Traffic (Traffic album)

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Traffic
Studio album by Traffic
Released October 1968
Recorded Olympic Studios, London, Record Plant, NYC, January–May 1968
Genre Rock, folk rock, jazz fusion
Length 40:24
Label Island
United Artists
Producer Jimmy Miller
Traffic chronology
Mr. Fantasy
(1967)
Traffic
(1968)
Last Exit
(1969)

Traffic is the second album by the English rock band Traffic, released in 1968 on Island Records in the United Kingdom as ILP 981T (mono)/ILPS 9081T (stereo), and United Artists in the United States, as UAS 6676 (stereo). It peaked at number 9 in the UK albums chart[1] and at number 17 on the Billboard 200.[2]

Background and content[edit]

In January 1968, after some initial success in Britain with their debut album Mr. Fantasy, Dave Mason had departed from the group. He produced the debut album by the group Family, containing in its ranks future Traffic bass player Ric Grech, while Traffic went on the road.[3] In May, the band had invited Mason back to begin recording the new album.

Mason ended up writing and singing half of the songs on the album (including his biggest hit "Feelin' Alright?"), but making scant contribution to the songs written by Jim Capaldi and Steve Winwood. His flair for pop melody had always been at odds with the others' jazz ambitions, evidenced by the dichotomy seen for the songs on this album, and by October he was again out of the band.[4] He would return one more time for a tour and album in 1971 to run out the band's contract.

Traffic was reissued for compact disc in the UK on 11 January 2000, with five bonus tracks, two from the soundtrack to the United Artists film Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush and three from Last Exit. In the US, the remastered reissue of 27 February 2001 included mono single mixes of "You Can All Join In," "Feelin' Alright?," and "Withering Tree." The original album was produced by Jimmy Miller. The remasters were assisted in their production by Jim Capaldi.

Reception[edit]

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

Allmusic gave a positive retrospective review of the album, commenting that it achieved a strong balance between Dave Mason's simple and straightforward folk-rock songs and Steve Winwood's complex and often haunting rock jams.[5]

Track listing[edit]

Side one[edit]

  1. "You Can All Join In" (Mason) – 3:34
  2. "Pearly Queen" (Capaldi/Winwood) – 4:20
    • Winwood – vocal, Hammond organ, electric guitar, bass; Wood – flute; Mason – harmonica; Capaldi – drums
  3. "Don't Be Sad" (Mason) – 3:24
    • Mason – vocal, harmonica, electric guitar; Winwood – vocal, Hammond organ, electric rhythm guitar, bass; Wood – soprano saxophone; Capaldi – drums, backing vocal
  4. "Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring" (Capaldi/Winwood/Wood)[note 1] – 3:11
    • Winwood – vocals, Hammond organ, guitars, bass; Capaldi – drums, percussion, backing vocal
  5. "Feelin' Alright?" (Mason) – 4:16
    • Mason – lead vocal, guitar; Winwood – piano, bass, backing vocal; Wood – tenor saxophone, backing vocal; Capaldi – drums, percussion

Side two[edit]

  1. "Vagabond Virgin" (Capaldi/Mason) – 5:21
    • Mason – vocal, guitar; Capaldi – vocal, drums, percussion; Winwood – piano, bass, backing vocal; Wood – flute
  2. "(Roamin' Thru the Gloamin' with) 40,000 Headmen" (Capaldi/Winwood) – 3:15
  3. "Cryin' to Be Heard" (Mason) – 5:14
    • Mason – lead vocal, bass; Winwood – Hammond organ, harpsichord, backing vocal; Wood – soprano saxophone; Capaldi – drums, backing vocal
  4. "No Time to Live" (Capaldi/Winwood) – 5:10
    • Winwood – lead vocal, piano, bass; Wood – soprano saxophone; Mason – Hammond organ; Capaldi – drums
  5. "Means to an End" (Capaldi/Winwood) – 2:39
    • Winwood – vocals, piano, electric guitar, bass; Wood – drums, percussion[note 2]

2000 reissue bonus tracks (UK only)[edit]

  1. "Here We Go 'Round the Mulberry Bush" (Capaldi/Mason/Winwood/Wood) – 2:45
  2. "Am I What I Was or Am I What I Am" (Capaldi/Winwood/Wood) – 2:36
  3. "Withering Tree" (Capaldi/Winwood) – 2:57
    • Winwood – vocal, piano, guitar, bass; Wood – flute, percussion; Capaldi – drums, percussion
  4. "Medicated Goo" (Jimmy Miller/Winwood) – 3:39
  5. "Shanghai Noodle Factory" (Capaldi/Larry Fallon/Miller/Winwood/Wood) – 5:03

2001 reissue bonus tracks US [Island Records 314,542,852-2] and Japan (Universal-Island Records UICY-93642) only[edit]

  1. "You Can All Join In" (Mason) – 3:45 [mono single mix]
  2. "Feelin' Alright?" (Mason) – 4:03 [mono single mix]
  3. "Withering Tree" (Capaldi/Winwood) – 2:53 [stereo single mix]

Additional personnel[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The original LP issue credits the song to Winwood/Capaldi. However, both BMI records and later issues of the album list Chris Wood as co-writer.
  2. ^ The album credits list Wood as the drummer, but this is presumably a typo on the sleeve, since no other source indicates that Chris Wood even knew how to play drums. Most likely it is in fact Jim Capaldi playing drums and percussion, given his usual capacity as drummer.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Chart Stats
  2. ^ Traffic in the USA Charts, Allmusic. Retrieved 9 August 2011.
  3. ^ Traffic, 1999 reissue Island Records IMCD 265 546498-2, liner notes p. 4.
  4. ^ Nick Logan and Bob Woffinden, editors. The Illustrated New Musical Express Encyclopedia of Rock. New York: Harmony Books, 1977, p. 234.
  5. ^ a b Traffic (Traffic album) at AllMusic

External links[edit]