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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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Traffic official website

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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$4.74
$3.99 (used)
Traffic (The Definitive Collection)Traffic (The Definitive Collection)
Remastered
Island 2000
Audio CD$5.99
$5.00 (used)
John Barleycorn Must DieJohn Barleycorn Must Die
Extra tracks · Remastered
Island 2001
Audio CD$3.02
$2.75 (used)
TrafficTraffic
Extra tracks · Remastered
Island 2001
Audio CD$4.85
$4.97 (used)
Shoot Out at the Fantasy FactoryShoot Out at the Fantasy Factory
Remastered
Island 2003
Audio CD$1.77
$1.04 (used)
Traffic GoldTraffic Gold
Remastered
Island 2005
Audio CD$8.81
$7.40 (used)
Heaven Is in Your MindHeaven Is in Your Mind
Extra tracks · Remastered
Island 2000
Audio CD$8.48
$9.80 (used)
Mr FantasyMr Fantasy
Import · Remastered
Island UK 1999
Audio CD$5.44
$4.26 (used)
Last ExitLast Exit
Remastered
Island 2001
Audio CD$4.87
$4.29 (used)
Welcome to the CanteenWelcome to the Canteen
Remastered
Island 2002
Audio CD$4.10
$2.08 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Mr. Hood [PA] by K.M.D. (CD, Oct-2006, Traffic Entertainment Group) US $8.22 Buy It Now 46m 16s
3 CD Lot - Traffic - John Barleycorn Must Die, Welcome to the Canteen, Low Spark US $23.99 [0 bids]
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46m 45s
1938-1939 Traffic Jam by Artie Shaw and his Orchestra (1993) - Import US $2.29 Buy It Now 1h 34m
Waving in Traffic by Jackie O'Brien (CD, 2005, Jackie O'brien & BRAND NEW US $6.59 Buy It Now 1h 39m
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TRAFFIC Shout Out At The Fantasy Factory Taiwan Vietnam FL-2319 import Rare US $33.96 Buy It Now 2h 11m
TRAFFIC "ROCK & ROLL STEW PART 1" PROMO 45 NEVER PLAYED! US $14.99 Buy It Now 2h 18m
TRAFFIC WHERE THE EAGLE FLIES LP WITH PROMO STICKER 883 US $8.99 Buy It Now 2h 24m
TRAFFIC, ETC. EN VIVO "GIMME SOME LOVIN'" ISLAND 1972 Rock Power MEXICAN EP 7'' US $41.70 Buy It Now 2h 32m
TRAFFIC Low Spark of High Heeled Boys / 1971 Cassette US $4.97 Buy It Now 2h 40m
HERBERT LEONARD LP POPCORN SOUL MOD traffic dylan hear US $29.99 [0 bids]
3h 2m
BEST OF TRAFFIC UAS-5500 VINYL LP 1969 COMP PSYCH ROCK STEVE WINWOOD VG++!! US $12.99 Buy It Now 3h 27m
TRAFFIC - JOHN BARLEYCORN MUST DIE LP 1970 ISLAND RECORDS WEST GERMANY PRESSING US $40.00 [0 bids]
US $55.00 Buy It Now
3h 42m
Traffic LP More Heavy Traffic US $2.99 [0 bids]
3h 55m
Traffic vinyl LP album record Best Of Traffic - Pink Rim UK ILPS9112 ISLAND US $39.79 Buy It Now 4h 3m
TRAFFIC Japan Only 1971 LP BEST OF US $29.99 Buy It Now 4h 17m
Rickie Lee Jones Traffic From Paradise French CD album (CDLP) GED24602 GEFFEN US $14.94 Buy It Now 4h 55m
STEPHEN MARLEY-THE TRAFFIC JAM 3-VERSION U.S.PROMO DJ CD C27 # US $7.99 Buy It Now 5h 9m
Traffic Traffic EP UK 7" vinyl single record IEP7 ISLAND 1978 US $16.53 Buy It Now 5h 39m
