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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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The Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys (Remastered)The Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys (Remastered)
Extra tracks · Remastered
Island 2002
Audio CD$3.91
$3.22 (used)
John Barleycorn Must Die (Remastered)John Barleycorn Must Die (Remastered)
Extra tracks · Remastered
Island 2001
Audio CD$3.63
$3.62 (used)
The Definitive CollectionThe Definitive Collection
Remastered
Island 2000
Audio CD$3.04
$2.92 (used)
Traffic (Remastered)Traffic (Remastered)
Extra tracks · Remastered
Island 2001
Audio CD$4.98
$3.39 (used)
Shootout At The Fantasy Factory (Remastered)Shootout At The Fantasy Factory (Remastered)
Remastered
Island 2003
Audio CD$2.98
$2.97 (used)
When The Eagle Flies (Remastered)When The Eagle Flies (Remastered)
Remastered
Island 2003
Audio CD$4.31
$3.99 (used)
Mr FantasyMr Fantasy
Import · Remastered
Island UK 1999
Audio CD$5.48
$5.50 (used)
Welcome To The Canteen (Remastered)Welcome To The Canteen (Remastered)
Remastered
Island 2002
Audio CD$2.84
$1.81 (used)
Heaven Is In Your Mind (Remastered U.S. Vers.)Heaven Is In Your Mind (Remastered U.S. Vers.)
Extra tracks · Remastered
Island 2000
Audio CD$7.98
$5.00 (used)
Traffic GoldTraffic Gold
Remastered
Island 2005
Audio CD$7.31
$6.56 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
TRAFFIC VIOLATION RECORDS 1996 RARE COMPILATION PUNK 7" SINGLE USD $10.19 Buy It Now 31m 52s
STEVE WINWOOD Roll With It LP OOP late-80's pop-rock Traffic Spencer Davis Group USD $2.99 Buy It Now 57m 23s
TRAFFIC THE LOW SPARK OF HIGH HEELED BOYS DIE CUT COVER STEVIE WINWOOD USD $7.99 Buy It Now 57m 42s
TRAFFIC - GOLD: THE DEFINITIVE COLLECTION 2CD ALBUM SET (2005) USD $8.88 Buy It Now 57m 47s
HOUSE TRAFFIC - EVERY DAY OF MY LIFE - 7 MIX DANCE CD SINGLE USD $3.10 Buy It Now 58m 56s
TRAFFIC OBI 10 CD Replica LP JAPAN LIMITED EDITION Sealed Box Set WITH BONUSES USD $552.49 Buy It Now 1h 7m
Don Covay m- white label LP Travelin in Heavy Traffic USD $9.75 Buy It Now 1h 39m
Traffic - John Barleycorn Must Die (1999) Island Remasters+3 Bonus Tracks. USD $4.68 Buy It Now 1h 42m
FRANK ADAMS/PETE CHAMBERS/ALTOMARE-TRAFFIC, SEX, & BASEBALL NEW SEALED 1995 CD USD $11.98 Buy It Now 1h 47m
Traffic - Best of (CD) USD $3.51 Buy It Now 1h 49m
Traffic Best of Traffic Japan CD w/obi PHCR-12524 USD $16.99 Buy It Now 2h 4m
Don Covay Travelin' In Heavy Traffic vinyl LP 1976 USD $24.95 Buy It Now 2h 5m
Push - Traffic - 12 Inch Vinyl - Listen USD $14.03 Buy It Now 2h 5m
TRAFFIC Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys Remastered CD NEW & SEALED USD $9.91 Buy It Now 2h 10m
Steve Winwood Refugees Of The Heart CD NM Traffic Spencer Davis Group USD $3.59 Buy It Now 2h 21m
Traffic - Welcome To The Canteen NEW CD USD $7.66 Buy It Now 2h 42m
Traffic - Best Of Traffic Island ILPS-9112 UK 1969 vinyl 12" LP pink rim USD $38.99 Buy It Now 2h 46m
HEAVY TRAFFIC, , Very Good USD $4.20 Buy It Now 2h 52m
Stereophonics - Word Gets Around (CD 1997) Features "Traffic" "A Thousand Trees" USD $4.67 Buy It Now 2h 57m
BACKGROUND SOUND EFFECTS E.p SEA,RAIN,TRAFFIC,FACTORY,THUNDER. VINTAGE UK CASTLE USD $4.68 [0 bids]
3h 6m
FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE**TRAFFIC AND WEATHER**CD USD $5.95 Buy It Now 3h 12m
Traffic - Heaven Is In Your Mind/Mr. Fantasy [Vinyl New] USD $24.97 Buy It Now 3h 27m
Traffic STEVE WINWOOOD Reach for the Light w/ RARE EDIT CD single Balto 1995 USA USD $9.99 [0 bids]
