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Traffic - When The Eagle Flies CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.22 | 121 ratings

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4 stars After their 1973 tour, represented in their live album "On the Road", The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section members, Barry Beckett, Roger Hawkins and David Hood left Traffic. After a short rest, and with Reepob and new member Rosko Gee (bass, from Jamaica), they decided to carry on, first on another tour, during which, Reebop decided to leave the band. They later went to the studio to record this album. Jim Capaldi is again playing the drums full time in Traffic, and also writing very good lyrics. All the songs in this album were composed by Steve Winwood and Jim Capaldi, with the exception of "Dream Gerrard", which was composed by Winwood with former Bonzo Dog Band lead singer, the late Viv Stanshall. In this album there is the improvisation style of Traffic in structured songs. There are also a lot of synthesizers and mellotron in this album.Also, the electric piano and the synthesizers sound very typical of the mid seventies. "Something New" is a more straight Rock song. "Dream Gerrard" is a song very influenced by jazz-rock music, being the longest song in this album. "Graveyard People" again has the influence of jazz-rock, mainly in the keyboards, plus some Afro- American influences in Capaldi`s percussion playing. Chris Wood appears again in this album with his very own style of playing the saxes with sound effects, like he could have used a wah-wah pedal."Walking on the Wind" is more in the style of the old Traffic of the sixties."Memories of a Rock n`Rolla" is like a nostalgical song about musicians who enjoy playing music a lot despite not earning too much money."Love" is a short ballad. "When the Eagle Flies" has ecological lyrics. After this album was released, Traffic went on tour again, but Steve Winwood left the band abruptly some dates before the end of the tour. Traffic split then.In general, this is a very good album, and in my opinion, a good way to say "goodbye" for 20 years, until their "Far from Home" album from 1994. Capaldi carried on recording solo albums (sometimes with the Muscle Shoals musicians, and sometimes with Winwood as guest). Winwood played with a lot of musicians doing sessions, until in 1977 he released his first solo album called "Steve Winwood", which has 4 songs composed with Capaldi, who also appears playing in some songs. It seems that Chris Wood recorded some demos for a solo album which never was formally recorded. I remember than in late 1981, Jim Capaldi and Chris Wood came to play some concerts to Mexico City. I didn`t attend. The ads for the concerts said "Jim Capaldi and Chris Wood from Traffic". In one newspaper I read one review of one of those concerts. It said that they played Traffic`s old songs like "Feeling Alright" and others. At that ime (1979-81), it had been "a common practice" by some "concert promoters" to bring bogus bands to play here. For example, they brought a bogus Steppenwolf (which only included one original member who wasn`t a key member when he was in that band) and a bogus Deep Purple (with original singer Rod Evans, who also played some concerts in the U.S. with this bogus band and was sued by the original Deep Purple`s management; so, as a consequence of this, he lost his royalties from the albums that he recorded with Deep Purple). (I went to the bogus Deep Purple`s concert without knowing that they were a bogus band, and they couldn`t fool the audience, because they were "heavily" booed!). At least, in the case of Capaldi and Wood, they were not announced as Traffic, which kept Capaldi and Wood and also the Traffic `s name with a good reputation. IMO, Traffic was considered then as the combination of Capaldi, Winwood and Wood working together, sometimes with Dave Mason too, and with or without other members in the band.
Guillermo | 4/5 |


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