Traffic by traffic cd mint rock US $5.00 [0 bids]
5h 48m
traffic shoot out at the fantasy factor cd mint rock US $7.00 [0 bids]
5h 48m
TRAFFIC-WHEN THE EAGLE FRIES-JAPAN MINI LP-CD sss US $35.99 Buy It Now 6h 11m
TRAFFIC 2 Original Press AUSTRALIA '67 RARE! Festival LP Steve Winwood PSYCH EX- US $99.99 Buy It Now 6h 31m
AIR TRAFFIC charlotte 7" gatefold pic slv with inner b/w learning how to shout ( US $8.29 Buy It Now 7h 5m
AIR TRAFFIC just abuse me 7" b/w charlotte (galagos005) uk fandango 2006 US $8.29 Buy It Now 7h 5m
AIR TRAFFIC never even told me her name 7" 4 track ep limited number double viny US $8.29 Buy It Now 7h 5m
AIR TRAFFIC shooting star 7" gatefold pic slv with inner part 1 of 2 part set b/ US $8.29 Buy It Now 7h 5m
TRAFFIC The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys AML(i)-1010 US $35.00 Buy It Now 7h 14m
JIM CAPALDI "WHALE MEAT AGAIN" 1st ISLAND UK PRESS PINK RIM TRAFFIC US $8.89 Buy It Now 8h 4m
Traffic - Hole In My Shoe / Smiling Phases 7" US $7.46 Buy It Now 8h 18m
NOTENSHUN - Traffic EP - 12" US $13.44 Buy It Now 8h 23m
Traffic 45 Here Comes A Man / Glad w/ts EX US $2.50 Buy It Now 8h 33m
TRAFFIC paper sun + 3 - SITAR PSYCH 60s ROCK -re- *L*I*S*T*E*N* US $14.99 [0 bids]
8h 38m
TRAFFIC - I Get Love - 12" US $17.59 Buy It Now 9h 2m
TIM MCGRAW 'EMOTIONAL TRAFFIC' CD US $19.85 Buy It Now 9h 12m
Traffic [Vinyl New] US $29.98 Buy It Now 9h 16m
Zebra Traffic Compilation [CD New] US $20.99 Buy It Now 9h 17m
TIM McGRAW - EMOTIONAL TRAFFIC (CD) & sealed US $16.60 Buy It Now 9h 17m
TRAFFIC - Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys (CD) ROCK /USA Pressing US $9.97 [0 bids]
9h 34m
V/A PROMO CD#27OC-ROLLING STONES,TRAFFIC,BRYAN FERRY,CR US $14.99 Buy It Now 9h 37m
Traffic-John Barleycorn Must Die-LP/Vinyl/Record US $9.99 Buy It Now 9h 48m
Stereophonics Traffic UK CD single (CD5 / 5") VVR5000943 V2 1997 US $8.47 Buy It Now 9h 52m
Air Traffic Just Abuse Me 7" vinyl single record UK GALAGOS005 LABEL FANDANGO US $18.18 Buy It Now 10h 11m
TRAFFIC THE LOW SPARK OF HIGH HEELED BOYS US $7.50 Buy It Now 10h 44m
33 1/3 Traffic The Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys US $1.00 [0 bids]
10h 59m
Puressence Traffic Jam In Memory Lane UK 7" vinyl single record ISG639 ISLAND US $10.55 Buy It Now 10h 59m
Love And Money Dogs In The Traffic Album 1991 Magazine Advert #2058 US $8.29 Buy It Now 11h 5m
Traffic The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys 1983 Press ULTRASONIC CLEANED EXC US $28.00 Buy It Now 11h 13m
TRAFFIC here we go round the mulberry bush 7" solid label design b/w coloured ra US $8.29 Buy It Now 11h 15m
Best Of Traffic Traffic Japanese vinyl LP album record AML(I)1004 ISLAND 1971 US $98.36 Buy It Now 11h 15m
TRAFFIC no face no name and no number 7" b/w roamin' thru' the gloamin' with 40, US $14.99 Buy It Now 11h 15m
Traffic vinyl LP album record Mr Fantasy - 3rd USA UAS6651 UNITED ARTISTS 1970 US $106.25 Buy It Now 11h 16m