3h 27m
Traffic, More Heavy Traffic, United Artists Records, UA-LA526-G, 1975. USD $10.00 Buy It Now 3h 43m
TUFF CREW / KROWN RULERS PHANJAM CD 1987 SOO DEF/TRAFFIC EX USD $7.99 Buy It Now 3h 54m
P & P Funk (CD, Nov-2005, Traffic Entertainment Group) USD $3.99 Buy It Now 3h 55m
TRAFFIC - PAPER SUN - 1967 vinyl 7" single - WIP 6002 - with free postage USD $6.16 [0 bids]
3h 56m
'Mid All The Traffic - Redeemer Presbyterian Church (2007, CD New) USD $15.10 Buy It Now 4h
Traffic double Lp On The Road 1973 Island records recorded live Germany USD $14.36 Buy It Now 4h
Traffic Cd Last Exit 1969 Island records USD $10.95 Buy It Now 4h 3m
Redeemer Presbyterian Church - 'Mid All The Traffic [CD New] USD $17.72 Buy It Now 4h 3m
Traffic - Mr. Fantasy (CD) Island Remasters+12 bonus tracks. USD $5.46 Buy It Now 4h 20m
Mirror Traffic by Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks/Stephen Malkmus (Vinyl, Aug-201... USD $20.89 Buy It Now 4h 25m
DAVE MASON Split Coconut LP ex Traffic USD $10.00 Buy It Now 4h 26m
BEST OF TRAFFIC VINYL LP ORIGINAL 1969 UNITED ARTISTS UAS 5500, STEREO VG+ USD $16.99 Buy It Now 4h 50m
Traffic - The Collection [CD Album] USD $7.41 [0 bids]
5h
TRAFFIC 'JOHN BARLEYCORN MUST DIE' VINYL LP 1970 UNITED ARTISTS UAS 5504, STEREO USD $22.99 Buy It Now 5h 18m
HUMAN TRAFFIC 2XCD MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK HOUSE/TRANCE/TECHNO/HIP HOP/DANCE USD $8.57 Buy It Now 5h 25m
KILLER PSYCH/PROG JEAN-MICHEL LORGERE - TRAFFIC POP RARE 1973 FRENCH LIBRARY LP USD $48.38 [7 bids]
5h 44m
7"-Single JIM CAPALDI - It's All Up To You (1974) GERMANY PS / Ex-TRAFFIC USD $9.99 Buy It Now 5h 48m
7"-Single JIM CAPALDI - Tonight You're Mine (1983) GERMANY PS / Ex-TRAFFIC USD $6.50 Buy It Now 5h 54m
Vol. 2-Traffic - Traffic (2009, CD New) USD $13.97 Buy It Now 5h 54m
Status Quo - Heavy Traffic (CD New) USD $10.79 Buy It Now 5h 54m
Zebra Traffic Compilation (2005, CD New) USD $11.90 Buy It Now 5h 56m
Emotional Traffic - Mcgraw,Tim (2012, CD New) USD $9.17 Buy It Now 5h 56m
XL by King Sun (CD, May-2011, Traffic Entertainment Group) USD $10.97 Buy It Now 6h 6m
TRAFFIC PLEASE MR. FANTASY-JOHN BARLEYCORN MUST DIE 45 NM (UNPLAYED ?) ISLAND USD $5.00 [0 bids]
6h 19m
Traffic, Last Exit Audio CD USD $11.99 Buy It Now 6h 20m
Black Traffic - Skunk Anansie (2012, CD New) USD $7.48 Buy It Now 6h 22m
Traffic (CD New) USD $9.81 Buy It Now 6h 25m
Traffic Jam-Sound & Vision - 2 DISC SET - Sailor (2008, CD New) USD $15.42 Buy It Now 6h 26m
TRAFFIC, HERE WE GO ROUND THE MULBERRY BUSH 7" VINYL SINGLE, WIP 6025, 1967 UK USD $15.52 Buy It Now 6h 33m
Travelin' In Heavy Traffic - Don Covay (2008, CD New) CD-R USD $13.06 Buy It Now 6h 48m
GORDON JACKSON Thinking Back 12 track CD SEALED Traffic, Dave Mason, Jim Capaldi USD $13.25 Buy It Now 6h 57m
Traffic Jam - Artie Shaw (2005, CD New) USD $3.70 Buy It Now 7h
John Barleycorn Must Die - 2 DISC SET - Traffic (2011, CD New) Deluxe ED. USD $22.55 Buy It Now 7h 2m
Mr.Fantasy - Traffic (2011, CD New) USD $25.33 Buy It Now 7h 3m
TRAFFIC when the eagle flies.1st press UK Island A-1U/B-1U Nr Mint Final Upgrade USD $39.01 [0 bids]
7h 4m
JASMINE MINKS Where the traffic goes Creation PS USD $39.99 Buy It Now 7h 5m
Traffic-Feelin' Alright! (VG+) USD $8.00 Buy It Now 7h 8m
Traffic Welcome To The Canteen Music Album CD Island Records Rock Blues 90924-2 USD $10.84 Buy It Now 7h 8m
Traffic - Hole in My Shoe 7" Island 1967 USD $6.23 [0 bids]
7h 21m
Traffic: The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys (CD, Island (Label)) USD $7.95 Buy It Now 7h 22m
