Mr. Fantasy

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Mr. Fantasy
Studio album by Traffic
Released December 1967
Recorded April–November 1967
Olympic Studios, London
Genre Psychedelic rock
Length 33:54
Label Island
Producer Jimmy Miller
Traffic chronology
Mr. Fantasy
(1967)
Traffic
(1968)
Singles from Mr. Fantasy
  1. ""Paper Sun" b/w "Giving to You""
    Released: May 1967, Island WIP6002
  2. ""Hole in My Shoe" b/w "Smiling Phases""
    Released: August 1967, Island WIP6017
  3. ""Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush" b/w "Coloured Rain""
    Released: November 1967, Island WIP6025
  4. ""No Face, No Name, No Number" b/w "(Roamin' in the Gloamin' with) 40,000 Headmen""
    Released: 1968, Island WIP6030

Mr. Fantasy is the debut album by English rock band Traffic. It was released in 1967. For the recording, group members included Jim Capaldi, Steve Winwood, Chris Wood, and Dave Mason, however Mason left the band before the album was released. The album reached the number 16 position in the UK albums chart,[1] and number 88 in the American Billboard charts.[2]

Overview[edit]

The sitar, widely associated with this era of Traffic due to its use on the singles "Paper Sun" and "Hole in My Shoe," is only used on one track on the UK version of the album, "Utterly Simple".

The first US version of the album on United Artists Records was titled Heaven Is in Your Mind and had a cover that featured all members of the group except Dave Mason. The title was quickly changed back to Mr. Fantasy, but the new cover remained until Island Records reissued the UK version in the late 1970s. Both the US and UK editions were released in substantially different stereo and mono mixes. One song in particular, "Giving to You", was released in 3 different versions, including similar mono and stereo versions from the UK album, plus a very different mono UK b-side mix, which also was later included on the US mono LP. The special UK b-side mix includes lyrics sung by Winwood during the introduction which are not heard on any other version. The soundtrack album for Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush also contains a recording of "Utterly Simple" which is a different take than the one used on this album.

For the original US edition, a short looping snippet of the group's single "Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush" was added between most of the songs. The LP also added three songs from the group's UK singles ("Paper Sun", "Hole in My Shoe", and "Smiling Phases") while deleting two Dave Mason songs "Hope I Never Find Me There" and "Utterly Simple." The final track on the US album, "We're A Fade, You Missed This", is actually the ending of the full length version of "Paper Sun."

The album was engineered by Eddie Kramer who, when asked what was his favourite memory of engineering, responded: "Recording Dear Mr Fantasy, one o'clock in the morning, November 1967."[3]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[4]
Rolling Stone Positive[5]

Rolling Stone gave the USA release an overwhelmingly positive review, calling it "an album which, although it needs one unity that time will provide, is one of the best from any contemporary group." They especially praised Steve Winwood's vocals ("probably the major blues voice of his generation") and Jim Capaldi's lyrics. They held that "the strongest points of this album are where the elements of Traffic's 'comprehensible far-out' and Winwood's great R&B style are combined", but deemed Mason's contributions to be good enough in their own right. The review is noted for containing several major errors, including claiming that Chris Wood was Traffic's bassist and that Dave Mason did the lead vocal on "Paper Sun".[6]

Allmusic's retrospective review was positive, calling Traffic's music "eclectic, combining their background in British pop with a taste for the comic and dance hall styles of Sgt. Pepper, Indian music, and blues-rock jamming."[4]

Track listing[edit]

Original UK album[edit]

Original UK album
No. Title Writer(s) Lead vocals Length
1. "Heaven Is in Your Mind"   Jim Capaldi, Steve Winwood, Chris Wood Winwood and Capaldi 4:16
2. "Berkshire Poppies"   Capaldi, Winwood, Wood Winwood 2:55
3. "House for Everyone"   Dave Mason Mason 2:05
4. "No Face, No Name, and No Number"   Capaldi, Winwood Winwood 3:35
5. "Dear Mr. Fantasy"   Capaldi, Winwood, Wood Winwood 5:44
6. "Dealer"   Capaldi, Winwood Capaldi and Winwood 3:34
7. "Utterly Simple"   Mason Mason 3:16
8. "Coloured Rain"   Capaldi, Winwood, Wood Winwood 2:43
9. "Hope I Never Find Me There"   Mason Mason 2:12
10. "Giving to You" (album version) Capaldi, Mason, Winwood, Wood None 4:20
Mono bonus tracks from the US 2000 CD release
No. Title Writer(s) Lead vocals Length
11. "Paper Sun"   Capaldi, Winwood Winwood 4:15
12. "Giving to You" (UK mono single version) Capaldi, Mason, Winwood, Wood Winwood 4:12
13. "Hole in My Shoe"   Mason Mason 2:54
14. "Smiling Phases"   Capaldi, Winwood, Wood Winwood 2:43
15. "Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush" (single version) Capaldi, Mason, Winwood, Wood Group (solo parts on chorus and bridge by Winwood) 2:18

