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Traffic - Traffic

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Traffic (1968) - Traffic

    Featuring »

Jim Capaldi, Dave Mason, Steve Winwood, Chris Wood

    Tracklisting »

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Regular Album Tracklisting:
You Can All Join InLyrics available
  Date Performance: 1968, Running Time: 3:38
Pearly QueenLyrics available
  Date Performance: 1968, Running Time: 4:20
Don't Be SadLyrics available
  Date Performance: 1968, Running Time: 3:24
Who Knows What Tomorrow May BringLyrics available
  Date Performance: 1968, Running Time: 3:11
Feelin' Alright?Lyrics available
  Date Performance: 1968, Running Time: 3:02
Vagabond VirginLyrics available
  Date Performance: 1968, Running Time: 5:22
(Roamin' Thro' The Gloamin With) 40,000 HeadmenLyrics available
  Date Performance: 1968, Running Time: 3:14
Cryin' To Be HeardLyrics available
  Date Performance: 1968, Running Time: 5:33
No Time To LiveLyrics available
  Date Performance: 1968, Running Time: 5:10
Means To An EndLyrics available
  Date Performance: 1968, Running Time: 2:39

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1999 UK CD Reissue Bonus Tracks:
Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush
  Date Performance: 1967, Running Time: 2:45
Am I What I Was Or Am I What I Am
  Date Performance: 1967, Running Time: 2:36
Withering Tree
  Date Performance: 1968, Running Time: 3:05
Medicated Goo
  Date Performance: 1968, Running Time: 3:37
Shanghai Noodle Factory
  Date Performance: 1968, Running Time: 5:06
    Released »


    Format »

Domestic Vinyl/CD Album

    Other Appearances »
Terry Brown (Engineer), Brian Humphries (Engineer), Andy Johns (Engineer), Glyn Johns (Engineer), Eddie Kramer (Engineer), Jim Capaldi (Songwriter), Jim Capaldi (Songwriter), Larry Fallon (Songwriter), Dave Mason (Songwriter), Dave Mason (Songwriter), Jimmy Miller (Songwriter), Steve Winwood (Songwriter), Steve Winwood (Songwriter), Chris Wood (Songwriter), Chris Wood (Songwriter), Gered Mankowitz (Photography), Richard/Dick Polak (Photography), Jimmy Miller (Liner Notes), Jimmy Miller (Produced By), Jim Capaldi (Original Album Design), Jim Capaldi (Original Album Design), Phil Smee (CD Packaging), Tim Chacksfield (Reissue Project Co-Ordinator), Brian Hogg (Traffic Story)

    Record Label »
United Artists/Island Records

    Catalogue Number »

UAS 6676 (Original US UA LP) ILP 981 (Original UK Island LP) IMCD 265 546 498-2 (2000 UK CD Reissue)

    Running Time »


    Liner Notes »

The U.A. Man wants some big underground D.J. to write the liner notes. Traffic don't really care whether there are liner notes are not. And I'm just thinking that not enough people know about Traffic.

Not enough people have ever driven with Dave, or had him sit on their bed, and play an acoustic, and sing four new songs, and ask if you dig them; and suddenly you don't know how to say "yes" that really means it.

Not enough people have ever met Chris Wood, or any other saxophone player free of trying to top "the Bird", or Stilt, or Coltrane; blowing as honestly hard that the roots of his hair fly out. Fewer people have ever seen him sleep.

No one else ever went to Birmingham, that weekend with Steve, to see the Cream right after they formed, and at a time when Steve was getting into coming out. Not too many people have seen him play, while too many who have seen him, have not heard him.

Too many wonder how Jim can sweat so much, or if the drops will begin to fall off in time. Not enough people know that nothing falls off of Jim out of time.

And the U.A. Man still thinks that some underground D.J. should write the liner notes.

It's all a shame! Jimmy Miller

2000 UK CD Reissue Notes:

The original Traffic line-up: Stevie Winwood (vocals/guitar/organ), Dave Mason (vocals/guitar), Chris Wood (saxophone/flute) and Jim Capaldi (drums/vocals) had, by January 1968, been shorn by the departure of Mason. Undaunted, the rump took to the road as a three-piece and in doing so discovered an extraordinary bond. Naturally the spotlight fell on Winwood who filled the sound with pedal bass lines, organ and soaring voice, but Capaldi's measured, rhythmic punch and Wood's intuitive woodwind breathed colour into the sound. (Despite a rudimentary recording, a flavour of Traffic as a trio is preserved on two live tracks issued on 'Last Exit' (1969).) There was little studio work, however, although Island did plug the gap by coupling 'No Face, No Name, No Number' (from 'Mr. Fantasy') with a new recording, '40000 Headmen'. Unlike previous singles, it failed to chart.