Traffic - Heaven Is In Your Mind (CD New) USD $11.94 Buy It Now 7h 22m
Heavy Cairo Traffic (2012, CD New) USD $18.49 Buy It Now 7h 22m
Traffic & Weather - Fountains Of Wayne (2007, CD New) 4988006851061 USD $23.87 Buy It Now 7h 27m
Rumspringer/Sleep like a Log split 7" on GREY pop punk Traffic Street ltd. to 57 USD $6.00 [0 bids]
USD $8.00 Buy It Now
7h 30m
Traffic John Barleycorn Must Die Music Album CD Island Records Jazz Rock Folk USD $10.84 Buy It Now 7h 37m
TRAFFIC WELCOME TO THE CANTEEN UK PRESS A2U/B2U ISLAND RECORDS ILPS 9166 EX/EX USD $6.55 [3 bids]
7h 45m
TRAFFIC Mr Fantasy LP New SEALED United Artists UAS 6651 Original US Cover VINYL USD $29.99 [0 bids]
8h 3m
Traffic Self Titled Original UA Release Exc - Near Mint With Booklet USD $15.00 Buy It Now 8h 5m
Traffic Smiling Phases Music Album 2 x CDs 1992 Island Records Psychedelic Rock USD $16.45 Buy It Now 8h 7m
DAYS LP/1971 Denmark/Rare Danish Heavy Prog Psych/Procol Harum/Traffic/SHADOKS USD $49.99 Buy It Now 8h 8m
Mr. Fantasy - Traffic New & Sealed Compact Disc Free Shipping USD $18.89 Buy It Now 8h 15m
Last Exit (Bonus Tracks) - Traffic USD $7.30 Buy It Now 8h 31m
Traffic JOHN BARLEYCORN MUST DIE LP Gatefold UAS 5504 EX/EX USD $12.99 Buy It Now 8h 31m
Traffic SHOOTOUT AT FANTASY FACTORY LP Island SW 9323 VG+/EX USD $7.99 Buy It Now 8h 31m
Classic Rock -10 CD lot - J Geils, Traffic, Musselwhite .. Rare And Out Of Print USD $9.99 [1 bids]
8h 37m
TRAFFIC Best Of Traffic LP 1969 PINK ISLAND 1st Press!! MINT!! USD $63.97 [6 bids]
8h 38m
(EA23) Stereophonics, Traffic - 1997 CD USD $4.67 Buy It Now 8h 46m
Traffic The Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys Music Album CD Island Rock USD $10.84 Buy It Now 8h 48m
Last Exit - Traffic 180gm Vinyl (Vinyl Used Very Good) 180gm Vinyl USD $24.98 Buy It Now 8h 55m
When The Eagle Flies - Traffic 180gm Vinyl (Vinyl Used Very Good) 180gm Vinyl USD $23.48 Buy It Now 8h 55m
Traffic by ABC (CD, Jun-2008, Vibrant Music) USD $0.99 [0 bids]
8h 56m
ABC-Traffic CD NEW USD $19.72 Buy It Now 8h 57m
TRAFFIC Japan Reisue NM LP+Obi Linner SHOOT OUT AT THE USD $39.99 Buy It Now 8h 58m
Mr. Fantasy - Traffic 8013252900181 (Vinyl Used Very Good) USD $26.81 Buy It Now 9h 6m
Traffic Far From Home Music Album CD 1994 Virgin Nowhere Is Their Freedom Rock USD $10.97 Buy It Now 9h 19m
Don Covay - Travelin' In Heavy Traffic [CD New] USD $13.25 Buy It Now 9h 32m
LOT OF 2 TRAFFIC ON THE ROAD/BARLEYCORN ALBUM STEREO LP RECORDS EX TO VG+ VINYL USD $14.99 Buy It Now 9h 36m
Mirror Traffic - Stephen & The Jicks Malkmus (Vinyl Used Very Good) USD $20.98 Buy It Now 10h 4m
TRAFFIC JAM JAZZ 10trk CD EL3 USD $0.99 Buy It Now 10h 6m
Traffic - Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys Lp Island 20S 97MINT Japanese Impor USD $19.99 [0 bids]
10h 23m
(J666) Air Traffic, No More Running Away - DJ CD USD $3.67 Buy It Now 10h 24m
(403O) Vega4, Traffic Jam - DJ CD USD $4.67 Buy It Now 10h 39m
TRAFFIC - JOHN BARLEYCORN MUST DIE - 1ST UA 5504 GATEFOLD VINYL LP RECORD -C USD $5.59 Buy It Now 10h 47m
TRAFFIC - THE Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys - ISLAND RECORDS LP SW 9306 USD $4.99 [0 bids]
11h 11m
Traffic CD Mr. Fantasy Early USA Issue Pressing Winwood Capaldi (retail CD) USD $8.49 Buy It Now 11h 41m
BEARDFISH-SLEEPING IN TRAFFIC PART ONE-JAPAN CD Gi50 USD $29.99 Buy It Now 12h 2m
TRAFFIC-JOHN BARLEYCORN MUST DIE-LP-GF-1ST PRESS-STERLING-UAS 5504-NM USD $9.99 [0 bids]
12h 31m
CD heaven is in your mind
TRAFFIC
~ USD $15.45
DVD live at santa monica
TRAFFIC
~ USD $16.94
LP mr. fantasy (+ 5 bonus tracks + poster)
TRAFFIC
~ USD $18.78


