Last Exit (Traffic album)

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Last Exit
Studio album and Live album by Traffic
Released May 1969
Recorded November 1968, Morgan Studios, London
Genre Progressive rock
Length 34:28
Label Island
United Artists
Producer Jimmy Miller
Traffic chronology
Traffic
(1968)
Last Exit
(1969)
John Barleycorn Must Die
(1970)

Last Exit, released in May 1969, is the third album by English rock band Traffic. It is a collection of odds and ends put together by Island Records after the initial breakup of the band. The album reached number 19 in the American Billboard charts.[1] As implied by the cover photos, the album features the original lineup of Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi, Chris Wood, and Dave Mason, though Mason does not actually appear on most of the songs.

Background[edit]

Many of the songs of this album were originally released on mono singles. The versions that appear on this album are re-mixed for stereo and sometimes have significant differences. The original American LP has different artwork on the cover. The front features a different picture of the band cut up into the shape of the band's logo with a black background.

"Just For You" was previously released in February 1968 as the A-side of a UK Dave Mason solo single. (The B-side was "Little Woman".) This was released after Mason left Traffic the first time, following Mr. Fantasy. Conveniently for its use on this album, the other members of Traffic backed up Mason on this track. "Medicated Goo" and "Shanghai Noodle Factory" were the A- and B-sides, of a UK Traffic single released in December 1968. Mason does not appear on these tracks. "Medicated Goo" has a false ending on the single which does not appear here. The song would become a staple of the re-formed band's live performances in 1970-71.

"Something's Got a Hold of My Toe" is an instrumental and appears to be an outtake not originally intended for release. It is unclear why producer Jimmy Miller (a lyricist elsewhere on the album) gets a co-writing credit on this. "Withering Tree" was previously released as the B-side to "Feelin' Alright" (September 1968), although the version on the LP is slightly different than the single. Dave Mason does not appear on this although it was probably recorded while he was still in the band. The two Fillmore West live tracks that make up the second half do not feature Mason.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[2]

Allmusic's retrospective review said that Last Exit, though weaker than its two predecessors, "isn't bad as profit-taking products go." They complimented most of the studio tracks as highly appealing works, and praised the cohesive jamming on the live tracks.[2]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Just for You" (Dave Mason) – 2:18
  2. "Shanghai Noodle Factory" (Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi, Chris Wood, Mason, Jimmy Miller, Larry Fallon) – 5:06
  3. "Something's Got a Hold of My Toe" (Winwood, Mason, Miller) – 2:14
  4. "Withering Tree" (Winwood, Capaldi) – 3:04
  5. "Medicated Goo" (Winwood, Miller) – 3:36
  6. "Feelin' Good" (live) (Anthony Newley, Leslie Bricusse) – 10:40
  7. "Blind Man" (live) (Deadric Malone, Joseph Scott) – 7:06

Personnel[edit]

Release history[edit]

Year Type Label Catalog #
1969 LP United Artists UAS-6702
1988 CD Island 7 90925-2
LP Island 422-842 787-1
CS Island 422-842 787-4
1990 CD Island 422-842 787-2
2001 CD Polygram 548540
2001 CD Island 548540

References[edit]

  1. ^ Traffic in the USA Charts, Allmusic. Retrieved August 9, 2011.
  2. ^ a b "allmusic ((( Last Exit > Review )))". www.allmusic.com. Retrieved 2009-09-12.