Mr. Fantasy

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Mr. Fantasy
MrFantasy.jpg
Studio album by Traffic
Released December 1967
Recorded April–November 1967
Olympic Studios, London
Genre Psychedelic rock
Length 33:54 (UK album)
Label Island
United Artists
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 December 1967. The recording included group members 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 200 chart.[2]

Overview[edit]

The album was recorded at Olympic Studios 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 albums on the Island Records label. This edition had a color gatefold cover and included 10 songs, but left out songs from early Traffic singles. 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".

US album 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."

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 about 1980. This edition was also released as Mr. Fantasy in Australia and New Zealand by Festival Records. Also, the first Canadian edition was based on the US album, but dropped two songs. This was released with a unique cover under the title Reaping but replaced by the UK stereo album in the early 1970s.

Different mixes and recordings[edit]

Both UK and US albums were released in significantly different stereo and mono mixes. This led to four distinct variations of the album.

The song "Giving to You", was released in 3 different versions. The first was a mono B-side mix 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 without singing in the introduction, which was released 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]

Four variations 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.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[6]
Rolling Stone Positive[7]

Rolling Stone gave the US 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".[8]

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."[6]

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, 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" (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"   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" (stereo album version; mono album has the mono single mix) 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]

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. ^ 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. ^ a b Ruhlmann, William (2011). "Mr. Fantasy – Traffic | AllMusic". allmusic.com. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  7. ^ "Traffic: Heaven Is In Your Mind : Music Reviews : Rolling Stone". 27 April 1968. Retrieved 13 September 2012. 
  8. ^ "Traffic: Heaven Is In Your Mind : Music Reviews : Rolling Stone". web.archive.org. 27 April 1968. Archived from the original on 24 January 2009. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  9. ^ http://www.stevewinwood.com/news/5546

External links[edit]