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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 | 125 ratings
Mr. Fantasy
1967
3.40 | 38 ratings
Heaven Is in Your Mind
1968
3.39 | 96 ratings
Traffic
1968
2.68 | 61 ratings
Last Exit
1969
3.89 | 256 ratings
John Barleycorn Must Die
1970
4.03 | 229 ratings
The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys
1971
3.80 | 127 ratings
Shoot Out at the Fantasy Factory
1973
3.28 | 82 ratings
When The Eagle Flies
1974
3.06 | 42 ratings
Far From Home
1994

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

3.36 | 51 ratings
Welcome to the Canteen
1971
4.04 | 59 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
2005

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
 Shoot Out at the Fantasy Factory by TRAFFIC album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.80 | 127 ratings

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Shoot Out at the Fantasy Factory
Traffic Eclectic Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

4 stars In December 1971, Ric Grech and Jim Gordon left TRAFFIC, and Jim Capaldi went to record a solo album to Muscle Shoals Studios in Alabama with the famous musicians from The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section (drummer Roger Hawkins, bassist David Hood, keyboard player Barry Beckett, and guitarist Jimmy Johnson), plus The Muscle Shoals Horns. That first solo album was titled "Oh How We Danced", and six of the eight songs from that album were recorded in Alabama, while two other songs were recorded in London, one of which ("Open Your Heart") was recorded with TRAFFIC`s line-up of their previous album titled "The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys". Some of the eight songs from that album also have appearances from Steve Winwood, Chris Wood, Reebop and Dave Mason. The album was released in April 1972, and at least in my country, Capaldi had a Hit Single with "Eve", the first song from that album which was (and still is) played in some FM Radio stations in my city. It seems that by that time Steve Winwood became ill with peritonitis, but when he recovered from that illness, Capaldi suggested to invite Roger Hawkins and David Hood to join TRAFFIC. They joined the band and started playing concerts, one of which was filmed and released as "Live at Santa Monica" in 1972. Later the band went to Jamaica to record a new studio album, titled "Shoot Out at the Fantasy Factory". which was released in February 1973.

