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Welcome To The Canteen - Traffic

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Welcome To The Canteen (1971) - Traffic

    Featuring »

Jim Capaldi, Jim Gordon, Ric(k) Grech, Reebop Kwaku-Baah (Remi Kabaka), Dave Mason, Steve Winwood, Chris Wood

    Tracklisting »

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Medicated Goo
  Date Performance: 1971-07-00, Running Time: 3:33
Sad And Deep As YouLyrics available Tabs available
  Date Performance: 1971-07-00, Running Time: 3:47
(Roamin' Thro' The Gloamin With) 40,000 HeadmenLyrics available
  Date Performance: 1971-07-00, Running Time: 6:18
Shouldn't Have Took More Than You Gave
  Date Performance: 1971-07-00, Running Time: 5:36
Dear Mr. Fantasy
  Date Performance: 1971-07-00, Running Time: 10:53
Gimme Some Lovin'Lyrics available
  Date Performance: 1971-07-00, Running Time: 9:00
    Released »


    Format »

Domestic Vinyl/CD Album

    Other Appearances »
Brian Humphries (Engineer), Jim Capaldi (Songwriter), Jim Capaldi (Songwriter), Spencer Davis (David Nelson Davies) (Songwriter), Spencer Davis (David Nelson Davies) (Songwriter), Dave Mason (Songwriter), Jimmy Miller (Songwriter), Steve Winwood (Songwriter), Muff Winwood (Songwriter), Steve Winwood (Songwriter), Muff Winwood (Songwriter), Steve Winwood (Songwriter), Chris Wood (Songwriter), Chris Wood (Songwriter), Visualeyes (Photography), Vartan (Reissue Art Direction), Smay Vision (Reissue Design), Jeff Willens (Mastered By), Visualeyes (Album Design), Bill Levenson (Reissue Supervised By), Monique McGuffin (Reissue Production Coordinator), John McDermott (2002 CD Reissue Liner Notes)

    Record Label »
United Artists Records/Island Records

    Catalogue Number »

UAS-5550 (US (UA) LP) ILPS 9166 (UK Island LP) 314 586 847-2 (2002 Island CD Reissue)

    Running Time »


    Liner Notes »

Recorded live at Fairfreld Hall, Croydon and the Oz Benefit Concert, London.

Mixed at Island Studios, Basing Street, London.

2002 CD Reissue Notes:

Mastered from the original analog master tapes at Universal Mastering Studios-East.

As evidenced by the critical and widespread commercial appeal of their 1970 'comeback' album John Barleycorn Must Die, Traffic had reemerged as a potent creative force. At their core, Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi, and Chris Wood represented a potent, enthusiastic partnership eager to take on new creative challenges.

In the recording studio, Traffic often drew upon one of their primary strengths, Winwood's ability to play multiple instruments. Winwood moved skillfully between keyboards, bass, and guitar as each new recording required. However, this same facility could not be replicated onstage. To remedy this, the group expanded to include former Blind Faith bassist Rick Grech, a move that allowed Winwood to focus primarily on guitar and keyboards. This edition toured successfully throughout 1970 in support of John Barleycorn Must Die.

In November 1970, recordings were made of the group's concerts at the Fillmore East in New York. A six song live album, which featured "Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring," "Glad," "Pearly Queen," "40,000 Headmen," "Dear Mr. Fantasy," and "Can't Find My Way Home" was prepared for release in early 1971, but was never issued.

By May 1971, Traffic had expanded once more. The break up of Derek & The Dominos created an opportunity for drummer Jim Gordon to join the group. With Gordon in tow, Capaldi placed new emphasis on his emergence as a vocalist. Joining Gordon and Grech in the new lineup was percussionist Reebop Kwaku Baah, a former sideman for Dizzy Gillespie.

The most striking addition, however, came in the form of guitarist Dave Mason. Mason had been a founding member of Traffic but creative differences had driven him from the group in 1968. These select 1971 dates represented Mason first significant work with Traffic since his departure three years before.