Original US album (Heaven Is in Your Mind/Mr. Fantasy)[edit]

Original US album
No. Title Writer(s) Lead vocals Length
1. "Paper Sun"   Capaldi, Winwood Winwood 3:26
2. "Dealer"   Capaldi, Winwood Capaldi and Winwood 3:13
3. "Coloured Rain"   Capaldi, Winwood, Wood Winwood 2:46
4. "Hole in My Shoe"   Mason Mason 3:04
5. "No Face, No Name, and No Number"   Capaldi, Winwood WInwood 3:38
6. "Heaven Is in Your Mind"   Capaldi, Winwood, Wood Winwood and Capaldi 4:22
7. "House for Everyone"   Mason Mason 2:05
8. "Berkshire Poppies"   Capaldi, Winwood, Wood Winwood 2:59
9. "Giving to You" (album version; mono version of the US album has the different UK single mix, with lyrics sung by Winwood) Capaldi, Mason, Winwood, Wood None 4:18
10. "Smiling Phases"   Capaldi, Winwood, Wood Winwood 2:44
11. "Dear Mr. Fantasy"   Capaldi, Winwood, Wood Winwood 5:33
12. "We're a Fade, You Missed This"   Capaldi, Winwood Winwood 0:53
Stereo bonus tracks from the US 2000 CD release
No. Title Writer(s) Lead vocals Length
13. "Utterly Simple"   Mason Mason 3:17
14. "Hope I Never Find Me There"   Mason Mason 2:09
15. "Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush"   Capaldi, Mason, Winwood, Wood Group (solo parts on chorus and bridge by Winwood) 2:35
16. "Am I What I Was or Am I What I Am"   Capaldi, Winwood, Wood Winwood 2:32

Credits[edit]

Versions[edit]

There are four different versions of the album when taking into account both the UK and US track listings and the different stereo and mono mixes. All have been re-issued on CD except the low sound level track seque music from the original US release has never been reproduced on later releases. The 1999 UK re-issue features the UK version in stereo and the US album in mono as bonus tracks. In 2000 the US stereo version was re-issued on CD with its original title Heaven Is in Your Mind plus stereo bonus tracks. The same year the original UK mono version was also released in the US as Mr Fantasy with mono bonus tracks.

The track "Coloured Rain" on Mr. Fantasy was spelled "Colored Rain" on Eric Burdon & The New Animals' album Love Is. The song was given an extended arrangement, and includes a guitar solo by Andy Summers which runs a full 4 minutes and 15 seconds, over a minute longer than Traffic's recording of the entire song. To ensure he ended at the right place, Zoot Money kept count throughout the solo and gave him the cue out at bar 189.[7] In 1967 it was also covered by The Hassles, in 1968 by Al Kooper (I Stand Alone album) and in 1970 by Slade. The song "Smiling Phases" was covered by Blood, Sweat & Tears on their self-titled second album released in 1969.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Chart Stats
  2. ^ Traffic in the USA Charts, Allmusic. Retrieved 9 August 2011.
  3. ^ McGee, Alan (9 April 2008). Wherefore Art Thou Mark Hollis?, Guardian.co.uk.
  4. ^ a b Ruhlmann, William (2011). "Mr. Fantasy – Traffic | AllMusic". allmusic.com. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  5. ^ "Traffic: Heaven Is In Your Mind : Music Reviews : Rolling Stone". 27 April 1968. Retrieved 13 September 2012. 
  6. ^ "Traffic: Heaven Is In Your Mind : Music Reviews : Rolling Stone". web.archive.org. 27 April 1968. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  7. ^ Andy Summers, One Train Later, Thomas Dunne Books, 2006. ISBN 0-312-35914-4.
  8. ^ Blood, Sweat & Tears (Blood, Sweat & Tears album)#Track listing Track Listing of Blood, Sweat & Tears (album) Retrieved 5 January 2014

External links[edit]