This album is less inspired by Folk music and most songs are more inspired by Rock music in general, with Winwood playing some distorted guitars in several parts. This can be listened more clearly in the title track of the album which also has some very good Latin music influenced percussion playing from Capaldi and Reebop. "Roll Right Stones" has a very good electric sax solo played by Chris Wood (with some "wah-wah" sound effects) in the extended final instrumental section of this song. "In "Evening Blue" Winwood plays acoustic guitars and maybe this is the most "relaxed" song in this album. The next song, "Tragic Magic", was composed by Chris Wood (all the other songs from this album were composed by Winwood and Capaldi), and this instrumental song has a lot of influences from Jazz Rock music with very good saxophones played by Wood. The final song in this album, and maybe the best from this album, is "(Sometimes I Feel So) Uninspired", a song with somewhat sad lyrics. Maybe Capaldi (the lyricist) was a bit tired of being working in the music bussiness, so he wrote the lyrics of this song. The music in this song is particularly very good, and this song includes very good lead guitar parts played by Winwood. In this album Capaldi did not sing lead vocals on any song, but his backing vocals are listened more clearly in "Roll Right Stones". Jimmy Johnson and Barry Beckett are mentioned with a "thanks to" in the credits section in the album s cover, but it is not clear at least for me if they also played in some parts of this album.

For their 1973 tours the band also invited Barry Beckett to join the band on keyboards, giving more freedom to Winwood to play guitar or keyboards as he wanted apart from singing lead vocals on most songs, and also giving freedom to Chris Wood who previously sometimes also played keyboards in some songs while Winwood played guitar or other keyboards. I think that this line-up of the band was one of the best they had, with the three members of The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section being very good and experienced musicians, playing very well. This line-up recorded the very good live album titled "On the Road" in Germany in April 1973. Jimmy Johnson also joined the band but as sound engineer for the concerts. Unfortunately, all these very good musicians from The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section left the band in September 1973 (but they carried on working with Capaldi in some of his solo albums from the mid seventies). Capaldi then returned to play drums with the band, while their new bass player was Rosko Gee, from Jamaica. Reebop stayed with the band until mid 1974, with him apparently appearing uncredited in two songs from TRAFFIC`s next and then last album (titled "When the Eagle Flies", which was released in September 1974) before they split in December 1974.

This album, "Shoot at the Fantasy Factory" is very good. It also has a vey good recording and mixing, and like their previous album from 1971 ("The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys") it also has a very original cover design done by Tony Wright.

After a long time of not listening to some of TRAFFIC`s albums, it really was very good and enjoyable for me to listen to them again recently. TRAFFIC was a very good band, in my opinion, despite all the changes in personnel they had.

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 The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys by TRAFFIC album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.03 | 229 ratings

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The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys
Traffic Eclectic Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

4 stars In 1971, the line-up of the band was expanded to include Reebop Kwaku Baah (congas, timbales, bongos) and Jim Gordon (drums). At that time, Jim Capaldi wanted to have a more prominent role in the band as lead and backing singer. So, maybe that was the main reason to have Gordon as drummer. Anyway, with Capaldi and Reebop the band had a more percussive sound, with both of them contributing very good things to the band. And in this album Capaldi sang lead vocals in two songs, a thing that only happened in this album while he was in the band.

This album is very well played, recorded and mixed. Maybe more than "John Barleycorn Must Die". Maybe they had more time to rehearse and to record this album in 1971, which was recorded after their "Welcome to the Canteen" live album wihich had Dave Mason as guest (he was guest in six dates that the band played during July 1971, but he left the band again after this happened). This new studio album was recorded in September 1971 and was released in November 1971. By December 1971, both Ric Grech and Jim Gordon have left the band.

In this album, the band again showed the influences from Jazz and Folk music.

