.FANTASY JAPAN CD OOP USD $24.99 Buy It Now 5h 59m
TRAFFIC ORIGINAL 1969 U.K. LP MR FANTASY PINK ISLAND MONO PRESSING USD $301.50 Buy It Now 6h
BEST OF TRAFFIC / 1971 JAPAN ONLY GATEFOLD COVER USD $59.99 Buy It Now 6h 3m
TRAFFIC John Barlycorn Must Die EXCEPTIONAL 1970 UNITED ARTISTS G/F LP USD $4.96 [1 bids]
6h 7m
When the Eagle Flies by Traffic (CD, May-2003, Island (Label)) USD $4.64 Buy It Now 6h 15m
ATC CLEARS Air Traffic Control Clearances JEPPESEN RCA CUSTOM PRESSING NM/NM-!! USD $36.00 Buy It Now 6h 15m
RED JEZEBEL Home Coming CD SINGLE Once Again Traffic Allstars 5 trks MINT USD $7.79 Buy It Now 6h 23m
RICK GRECH The Last Five Years SEALED LP TRAFFIC Blind Faith FAMILY Airforce USD $7.99 [0 bids]
6h 34m
TRAFFIC [TRAFFIC] EX+ ISLAND REISSUE G/F LP USD $4.96 [0 bids]
6h 48m
Welcome to the Canteen - Traffic New & Sealed Compact Disc Free Shipping USD $13.21 Buy It Now 6h 57m
Factory Sealed SPENCER DAVIS GROUP / TRAFFIC Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush USD $30.00 Buy It Now 7h 11m
TRAFFIC BEST OF TRAFFIC island -5U UK Lp MINT USD $15.06 Buy It Now 7h 16m
Traffic * by ABC (CD, Jun-2008, Vibrant Music) *** FREE 1st CLASS SHIPPING! *** USD $18.00 Buy It Now 7h 20m
Air Traffic(2CD Single)Fractured Life-EMI-00946 39406722 394 0672-Very Good USD $6.89 Buy It Now 7h 24m
His Filthy Best!!! [PA] [Digipak] by Rudy Ray Moore (CD, Mar-2012, Traffic... USD $8.47 Buy It Now 7h 38m
You Need This Music [PA] [Digipak] by Nottz (CD, Oct-2010, Traffic... USD $9.97 Buy It Now 7h 45m
Adrian Roye & The Exiles - Telephones & Traffic Lights (Digipak) (CD) USD $6.02 Buy It Now 8h 6m
Shooting Stars & Traffic Lights - Brennan, John Wolf... USD $20.79 Buy It Now 8h 9m
JIM CAPALDI - THE CONTENDER (EX TRAFFIC) 1978 LP IN EX CONDITION USD $1.49 [0 bids]
8h 22m
STEVE WINWOOD ex-TRAFFIC-TALKING BACK TO THE NIGHT-ORIGINAL YUGOSLAV LP 1983 USD $16.00 Buy It Now 8h 51m
Jim Capaldi (Traffic) - Let The Thunder Cry RARE IMPORT LP LISTEN Steve Winwood USD $22.49 Buy It Now 9h
TRAFFIC "Mr. Fantasy" LP (Japanese Import w/OBI) Steve WInwood - Rock - OOP/NM USD $19.99 Buy It Now 9h 8m
EX/EX- Pink Label !! Traffic/Best Of/1969 Island Stereo LP USD $66.33 Buy It Now 9h 8m
Air Traffic : Fractured Life CD (2007) USD $7.23 Buy It Now 9h 20m
TRAFFIC * HERE COMES A MAN & GLAD * 45RPM USD $5.00 Buy It Now 9h 37m
very rare TRAFFIC Low Spark Of High-Heeled Boys STEVE WINWOOD Jim Capaldi C Wood USD $4.99 Buy It Now 9h 37m
Various-Traffic 2 CD Very Good USD $4.55 Buy It Now 9h 41m
Traffic Jam Jazz 1 Jones Ellington Herman Miller Charles New Free USA Shipping USD $6.99 Buy It Now 9h 56m
TRAFFIC Last Exit United red/orange label Steve Winwood Vinyl LP USD $5.00 [0 bids]
9h 56m
DJ Skribble's Traffic Jams 2000 [Parental Advi] by DJ Skribble (CD, Oct-1999,... USD $10.00 Buy It Now 10h 16m
