Last Exit (Traffic album)

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Last Exit
TrafficLastExit.jpg
Studio album and Live album by
ReleasedMay 1969
RecordedLive tracks: March 14, 1968
Studios tracks: 1968
VenueThe (original) Fillmore, San Francisco, CA
StudioMorgan Studios, London
GenreProgressive rock
Length34:04
Label
ProducerJimmy Miller
Traffic chronology
Traffic
(1968)
Last Exit
(1969)
John Barleycorn Must Die
(1970)
Singles from Last Exit
  1. "Medicated Goo"
    Released: December, 1968(UK)
    February, 1969 (US)
US Cover
TrafficLastExitUSA.jpeg

Last Exit is the third studio album by English rock band Traffic released in May 1969. It is a collection of odds and ends collected by Island Records after the initial breakup of the band. The first half of the album consists of studio recordings, while the second half was recorded live at the Fillmore Auditorium[1]. The album reached number 19 in the American Billboard 200 chart.[2]

Cover[edit]

As implied by the cover photos, the album features the original lineup of Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi, Chris Wood, and Dave Mason. Mason only appears on two tracks: "Just for You" and "Something's Got a Hold of My Toe". The original American LP released by United Artists Records has different cover artwork. The US front features a different picture of the band cut up into the shape of the band's logo with a black background.

Songs[edit]

Some of the studio recordings of this album were originally released on mono singles. The versions that appear on the album are in stereo.

"Just for You" was previously released in February 1968 as the A-side of a UK Dave Mason solo single. Conveniently for its use on this album, the other members of Traffic backed up Mason on this track.[3] (The B-side was "Little Woman" which did not include other Traffic members.) The single was released after Mason left Traffic the first time, following Mr. Fantasy.

"Medicated Goo" and "Shanghai Noodle Factory" were the A and B-sides of a UK Traffic single released in December 1968. The single version of "Medicated Goo" is a shorter edit with false ending that is not heard on the stereo album. 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 from the single. It was likely recorded while Dave Mason was still in the band, despite his absence from the recording.

"Feelin' Good" and "Blind Man", the two live recordings that make up the second half of the album were not written by the band members.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3/5 stars[4]

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.[4]

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Just for You"Dave Mason2:18
2."Shanghai Noodle Factory"Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi, Chris Wood, Jimmy Miller, Larry Fallon5:06
3."Something's Got a Hold of My Toe"Winwood, Mason, Miller2:14
4."Withering Tree"Winwood, Capaldi3:04
5."Medicated Goo"Winwood, Miller3:36
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
6."Feelin' Good" (live at the Fillmore)Anthony Newley, Leslie Bricusse10:40
7."Blind Man" (live at the Fillmore)Deadric Malone, Joseph Scott7:06
Total length:34:04

Personnel[edit]

Traffic
Technical

Release history[edit]

Year Type Label Catalog #
1969 LP Island (UK) ILPS 9097
1969 LP United Artists (US) UAS-6702
1988 CD Island 7 90925-2
1990 LP Island 422-842 787-1
1990 CS Island 422-842 787-4
1990 CD Island 422-842 787-2
2001 CD Island 548540

References[edit]

  1. ^ on the album "Recorded live at the Fillmore West", although the Fillmore West did not yet exist on March 14, 1968; it did not open until July 5, 1968
  2. ^ "Billboard 200 - Traffic". Retrieved September 18, 2017.
  3. ^ Liner notes from the Dave Mason compilation Scrapbook.
  4. ^ a b "AllMusic: Last Exit album review". www.AllMusic.com. Retrieved 2009-09-12.