"Hidden Treasure" (Winwood /Capaldi) is a slow acoustic song with good flute arrangements with Folk influences.

"The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys" (Winwood /Capaldi) is a very good song with Jazz influences with good piano and organ solos by Steve Winwood and good sax solos by Chris Wood.

"Rock and Roll Stew" (Ric Grech / Jim Gordon) is a rocker with good guitars by Steve Winwood and sung by Capaldi. This song was played in concert by the band even after Grech and Gordon (the composers of this song) left the band.

"Many a Mile to Freedom" (Winwood / Anna Capaldi) is also a good slow song with very good arrangements.

"Light Up or Leave Me Alone" (Capaldi) is a very good Pop Rock song, sung by Capaldi. This song maybe was played better in concert, like the title song of this album. Having two songs to sing in this album maybe gave Capaldi more confidence to compose more songs alone and to record his first solo album titled "Oh How We Danced", which he recorded in December 1971 and was released in April 1972.

"Rainmaker" (Winwood / Capaldi) is mostly a Folk music influenced song with very good flute and sax arrangements by Wood. It shows how great was his influence as musician in TRAFFIC despite not writing songs for this album. It also has a very good final part with a very good violin solo played by Grech and some very good percussion arrangements by Capaldi and Reebop. Steve Winwood`s official website says that in this song the drums were played by Mike Kellie, member of SPOOKY TOOTH.

This album is very good. Also the cover design is very good and original. The same happened with the cover design of their next album, "Shoot Out at the Fantasy Factory", which was designed by the same person (Tony Wright).

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 John Barleycorn Must Die by TRAFFIC album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.89 | 256 ratings

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John Barleycorn Must Die
Traffic Eclectic Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

4 stars After the release of their second album titled "Traffic" in 1968, Dave Mason was again "out of the band", and the remaining trio toured for a time unitl late 1968, when Steve Winwood left the band, and the band was over for a time. But Jim Capaldi and Chris Wood, with Dave Mason and organist Mick Weaver (AKA "Wynder K. Frog") started playing together as a new band called MASON, CAPALDI, WOOD AND FROG (AKA "WOODEN FROG") until March 1969, when they split, only leaving a few BBC recordings. This band mainly played songs composed by Mason (which he also recorded later as a soloist) plus covers of a few Blues songs. Winwood left TRAFFIC to form a "Super-Group" with Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and Ric Grech, called BLIND FAITH, which only lasted for an album and a tour, a band which never left the members very satisfied musically and personally despite the success of their album and tour. By September 1969, Eric Clapton was out of BLIND FAITH, and the remaining members of that band went to play for some months in GINGER BAKER`s AIRFORCE, a band which also included other musicians. After recording one album with them, Winwood left that band in early 1970 and started to recod a solo album with Guy Stevens as producer, using "Mad Shadows" as the working title for that planned album. Anyway, it seems that Winwood was not very happy working with Stevens as producer, and after recording a few songs / demos, he contacted Capaldi and Wood and started playing and recording with them again. So good were the results that finally they decided to reform TRAFFIC and to record this album titled "John Barleycorn Must Die", which was released in mid 1970.

The band had some changes in sound and style, but they still sounded as the "old" TRAFFIC, as Capaldi, Winwood and Wood were always (at least unitl 1974) the main members of the band, with only some changes in the other members of the band. Another change was that Wood, while in 1967-68 he was one of the main composers in the band with Capaldi and Winwood, from 1970 to 1974 he did not participate very much in the songwriting, leaving it mainly to Capaldi and Winwood.

This album from 1970 also shows new musical influences, like some Jazz influences in "Glad" and "Empty Pages", and some Folk music influences in "John Barleycorn", a traditional song which Wood brought to the band to record for this album. And one as a listener really can listen to this album as really being a half Winwood solo album / half TRAFFIC album, because Wood only appears in four of the six songs from the original release (he does not appear in "Stranger to Himself" and in "Every Mother`s Son"). Capaldi appears in all songs, but he only sang backing vocals in "Stranger to Himself", with all the instruments and lead vocals in that song being played by Winwood. The remastered CD released in 1999 also included two bonus studio tracks ("I Just Want to Know" and "Sittin`Here Thinkin`of my Love") with both entirely played and sung by Winwood, and they sound more as demos from his then solo album than as TRAFFIC`s songs (but with both being credited as songs composed by Winwood and Capaldi). Anyway, the album is very enjoyable as a whole, with all songs (except "Glad", which was composed by Winwood alone) being credited as composed by Winwood / Capaldi.