BERNARD LAVILLIERS - TRAFFIC 7/45 PORTUGAL PS 1980 RARE FRENCH ROCK PSYCH NM USD $10.00 Buy It Now 10h 20m
TRAFFIC JAM JAZZ - VARIOUS ARTISTS (HALLMARK 2002) 141 USD $2.99 Buy It Now 10h 28m
Record Album Dave Mason of Traffic Let It Flow CBS Promo 1977 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 10h 40m
Low Spark of High Heeled Boys - Traffic (Cassette 1989, Island) in NM USD $5.99 Buy It Now 10h 54m
JIM & JESSE **RADIO STATION COPY** BALLAD OF THUNDER ROAD/TIJUANA TRAFFIC 1964 USD $2.37 Buy It Now 11h 13m
LOVE and MONEY, Dogs In The Traffic ltd edition cd singles collection in box USD $39.99 Buy It Now 11h 22m
Smiley-Smiley - Traffic Light CD NEW USD $8.18 Buy It Now 11h 53m
TRAFFIC Report CD island promo only sampler compilation low spark john barleyco USD $9.95 Buy It Now 12h 3m
The Unisex 'Watching Traffic EP' Great Rare CD USD $2.79 [0 bids]
12h 23m
TRAFFIC WHEN THE EAGLE FLIES ALBUM LYRICS/PICTURE INNER SLEEVE, GOOD CONDITION USD $2.25 Buy It Now 12h 25m
EXPERIENCIA Passo A Passo LP/1973 Portugal/Psych Rock/Laghonia/Traffic Sound USD $38.99 Buy It Now 12h 42m
SKUNK ANANSIE A3 POSTER - BLACK TRAFFIC TOUR - MARCH 2013 USD $3.00 [0 bids]
12h 49m
Mint UK LP Best Of TRAFFIC Island ILPS9112 Full Color Label 1969 Steve Winwood USD $29.98 Buy It Now 12h 51m
UK press TRAFFIC Same Self Titled LP Island ILPS9081 Gatefold STEVE WINWOOD USD $39.88 Buy It Now 12h 52m
Hong Kong Press WILSON TSANG Stuck In Traffic CD 2003 NEW Sealed USD $10.99 Buy It Now 12h 53m
TRAFFIC Best of Traffic VINYL Record Album LP USD $12.06 [0 bids]
12h 55m
Human Traffic - Original Soundtrack (CD) 40 Tracks - Ex Condition - Fast Postage USD $9.03 Buy It Now 12h 57m
Elizabeth [PA] by Killah Priest (CD, Nov-2009, Traffic Entertainment Group) USD $18.00 Buy It Now 12h 57m
Traffic - Hole In My Shoe 1967 7" Island WIP 6017 USD $5.28 Buy It Now 13h
Traffic - John Barleycorn Must Die [CD New] USD $10.10 Buy It Now 13h 4m
RICK GRECH Traffic BLIND FAITH The Last Five Years 1976 LP USD $13.49 Buy It Now 13h 12m
STEVE WINWOOD - NINE LIVES (CD 2008) *Traffic/Blind Faith/Eric Clapton* USD $2.25 [0 bids]
13h 30m
TRAFFIC JOHN BARLEYCORN MUST DIE LP 6-3-1970 1st UK PINK "i" ISLAND JOINT MATRIX USD $22.60 [0 bids]
13h 33m
Original PEDRO BELL Lettering Artwork TRAFFIC On The Road LP Record P-FUNK USD $65.00 Buy It Now 14h 8m
TRAFFIC Paris Theatre London 1970 Concert B.B.C. Rock Hour Radio Show LP NM RARE USD $450.00 Buy It Now 14h 8m
Dave Mason Is Alive 12" LP Blue Thumb BTS 19 Leon Russell Traffic EX Rare Rock USD $6.44 [0 bids]
14h 9m
BLIND FAITH Live Along The US TourLP 1969 CREAM Traffic YARDBIRDS Hawkwind BLUES USD $24.11 [0 bids]
14h 14m
Traffic - John Barleycorn Must Die (CD New) USD $8.07 Buy It Now 14h 19m
Definitive Collection - Traffic (2007, CD New) Remastered USD $7.54 Buy It Now 14h 19m