Mason meanwhile, was equally productive. He produced the first Family album, 'Music In A Doll's House', which featured one of his songs, 'Never Like This', and the same group accompanied him on a solo single, 'Little Woman' (February 1969). By May he was back in the Traffic fold, having returned from Greece "mellow", (to quote Capaldi), and armed with a batch of new songs. Inspired, the foursome began recording their eponymous second album. 'Traffic' captures the group at their communal best. Mason's contributions, 'Don't Be Sad', the folk-styled 'You Can All Join In' and 'Feelin' Alright', are firmly part of the canon, the last-named achieving anthemic proportions when covered by Joe Cocker. Indeed every song is a triumph; from the fiery punch of 'Pearly Queen' to the meditative longing of 'No Time To Live' and 'Crying To Be Heard'. 'Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring' is, perhaps, the highlight, but who needs comparisons in a bowl of diamonds? 'Traffic' captures a spirit of adventure and those early weeks in Berkshire spill from every track.

Paradoxically, it was Mason's work which was used to promote the album. 'You Can All Join In' was issued as a single in Europe and became the title track to a celebrated sampler in Britain. With this in mind, 'Feelin' Alright' was lifted as the UK 45, but both versions were backed by the searing 'Withering Tree', on which Winwood allowed his expressive voice to flow fully. It may indeed have proved biographical, as by October Mason again had quit the band. "We became Traffic and I couldn't handle it," he explained in later years. "I wanted to create within that context but I wanted a life out of it." "Dave and I see things differently," was Winwood's enigmatic response. That brief optimism over, Traffic reverted to a trio, capping a successful US tour with an open air gig in San Francisco, jamming with the Grateful Dead. Yet the strain of being sole frontman began to tell on Winwood and at the end of 1968 he told Chris Blackwell he was leaving the group and split for Holland. A 'final' single, 'Medicated Goo' c/w 'Shanghai Noodle Factory', was duly exhumed. The topside, on which Stevie plays almost all the instruments, is an unfettered joy, while the more measured coupling captures the band in semi-funk mode. Both of these tracks, plus 'Withenng Tree', have been added here, along with the first two tracks Traffic recorded in 1967. Both were cut for the 'coming of age' film, 'Here We Go 'Round The Mulberry Bush'. The title track needs little introduction but the other, 'Am I What I Was Or Was I What I Am' has previously only been available on the soundtrack album. Strangely, it's not a million miles musically from Stevie's work with the later Spencer Davis Group, the revived line-up of which also contribute to the movie.

With Winwood considering his future, Chris and Jim rejoined Dave and keyboard player Mick Weaver (aka Wynder K Frog) in Mason, Capaldi, Wood and Frog. They too retired to a cottage, this time in Worcestershire, the unit collapsed after two months, leaving behind a handful of gigs and a John Peel radio session. Mason then left for the USA where he cut the excellent 'Alone Together'.

When Winwood returned from Holland he became reaquainted with guitarist Eric Clapton. They had briefly worked together in the Powerhouse in 1966, but Stevie opted to stay with Spencer Davis rather than join Cream.

With the latter now dissolved, the notion of a new group arose, and thus Blind Faith was forged. Ginger Baker and Ric Grech (ex-Family) completed the line-up of a group sadly unable to fulfil its potential. A harrowing US tour sapped Winwood's enthusiasm and by September 1969 the band's brief time was over. The following year Stevie joined Ginger Baker's Airforce, a huge and ultimately unworkable big band which coincidentally included Chris Wood. However, Winwood was never a full-time conscript and as he owed his US outlet two albums, began work on a solo project. He duly enlisted producer Guy Stevens, and started recording 'Mad Shadows'.

These original analogue masters have been digitally transfered at 24 bits resolution, processed using Sonic Solutions NoNoise technology and mastered to 16 bit for CD using Prism SNS Noise Shaping.

"Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush" & "Am I What I Was Or Am I What I Am" (P) 1967

(P) (C) 1968 Island Records Ltd., A Universal Music company

The copyright in this sound recording and of this artwork is owned by Island Records Limited.