The remastered CD released in 1999 also included two songs (plus an humorous stage introduction done by promoter Bill Graham) recorded for a then planned but never released live album, recorded at the Fillmore East in New York in 18-November-1970. By April 1970 the trio was playing all the songs of the new album in concerts, but by August 1970 Ric Grech was a new member of the band, giving some freedom to Winwood (who played bass pedals in concert most of the time with the band, sometimes helped a bit by Wood while Winwood played guitar), and Grech appears playing guitar in "Who Knows What Tommorrow May Bring" and bass guitar in "Glad". "Glad" was originally followed in concert, as in the album, by "Freedom Rider", but in this bonus track the song is faded out before "Freedom Rider" starts.

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 The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys by TRAFFIC album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.03 | 229 ratings

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The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys
Traffic Eclectic Prog

Review by aglasshouse

5 stars Traffic's 1971 release of the oddly named The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys gives off an air of great stylistic qualities, and has deservingly been noted as the band's greatest achievement. Unlike Gentle Giant, another well known band of the eclectic progressive genre, Traffic's music tends to slow-dance over the line of folk rock, jazz, and of course eclectic rock. ,Low Spark b has many odd structures, which become very prominent as the album progresses. I found myself loving the album despite its thorough lack of tracks.

Medieval sounding bard music slips in (much like Gentle Giant did) quite often. In the opening track 'Hidden Treasure', with soothing sounds that bring you sights of far off places and a subtle air of adventure. Although I found the track to be the only one I can't particularly listen to over again, mostly due to being so bland in light of the rest of its brethren. However, the track's slow tell-tale lyrics and minor progression is simply a lead into the eleven minute eponymous piece that is described as the center of the entire album. 'The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys' is a track that seems much shorter than it actually is, mostly due to it's enjoyable yet sometimes repetitive nature. But smooth jazz it is so I won't delve too deep into it.

One small, mostly unnoticeable problem I had with Low Spark was the seemingly indecisive way Traffic chose the structure of the tracks. With every song there is a different listen, aside from a small similarity between the title track's climax and the straight up rocker of 'Rock & Roll Stew', but even then the latter being much more aggressive takes away any prior similarities that you'd hear while scrolling through the tracks. In my opinion, a variegated line up of tracks qualifies as an album that never gives you a dull moment.

On the point of the rockier tracks, the most distinguished being 'Rock & Roll Stew' and 'Light Up Or Leave Me Alone'. Having never been a fan of soft rock pretending to be greater than it is, the former of the two I've found to enjoy much more often. 'Light Up', especially during the later parts however does bring to the table alot of Who-like rocking, but because of this seems like a song stuck in the 60's. Enjoyable, yes of course, but not something I come back to very often. 'Rock & Roll Stew', living up to it's name, brings a great deal of mixed rock soup including some excellent funk. Combine that with the great vocals from Winwood and you have quite the delicious stew!

The slower tracks that the album retains are 'Many a Mile to Freedom' and 'Rainmaker'. The former sort of takes elements from the rest of the album, combining 'Hidden Treasure'-like softness and the subtle yet quietened rocking of 'Rock & Roll Stew'. This makes up for quite an adventure, especially one that I can sit through for seven and a half minutes and not complain about. 'Rainmaker' is perhaps my favorite song off of the album, being the one that first appealed to me while scrolling through the tracks. It bears a haunting melody and lyrics of a farmer reminiscing of his crops' unfortunate fate from drought. The theme of the song most likely derives to the tale of John Barleycorn told in the prior album, but I feel like this song takes the cake for most complex and best-sounding.

In an overall sense, The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys is an album that goes very under appreciated in the world of the general music population, and unjustly so. If you haven't thoroughly heard or never heard this album at all, then I think you should find the vinyl and give it a spin. It is quite enjoyable. 4/5 rounded to 5.

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 John Barleycorn Must Die by TRAFFIC album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.89 | 256 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, 2005
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
4.03 | 229 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
4.04 | 59 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
4.03 | 229 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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Thanks to easy livin for the artist addition.

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