LP TRAFFIC SHOOTOUT AT THE FANTASY FACTORY **VG+ VINYL** 220 USD $8.99 Buy It Now 14h 20m
RACHID BAHRI s/t LP 1977 TEST PRESS Small Faces DEEP PURPLE Traffic PINK FLOYD USD $24.11 [0 bids]
14h 21m
TRAFFIC The Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys IslandSW-9306 G+/G+ Steve Winwood USD $0.69 [0 bids]
14h 26m
TRAFFIC : HOLE IN MY SHOE / SMILING PHASES 1967 WIP-6017 USD $1.43 [0 bids]
14h 41m
Traffic - Heaven Is In Your Mind (CD New) USD $11.94 Buy It Now 14h 46m
STATUS QUO - Heavy Traffic NM PROMO CD!!! USD $1.99 [0 bids]
15h 28m
TRAFFIC:"MEDICATED GOO".1968 ISLAND BULLSEYE ON PINK LABEL+COVER+A GREAT"B"SIDE! USD $7.54 [1 bids]
15h 40m
Nice & Smooth [Digipak] by Nice & Smooth (CD, Jun-2011, Traffic Entertainment... USD $7.99 Buy It Now 15h 47m
Traffic - Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys - Island 1971 - NM USD $15.00 Buy It Now 16h 13m
TRAFFIC the low spark of high heeled boys import near mint USD $22.58 Buy It Now 16h 22m
(EF437) JFX Music, Traffic - 2013 DJ CD USD $4.51 Buy It Now 16h 27m
Traffic Heaven Is In Your Mind Lp 1St Press W/ OG Title And Rare Hype Sticker 68 USD $70.00 Buy It Now 16h 51m
Traffic Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys 180 gram LP MINTY USD $24.99 Buy It Now 16h 59m
Long Courrier par DANIEL LAVOIE (CD, 1990, Traffic/MCA) first canadian pressing USD $9.99 Buy It Now 17h 5m
TRAFFIC - MR. FANTASY - NEW CD USD $32.99 Buy It Now 17h 16m
Traffic Mr. Fantasy LP 1967 Stereo Black Label Steve Winwood Dave Mason USD $8.57 Buy It Now 18h 14m
Rickie Lee Jones - Traffic from Paradise 1993 Cassette SEALED Rock USD $5.00 Buy It Now 18h 18m
TRAFFIC JOHN BARLEYCORN MUST DIE VINYL LP GATE FOLD USD $3.99 [1 bids]
18h 20m
Traffic - Last Exit - Jazz/Rock Fusion Original Vinyl LP - Steve Winwood USD $3.99 [0 bids]
18h 33m
TRAFFIC When The Eagle Flies ROCK LP SHRINK ASYLUM Orig Lyric Inner STERLING USD $6.00 Buy It Now 18h 38m
PROGRESSIVE HEAVIES v/a ROCK LP PROMO United Artists CREAM Traffic CANNED HEAT USD $6.00 Buy It Now 18h 38m
Traffic from Paradise by Rickie Lee Jones - CD - Pink Flamingos, Altar Boy USD $4.97 Buy It Now 19h 24m
TRAFFIC When The Eagle Flies ROCK LP NICE USD $2.00 [0 bids]
19h 32m
Press Cutting/Advert : 19/10/74Pg29 TRAFFIC, WALKING IN The WIND Single 15X12 Po USD $18.09 Buy It Now 19h 52m
Traffic Glad, Part 1 50883 Mono/ Stereo Promo 45 USD $17.99 [0 bids]
20h 2m
TRAFFIC - ON THE ROAD "LIVE" STEVE WINWOOD 2 LP STERLING ISLA 2 NO BARCODE NM USD $14.99 Buy It Now 20h 8m
Press Cutting/Advert : 27/4/74Pg11 TRAFFIC, Concert Tour 15X12 Poster Size USD $18.09 Buy It Now 20h 9m
Press Cutting/Advert : 7/9/74Pg19 TRAFFIC, WHEN The EAGLE FLIES Album 15X12 Pos USD $18.09 Buy It Now 20h 27m
CD heaven is in your mind ~ USD $16.12
DVD live at santa monica ~ USD $17.68
LP mr. fantasy (+ 5 bonus tracks + poster) ~ USD $19.60


