Mr. Fantasy

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Mr. Fantasy
Studio album by
Released8 December 1967
RecordedApril–November 1967
StudioOlympic Studios, London
GenrePsychedelic rock
United Artists
ProducerJimmy Miller
Traffic chronology
Mr. Fantasy
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 and 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 December 1967. The recording included group members Jim Capaldi, Steve Winwood, Chris Wood, and Dave Mason; however, Mason left the band shortly after the album was released. The album reached the number 16 position in the UK albums chart,[1] and number 88 on the Billboard 200 chart in the United States.[2]


The album was recorded at Olympic Studios in London with American record producer Jimmy Miller and recording engineer Phill Brown. When Brown was asked his favourite memory of engineering, he responded: "Recording Dear Mr Fantasy, one o'clock in the morning, November 1967."[3]

The UK release was one of the earliest rock albums on the Island Records label. This edition had a color gatefold cover and included 10 songs. As with common practice in the 1960s, the original UK album left out hit songs from Traffic singles of the era. The sitar, an instrument widely associated with this era of Traffic due to its use on the singles "Paper Sun" and "Hole in My Shoe", is used on only one track on the UK album, "Utterly Simple".

United States version[edit]

The first US version was released in early 1968 by United Artists Records and re-titled Heaven Is in Your Mind. It featured a different, non-gatefold cover showing three members of the group without Mason. For this edition, a short looping snippet of the single "Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush" was added between most of the songs. The US LP was re-sequenced and also added three other singles ("Paper Sun", "Hole in My Shoe", and "Smiling Phases") but deleted two 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 "Paper Sun".

After the first pressing the title of the US album was quickly changed back to Mr. Fantasy, but the new cover and track list remained until United Artists went out of business and Island reissued the UK stereo version in the United States in 1980. This edition was also released as Mr. Fantasy in Australia and New Zealand by Festival Records. The first Canadian edition was based on the US album, but dropped two songs. This was released in a unique cover with the title Reaping but replaced by the UK stereo album in 1970.

Different mixes and recordings[edit]

Both UK and US albums were released in significantly different stereo and mono mixes. These differences led to four distinct variations of the album. All of these have been re-issued on CD. The 1999 UK re-issue features the UK version in stereo and the US album in mono. 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 UK mono version was also released in the US as Mr. Fantasy with mono bonus tracks.

The song "Giving to You", was released in 3 different versions. The first was a mono B-side with lyrics in the introduction sung by Winwood. This also appeared on the US mono LP. The mono and stereo UK albums had a revised version, which was included on the US stereo album. The soundtrack album for Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush also contains a different recording of "Utterly Simple" than the one used on this album.

"Coloured Rain" was recorded as "Colored Rain" by Eric Burdon & The New Animals featuring a guitar solo by Andy Summers.[4] It was also recorded by The Hassles, Al Kooper and Slade. "Smiling Phases" was recorded by Blood, Sweat & Tears on their self-titled second album released in 1968.[5] "Dealer" was recorded as part of the medley "Dealer/Spanish Rose" by Santana on their Inner Secrets album released in 1978.


A review in the Apr 27, 1968 edition of Rolling Stone called the album "one of the best from any contemporary group". The reviewer felt that Steve Winwood's voice had "matured, acquired new depth and new reaches, a more individual feeling and a greater range in both style and tones", and considered 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.[6]

It was voted number 517 in Colin Larkin's All Time Top 1000 Albums 3rd Edition (2000). [7]


Allmusic's retrospective review is 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".[8] In 1999 the album was added to the Grammy Hall of Fame.[9]

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
1."Heaven Is in Your Mind"Jim Capaldi, Steve Winwood, Chris WoodWinwood and Capaldi4:16
2."Berkshire Poppies"Capaldi, Winwood, WoodWinwood2:55
3."House for Everyone"Dave MasonMason2:05
4."No Face, No Name and No Number"Capaldi, WinwoodWinwood3:35
5."Dear Mr. Fantasy"Capaldi, Winwood, WoodWinwood5:44
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
6."Dealer"Capaldi, WinwoodCapaldi and Winwood3:34
7."Utterly Simple"MasonMason3:16
8."Coloured Rain"Capaldi, Winwood, WoodWinwood2:43
9."Hope I Never Find Me There"MasonMason2:12
10."Giving to You" (album version)Capaldi, Mason, Winwood, WoodNone4:20
Mono bonus tracks from the US 2000 CD release
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
11."Paper Sun"Capaldi, WinwoodWinwood4:15
12."Giving to You" (mono single version)Capaldi, Mason, Winwood, WoodWinwood4:12
13."Hole in My Shoe"MasonMason2:54
14."Smiling Phases"Capaldi, Winwood, WoodWinwood2:43
15."Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush"Capaldi, Mason, Winwood, WoodGroup (solo parts on chorus and bridge by Winwood)2:18

Original US version[edit]

No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
1."Paper Sun"Capaldi, WinwoodWinwood3:26
2."Dealer"Capaldi, WinwoodCapaldi and Winwood3:13
3."Coloured Rain"Capaldi, Winwood, WoodWinwood2:46
4."Hole in My Shoe"MasonMason3:04
5."No Face, No Name and No Number"Capaldi, WinwoodWinwood3:38
6."Heaven Is in Your Mind"Capaldi, Winwood, WoodWinwood and Capaldi4:22
7."House for Everyone"MasonMason2:05
8."Berkshire Poppies"Capaldi, Winwood, WoodWinwood2:59
9."Giving to You" (stereo album version; mono album has the mono single mix)Capaldi, Mason, Winwood, WoodNone4:18
10."Smiling Phases"Capaldi, Winwood, WoodWinwood2:44
11."Dear Mr. Fantasy"Capaldi, Winwood, WoodWinwood5:33
12."We're a Fade, You Missed This"Capaldi, WinwoodWinwood0:53
Stereo bonus tracks from the US 2000 CD release
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
13."Utterly Simple"MasonMason3:17
14."Hope I Never Find Me There"MasonMason2:09
15."Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush"Capaldi, Mason, Winwood, WoodGroup (solo parts on chorus and bridge by Winwood)2:35
16."Am I What I Was or Am I What I Am"Capaldi, Winwood, WoodWinwood2:32




  • Eddie Kramerengineer
  • John Benton-Harris – photography
  • Margaret Goldfarb – re-release coordinator


  1. ^ Chart Stats
  2. ^ "Billboard 200 - Traffic". Retrieved 18 September 2017.
  3. ^ McGee, Alan (9 April 2008). Wherefore Art Thou Mark Hollis?,
  4. ^ Andy Summers, One Train Later, Thomas Dunne Books, 2006. ISBN 0-312-35914-4.
  5. ^ Blood, Sweat & Tears (Blood, Sweat & Tears album)#Track listing Track Listing of Blood, Sweat & Tears (album) Retrieved 5 January 2014
  6. ^ "Traffic: Heaven Is In Your Mind : Music Reviews : Rolling Stone". 27 April 1968. Archived from the original on 24 January 2009. Retrieved 7 August 2011.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  7. ^ Colin Larkin, ed. (2000). All Time Top 1000 Albums (3rd ed.). Virgin Books. p. 180. ISBN 0-7535-0493-6.
  8. ^ William Ruhlmann (2011). "Mr. Fantasy – Traffic | AllMusic". Retrieved 7 August 2011.
  9. ^
  10. ^

External links[edit]