LUTAN FYAH/MAFIA & FLUXY - Bad Traffic (Culture - Down In Jamaica Riddim) - 7" US $12.03 Buy It Now 11h 23m
Stereophonics Traffic 2-CD single (Double CD single) UK VVR500943/8 V2 1997 US $25.99 Buy It Now 11h 28m
Traffic Coloured Rain 1967 45rpm White Label PROMO UA 50232 RARE HTF OOP WINWOOD US $9.00 Buy It Now 12h 2m
DAVE MASON Headkeeper LP Traffic US $18.28 Buy It Now 12h 12m
FREE 2for1 OFFE-TRAFFIC-John Barleycorn Must Die- United Artists Record-1st Pres US $12.98 Buy It Now 12h 24m
Woodstock 94 [#1] by Various Artists (CD) Green Day Sheryl Crow Dylan Traffic US $1.99 [0 bids]
12h 33m
Traffic - When The Eagle Flies 1974 USA Orig. Lyrics VG+/E US $2.99 [0 bids]
12h 40m
TRAFFIC - Far From Home (Instore Play Copy) - DJ Only CD Album US $4.14 [0 bids]
12h 41m
Rickie Lee Jones - Traffic From Paradise (1993) US $0.99 [0 bids]
US $2.50 Buy It Now
12h 50m
Jim CAPALDI- Short Cut Draw Blood 1979 UK LP TRAFFIC US $15.99 Buy It Now 12h 54m
HERE WE GO ROUND THE MULBERRY BUSH TRAFFIC SPENCER DAVIS ORIGINAL UK VINYL ALBUM US $11.61 [0 bids]
13h
VINYL 7" SINGLE - TRAFFIC - HOLE IN MY SHOE - WIP-6017 US $11.61 Buy It Now 13h 3m
Emotional Traffic US $1.00 Buy It Now 13h 11m
HENDRIX: CROSSTOWN TRAFFIC/GYPSY EYES-import US $8.31 [0 bids]
13h 43m
6 x Jim Capaldi Lp's Traffic Related US $24.99 Buy It Now 13h 54m
UA 70s rock PROMO 45 TRAFFIC - Glad Winwood + Capaldi US $3.00 [0 bids]
14h 5m
Pressage du Canada * CD * Religion par NIAGARA (1990, Traffic) Muriel Moreno US $9.16 Buy It Now 14h 42m
DAVE MASON Alone Together LP Blue Thumb Traffic Leon Russell Jim Capaldi 1970 US $9.99 Buy It Now 14h 46m
STEVE WINWOOD TRAFFIC SPENCER DAVIS KEEP ON RUNNING JAPAN PROMO SAMPLE CD W OBI US $11.50 [0 bids]
US $14.95 Buy It Now
14h 57m
Traffic-Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush 7" UK Pink Island P/S 1967 US $19.92 Buy It Now 14h 57m
Traffic.No face,no name and no number/Roamin thru the Gloamin.Island records.UK US $3.31 [0 bids]
14h 59m
TRAFFIC Here we go round the Mulberry Bush UK 45 Island WIP 6025 US $1.64 [0 bids]
15h 7m
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rare TRAFFIC John Barleycorn UK pink label LP US $35.00 [0 bids]
15h 22m
NICK DRAKE, FREE, TRAFFIC et al. - ISLAND BUMPERS - Unique Mix King Crimson Song US $23.26 [0 bids]
15h 27m
TRAFFIC~LOW SPARK OF HIGH HEELED BOYS~NM-/NM~CUT CORNERS CVR~WINWOOD~MASON US $10.00 [0 bids]
US $13.00 Buy It Now
15h 29m
90'S 45 Traffic - Here Comes A Man (Rock Mix) / Glad (Live) On Virgin US $5.00 Buy It Now 15h 29m
TRAFFIC, MORE HEAVY TRAFFIC - LP UA-LA526-G US $8.00 Buy It Now 15h 52m
:cd artist/ BAND /strack :: THE STERIO no traffic US $4.99 Buy It Now 16h
Traffic, New Music US $22.71 Buy It Now 16h 6m
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FREE U.S.sh/$3 int'l sh ~ LIKE NEW CD ABC: Traffic Import US $11.81 Buy It Now 16h 14m
WOODSTOCK 94 2CD Box Classic 80s 90s Rock METALLICA TRAFFIC SHERYL CROW Great US $11.24 Buy It Now 16h 25m