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TRAFFIC shows & tickets


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TRAFFIC discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

TRAFFIC top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.67 | 113 ratings
Mr. Fantasy
1967
3.39 | 35 ratings
Heaven Is in Your Mind
1968
3.38 | 86 ratings
Traffic
1968
2.56 | 57 ratings
Last Exit
1969
3.88 | 230 ratings
John Barleycorn Must Die
1970
4.01 | 206 ratings
The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys
1971
3.79 | 117 ratings
Shoot Out at the Fantasy Factory
1973
3.27 | 74 ratings
When The Eagle Flies
1974
3.06 | 37 ratings
Far From Home
1994

TRAFFIC Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.35 | 46 ratings
Welcome to the Canteen
1971
4.03 | 53 ratings
On The Road
1973

TRAFFIC Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.76 | 9 ratings
Live at Santa Monica
1991
3.76 | 7 ratings
The Last Great Traffic Jam
2003

TRAFFIC Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.75 | 14 ratings
The Best Of Traffic
1969
3.00 | 1 ratings
Heavy Traffic
1975
2.82 | 2 ratings
More Heavy Traffic
1975
4.07 | 9 ratings
Smiling Phases
1991
3.91 | 3 ratings
Heaven Is In Your Mind. An Introduction To Traffic
1998
4.00 | 1 ratings
Feelin' Alright: The Very Best of Traffic
2000
3.38 | 4 ratings
The Collection
2002
2.09 | 2 ratings
20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Traffic
2003
4.10 | 10 ratings
Traffic Gold
2005

TRAFFIC Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

TRAFFIC Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 John Barleycorn Must Die by TRAFFIC album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.88 | 230 ratings

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John Barleycorn Must Die
Traffic Eclectic Prog

Review by Memo_anathemo

4 stars Jim Capaldi, Steve Winwood and Chris Wood created with 'John Barleycorn Must Die' a jewel in the crown of music. An album full of excellent songs full of progressive folk rock, and jazz passages. 'Glad' seems to me a bit full of jazz and soul, with good use of saxophone. 'Freedom rider' is a different song with more folk and proto progressive elements. "I Just Want You To Know" is a short piece included in the remastered version, acceptable. 'Stranger to Himself' is a rock piece combined with a bit of rhythm and blues. The title track 'John Barleycorn' is a folk piece full of acoustic guitars and a blend of high pitch voice with a low pitch voice. The last song 'Every Mother's Son' also contains good rock and jazzy sound. To summarize, a very good album.

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 The Last Great Traffic Jam by TRAFFIC album cover DVD/Video, 2003
3.76 | 7 ratings

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The Last Great Traffic Jam
Traffic Eclectic Prog

Review by BORA

3 stars Jam of sorts.

I am relieved that this performance is very different to the album "Far From Home" both recorded in 1994. The latter being more of a Winwood solo effort where he was practically replicating Phil Collin's Pop-Disco diva approach.

Here, the band sounds more like Traffic, although with a bit of a twist. A staple diet of the usual tunes performed live is not surprising and rather typical of the band. It works quite well too, considering that there are only two founding members left.

Sadly, former sax player, Chris Wood is long gone and his exceptionally deep approach to his instruments - something that made the band really special - is sorely missed. Wood's replacement, Randall Bramblett does a credible job here without attempting to step into "Wood's place as a frontman.

Well, it's jamming, but of a different kind. In place of extended instrumental stretching out, it's more like a repetitive, rhythmic workout that goes on and on. Quite enjoyable, no doubt, but much closer to Santana-sty'e grooves than typical Traffic. To the point where one could be excused for mistaking it for a Santana band "filling time" approach. So, it's not really the form(less) jamming I'd prefer, but more of a loosely structured work with some solos thrown in. Still good.

