...After disbanding in 1969, during which time Winwood joined Blind Faith, Traffic reunited in 1970 to release the critically acclaimed album John Barleycorn Must Die. The band's line-up varied from this point until they disbanded again in 1975, although a partial reunion, with Winwood and Capaldi, took place in 1994...Read more
Traffic was a rock band from Birmingham, England, in the late 1960s and led by Steve Winwood, with Jim Capaldi, Chris Wood and Dave Mason, after Winwood left the Spencer Davis Group.
The four musicians often played at a club called The Elbow Room in Aston which is where the name 'Traffic' was conceived after observing passing cars. With Mason and Capaldi eager to form a new group, Winwood agreed to join the partnership along with Chris Wood and so the four members retreated to a secluded cottage in Aston Tirrold, Berkshire to rehearse and record their early work.
Their debut single was 1967's "Paper Sun", a UK hit. "Hole in My Shoe", the second single, was an even bigger hit, and set the stage for a rivalry between Winwood and Mason, the group's principal songwriters. Their debut album was Mr. Fantasy which, like the singles, was a hit in the UK but not in the US or elsewhere. Their second album, Traffic, was released in 1968. The band began touring the US, but Mason was fired and Winwood announced the band's break-up. Winwood formed Blind Faith but after that band split in 1969 he began working on a solo recording which eventually turned into another Traffic album, John Barleycorn Must Die, their most successful album yet.
After some personnel changes (including the return of Mason), Traffic released The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys, an American hit that didn't chart in the UK. Once again, personnel problems wracked the band as Capaldi began a solo career. Still, Shoot Out at the Fantasy Factory was another hit, as was When the Eagle Flies (1974 in music). Capaldi's solo career began to heat up, and Winwood finally launched one of his own, recording the smash hit album Arc of a Diver. Winwood's solo career peaked with the album Back in the High Life. Traffic did not record again until 1994, when they released Far From Home. After re-uniting, Capaldi and Winwood toured widely but were unable to regain their former stature.
Traffic was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 15, 2004.
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On The Road (1973) UICY-93643 524MB
It is hard to criticise this incredible live album negatively at all. For me one of the top five progressive live albums to come out of the 70's. Remember Yessongs, Second's Out and also Ricochet by TD , On The Road sits proudly up there with these gems and it was a double LP release. The musician's worked brilliantly together with Reebop Kwaku Baah back in the percussive fold. Here we have ' jamming' at it's absolute best." Glad / Freedom Rider" the opener is 20 minutes of mesmerizing sound. Being live the tracks have been lengthened to accomodate for the apty titled On The Road LP" Light Up Or Leave Me Alone" is another great track as is the live version of the much debated ( Sometimes I feel So) Uninspired" but for me the highpoint is the seventeen minutes of " Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys" As I said all the intrument playing is of exceptional quality but Chris Wood's sax and flute needs a special mention too. Not an album to ignore especially if you are fond of those great 70's live albums.
1. Glad / Freedom Rider
2. Tragic Magic
3. (Sometimes I Feel So) Uninspired
4. Shoot Out At The Fantasy Factory
5. Light Up Or Leave Me Alone
6. The Low Spark Of High-Heeled Boys