TRAFFIC SOUND - VIRGIN NEW VINYL US $40.16 Buy It Now 16h 25m
JOHN BARLEYCORN MUST DIE TRAFFIC ISLAND RECORD ALBUM LP US $15.00 Buy It Now 16h 26m
Traffic- Shoot Out At The Fantasy Factory [180gram LP]- 2013- New US $31.35 Buy It Now 16h 26m
Traffic -When The Eagle Flies [LP] (180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl, gatefold,limited) US $30.40 Buy It Now 16h 26m
TRAFFIC - LAST EXIT - ORIGINAL 1969 UK PINK ISLAND EYE BALL LABELS FOC LP NM US $26.58 [3 bids]
16h 32m
TRAFFIC S/T- ORIGINAL 1968 with BOOK COVER & PINK ISLAND EYE BALL LABELS MINT LP US $20.77 [1 bids]
16h 32m
TRAFFIC THE LOW SPARK OF HIGH HEELED BOYS LP US 1971 SIX SIDED COVER SW 9306 US $6.63 [1 bids]
16h 41m
TRAFFIC_MORE HEAVY TRAFFIC_GR. HITS_LP_UNITED ARTISTS_1975_OUT OF PRINT_WINWOOD US $7.99 Buy It Now 16h 42m
JIMI HENDRIX Crosstown Traffic 12" Vinyl Single Polydor 873 855-1 UK US $28.23 Buy It Now 16h 43m
traffic lp shoot out at the fantasy factory -die cut w/inner sw-9623 vg+/m- US $13.49 Buy It Now 16h 50m
traffic lp low spark of high heeled boys -die cut w/inner 90026-1 vg+/m- US $10.79 Buy It Now 16h 52m
traffic lp last exit uas 6702 vg+/vg+ pink label US $7.99 Buy It Now 16h 55m
Traffic Sealed Cassette Tape Low Spark US $12.00 Buy It Now 17h 7m
STEVE WINWOOD SEALED ISRAELI CASSETTE TAPE roll with it Israel mint TRAFFIC US $39.00 Buy It Now 17h 7m

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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)

3.69 | 111 ratings
Mr. Fantasy
1967
3.38 | 31 ratings
Heaven Is in Your Mind
1968
3.38 | 82 ratings
Traffic
1968
2.57 | 54 ratings
Last Exit
1969
3.88 | 221 ratings
John Barleycorn Must Die
1970
4.02 | 200 ratings
The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys
1971
3.79 | 114 ratings
Shoot Out at the Fantasy Factory
1973
3.28 | 68 ratings
When The Eagle Flies
1974
3.06 | 38 ratings
Far From Home
1994

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

3.35 | 43 ratings
Welcome to the Canteen
1971
4.03 | 51 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)

2.74 | 13 ratings
The Best Of Traffic
1969
3.00 | 1 ratings
Heavy Traffic
1975
2.82 | 2 ratings
More Heavy Traffic
1975
4.04 | 7 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
3.86 | 14 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 | 221 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
4.02 | 200 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 | 51 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
2.74 | 13 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
4.02 | 200 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 | 221 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 | 221 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
4.02 | 200 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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Thanks to easy livin for the artist addition.

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