The actual production as opposed to the music is disappointing, though. The nervous camera work that keeps jumping from one person to the other is absolutely annoying. Ditto for the interruptions between numbers that repeatedly interfere the flow of "traffic", but perhaps appropriate to the title "Traffic Jam"?

This is a performance I'd rather listen to than watch as it's presented on DVD. On any account, the 1972 "Santa Mobica" performance is more preferred.

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 The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys by TRAFFIC album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.01 | 206 ratings

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The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys
Traffic Eclectic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Another heterogeneous grab-bag along the lines of John Barleycorn, the appeal of Traffic's The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys. Once again apparently unable to choose between folk-rock, proto-prog, psyche and straight ahead rock, and responding to this indecision by dithering around between the various genres they'd flirted with rather than coming up with a really interesting fusion with them. The stylistic gear change between the folky opener Hidden Treasure and the jazzy, mellow title track could give listeners whiplash. On top of that, given that it takes up 12 minutes of the album, the title track could really do with a bit of polishing - as it stands, it's a plodding, repetitive mess, with instrumental breaks which don't quite justify the tedium.

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 On The Road by TRAFFIC album cover Live, 1973
4.03 | 53 ratings

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On The Road
Traffic Eclectic Prog

Review by the philosopher

4 stars Traffic is the one band I should name if men asked me which progressive (related) band sounded better on a live recording then on their studio records. The main reason is that these guys really knew how to jam. Don't expect Jimi Hendrix alike freak outs, but subtle tunes which were creatively build to enhance the atmosphere and theme to suck you into it. Steve Winwood shows his very disciplined wah-wah guitar skills very often and Chris Wood on the saxes shows he can hold up the high level of discipline. The addition of an Afro American percussionist is another great find to enhance the jams.The keyboard player Barry Backet does not often take the lead, but is an excellent co-worker. There are no long drum or bass solo's, but I think that is fine, because those often become boring if listened for several times. This double live record gets its material from the previous three studio albums (John Barleycorn - Shoot out the Fantasy Factory) and has no overlap with the "Welcome to the Canteen" live recording.

Traffic on the Road starts with the excellent Glad and Freedom Rider to fill the first side. Although I get the idea that the sax theme sounds better on the John Barleycorn record and the vocals on Freedom Rider were also better on studio the overall feel is great and better then ever before. The long jams doesn't bore me for a minute; this is just what the band does best. While I'm not so fond of the "Low sparks of high heeled boys" record I must admit that on this live recording also this starts to live for me.

This record shows Traffic at its best. This is an excellent addition to a rock collection and a good place to start with Traffic's discography.

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 The Best Of Traffic by TRAFFIC album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1969
2.75 | 14 ratings

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The Best Of Traffic
Traffic Eclectic Prog

Review by Dougless

4 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 available to the public. This is a great compilation when viewed through the lens of a late 60's early 70's record buyer. If I was buying a compilation now, I would probably buy Smiling Phases but that is a CD! If you want a real record buy this, it's great.

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 The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys by TRAFFIC album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.01 | 206 ratings

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The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys
Traffic Eclectic Prog

Review by RustedAxle

5 stars This is an album that resonated with me as a kid growing up in the 70s. The title track is obviously the focal point of the album here, but there are gems found on the rest of the album as well. At the time I was listening to this album in my youth, I wasn't really aware of "progressive rock" - I only knew this was an album that I loved and couldn't get enough of. In fact when I listen to it now I still have trouble hearing it as a 'prog' album, I just consider it a great ROCK album. Along with John Barleycorn, this is the must-have Traffic record.