Island Records obviously sensed the significance of this reunion and dispatched engineer Brian Humphries to Fairfield Hall in Croydon to record the group's opening performance. Rough hewn, effusive renditions of past Traffic favorites such as "Dear Mr. Fantasy" were featured alongside Mason's "Shouldn't Have Took More Than You Gave" and the Spencer Davis Group standard "Gimme Some Lovin".

In Croydon, Traffic thrilled the capacity crowd and in the aftermath of their performance, Mason was aglow at the possibilities presented by their successful reunion. "Personally, I think we ought to do a bunch more concerts, go to America, do some recording and then tour here," Mason gushed enthusiastically to Rolling Stone the following day. "People in America have never seen Traffic buzzing like last night. But it's Stevie's band, so it is up to him. Every time I have seen them for the last couple of years, I have asked them if they would like to reform the orignal group, but the personalities were never receptive. This time, he said yeah."

Despite Mason's enthusiasm, this edition of Traffic would last but for just six performances. Winwood was determined to come off the road and focus his energies solely on recording. "I'll do these gigs," he admitted to Rolling Stone, "but after that I'm just stopping." Mason left soon thereafter and resumed his solo career in the United States.

Highlights from two of those six performances, including their opening night in Croydon and a July 1971 London benefit for Oz Magazine, would be mixed and issued in September 1971 as Welcome To The Canteen.

John McDermott

(P) (C) 2002 Universal-Island Records Ltd.
Manufactured by The Island Def Jam Music Group
Worldwide Plaza
825 Eighth Avenue
New York, NY 10019

Distributed by Universal Music & Video Distribution, Inc.

Warning: All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws.

Compact Disc Digital Audio

7 5

    Reviews »
Add your review here.

Much to feast on here
Review written by John Fitzgerald, December 5th, 2004

Though this live album may seem to suffer from poor sound at times, it strikes me as mainly being due to the fact that Traffic have left this album as honest as possible with no overdubs, something few big bands these days would ever allow. The funny thing is theres not much to hide here in an embarrassing way, there's a mix-up between those playing the lead guitars towards the end of "Dear Mr. Fantasy" but if anything, it makes for a fun moment not to be taken seriously as that is what live music should be all about. Dave Mason is listed as the only one here specifically playing lead guitar but "Dear Mr. Fantasy" is the track where this becomes a question as it is extended nicely by two long guitar solos but one has a different tone to the other and one is in the other channel. Though possible, I find it doubtful this would have been an "add in" later considering the other "flaws" that were left "as is" elsewhere on the record. As Winwood is the only other musician here noted as playing guitar of any kind, I guess we are left to assume he is playing the other guitar solo in this track. Whatever the case, there really isn't a bad track here as "Dear Mr. Fantasy" is a great guitar workout, the six strings chime on the quiet parts and are rightfully driving on the rocking sections. The short funkish "Medicated goo" here is better than the "Last exit" studio version, "Sad and deep as you" has never been bettered elsewhere as it's nicely stripped down here to Dave's acoustic guitar, vocals and the late Chris Wood's fitting flute and some light rhythms. "...40,000 Headmen" here ranks up there with the version that recently showed up on the "Live at Sunrise" Mason solo concert performance though in a different way, whereas it was the axe soloing that made the LAS version, here it's moved along by essential punchy rhythms which enhance the finer qualities in the tune. "Shouldn't have took more than you gave" is done very well here with more guitar work than usual though I may slightly lean towards the crystalline guitar intro on the original "Alone together" version than the siren like organ opening here but aside from that, it would be hard to pick this version apart from the other top contending versions out there. Finally, there is Winwood's Spencer Davis Group nugget "Gimmie some lovin'" here becoming an anthemic, stomping, party closer. This was recorded during Mason's shortest of his three stays in Traffic (only six college gigs) but miraculously (and luckily for us) two of those six shows were recorded and from those tapes came this rousing concert document. So dig in, there's many tasty treats available on this platter.

    Last Modified »
    Tracklisting »
Discography entry submitted by Jeff Kenney.