WARNING: All rights reserved. Unauthorised copying, lending, hiring, reproduction, public performance and broadcasting prohibited.

Island Remasters

Made in the EU

Compact Disc Digital Audio



UN 899

7 314 7

    Reviews »
Add your review here.

More straightforward than Mr. Fantasy
Review written by John Fitzgerald, June 18th, 2005

The second Traffic album shows a more commercial side to the band with mainly straightforward numbers such as Mason's delightful bouncy sing a long "You can all join in" (on which Dave plays the acoustic guitar), the nice sounding laid back "Don't be sad" (on which Dave plays guitar (presumably the lead, as Winwood is listed as playing the rhythm guitar on this one) & harmonica), "Cryin' to be heard" (on which Dave plays bass) which has suspenseful, quiet, crystalline verse sections against the crashing, shouting chorus parts, and the original version of his classic, much covered "Feelin' alright" (on which Dave plays the acoustic guitar). It's amazing that at least one artist (probably Joe Cocker) but possibly others (though they may have built their versions off of Cockers cover) were influenced by this plaintive version in the first place as on first hear, it may not stand out all that well (as I probably prefer the first take of this song (which ended up being released on the 2 LP Mason compilation on Island called "Scrapbook") but this one is growing on me more and more with it's good strumming feel and chunky piano chords. I'm not sure about the US Island CD remaster but I can recommend the latest UK version of the CD as this is the one I have. What I like about it is that the liner notes inside list detailed information as to who plays what on each song and although the personnel listed are no surprise, it is rather surprising to see how much they hopped around from one instrument to another on this album as according to the notes (in addition to his lead vocals on the above mentioned tracks which he also penned), Mason is playing the acoustic guitar and he shares the lead vocals on the likable light peppy pop of "Vagabond virgin" with Jim Capaldi (who he also wrote the song with), the harmonica on "Pearly queen" which sounds like a slow chugging blues here next to DM's faster rocking solo versions, though it does speed up in the guitar solo sections here (though those are played by Winwood) and organ on the howling atmospheric ballad "No time to live". The notes also specifically state that Mason does NOT play/sing anything on "Who knows what tomorrow may bring" (which in it's whispery way reminds me somewhat of a Traffic track called "Shanghai noodle factory" that showed up later on the "Last exit" album), "(Roamin' thro' the gloamin with) 40,000 Headmen" (which here is a flute and maracas featured haunting shaker but I think the "Welcome to the canteen" live version of this track really brings out the best in the song's nuances) and the passable rocker "Means to an end" (though it does seem a rather weak closing statement). The good thing about the latest (as of this date) UK Island remastered CD is that it includes half useful bonus cuts which are the gleeful marching "Here we go round the mulberry bush" (from the soundtrack of the film with the same title) and the bland but more rare "...mulberry bush" track "Am I what I was or am I what I am" (though "Utterly simple" also appears on the "...mulberry bush" soundtrack, that same version of that track is on the more essential Traffic album "Mr. Fantasy"), so that helps clean things up, but "Withering tree", "Medicated goo" & "Shanghai noodle factory" also appear on the disc as bonus tracks and though they are listed as "single tracks" they are the same versions that appear, again, on the more essential Traffic album "Last exit" so these are a waste of space and I think the unique single tracks "Paper sun", "Hole in my shoe" & "Smiling phases" (though these tracks have since shown up on various Traffic compilation albums since and it could be argued that these 3 would be more appropriate additions to the "Mr. Fantasy" Traffic CD) the aforementioned "Feelin' alright (Take 1)" and possibly "Little woman" from the only Dave Mason solo Island single (I say "possibly", since Family are the backing band of this track, it may not be deemed appropriate to include such a track on a Traffic CD though Island did see fit to include "Just for you", the other side of the one off Island solo Mason single on Traffic's "Last exit" album as Traffic is the backing band on that track) would have been better inclusions rather than those redundant three. There are no musician notes on the bonus tracks though which is a shame. All in all though, aside from an unnecessary volume boosting on "Here we go round the mulberry bush" (compared to how it sounds elsewhere), this is a very well put together CD package and though it may be too commercial a representation of Traffic, it may be a good place to start for those wanting to dip their toes in without diving head long in to Traffic's more psychedelic and improvisational material at the beginning of their investigations.

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