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 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Traffic by TRAFFIC album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2003
2.09 | 2 ratings

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20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Traffic
Traffic Eclectic Prog

Review by mohaveman

2 stars A fair collection of Yraffic pieces, even though much good work is missing. But with only a 51 minute cd to work with, it's hard to choose all the gems from Traffic's extensive history. "Roll Right Stones" is missing but "Low Spark of Highheel Boys" is here as is is"Paper Sun" and "Dear Mr Fantasy". Where is anything from John Barleycorn? Oh, well. This is meant as a simple intro to the band for a budget price. You get what you pay for. Not the best way to discover this band, too many missing pieces. For first time newbies on a budget only. 2 stars.

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 John Barleycorn Must Die by TRAFFIC album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.88 | 230 ratings

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John Barleycorn Must Die
Traffic Eclectic Prog

Review by Prog Sothoth
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

2 stars This album is comprised of some rock, some jazz, some folk, some soul and some prog all tied up in a bundle. This album is basically "stuff".

It's always driven me nuts every time I've played this work, hoping for a spark, something to perk my ears and take notice. It's never happened. By the time I get to the best track, the full on folk title song, I'm crawling around on the floor battling ennui and holding on to a coffee table like a life preserver lest I pass out. This album has that effect on me.

The musicianship is fine. "Glad" will attest to that. There's nothing exciting, yet these guys can certainly play. "Freedom Rider" even has smidgeons of their earlier style to keep things vaguely entertaining. The next two tracks are soul-sucking whirlpools of banality. They aren't terrible songs boasting poor musicianship and embarrassing lyrics. At least that would be fun. These songs, and, in retrospect, the album as a whole, are huge bowls of pasta with no sauce, dressings or garnish. Plain spaghetti. Prince spaghetti from a box boiled for eleven minutes and dumped into a large white bowl.

The title track is an old folksy song that I actually wouldn't skip on a shuffle whatsoever. It's pretty good, and saves this album from being a complete life-crushing experience. "Every Mothers Son" has a bit more guitar to it, which is fine, but even Bread had to show the world they could "rock out" once in a while. This isn't soft rock at all, but there's no fire either.

I enjoy a lot of Traffic's albums, and Steve has an amazing voice. The fact that this is considered one of their highpoints and a financially successful one at that without even a hit single always baffled me to some extent. It lacks the psychedelic charms of their earlier material, and the cool funk of their following couple of albums. It has a little bit of both sides of their spectrum, but nothing worth grabbing. There's definitely merit in creating a work that is musically difficult to categorize, such as this release, so I'll give it that. It's just that despite being a rather unusual recording, it all sounds relatively tame. It sounds like "stuff".

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 John Barleycorn Must Die by TRAFFIC album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.88 | 230 ratings

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John Barleycorn Must Die
Traffic Eclectic Prog

Review by mohaveman

4 stars Along with LOW SPARK OF HIGHHEELED BOYS and SHOOTOUT AT THE FANTASY FACTORY, JOHN BARLEYCORN MUST DIE is one of the essential 3 albums by Traffic. Folk, jazz, rock, and prog can all be found on this disc from 1970. There are no weak songs out of the 6 here. (I have the older non-bonus material compact disc). Classic Traffic tracks such as the title number, "Glad", and "Freedom Rider" are to be found on JOHN BARLEYCORN. I do not listen to this as much as SHOOTOUT or LOW SPARK, but it is still nice to throw it on every once in awhile. Hard to believe this album came out 41 years ago! It's not a perfect 5 star progressive album but it easily deserves 4 stars.

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 The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys by TRAFFIC album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.01 | 206 ratings

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The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys
Traffic Eclectic Prog

Review by mohaveman

4 stars A great rock album as well as a great Prog album (Eclectic? Crossover? Prog Related?) released in 1971 by Traffic. Folk, jazz, blues, funk, rock,...it's all here. Once again Traffic delivers. While everyone knows the wonderful title track (which deserves it's reputation as one of the top rock songs of all time), there are also some other fine songs here, with "Many a Mile to Freedom", "Light up and Leave me Alone", and "Rainmaker" being my personal favorites. The other tracks are also good. While I can't give this a true 5 star rating as a true prog album, it deserves 4 stars at least. (Really 4 1/2). I am still unsure about whether this is Eclectic Prog or not. Maybe Prog Related? Proto-Prog? Whatever, it's a fine album in the history of rock and roll.

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