...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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The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys (1971) UICY-93646 317MB
First released in November 1971: "The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys" is the Most Popular Release by this Great Band. The Nucleus of: Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi & Chris Wood are here with assistance from Ric Grech, Jim Gordon & Reebop Kwaku Baah. The opening cut: "Hidden Treasure", is a Acoustic gem with the Flutes of Chris Wood, gliding over Steve's, Heartfelt Vocals. "Treasure" is an Amazing Tune that crosses Lines between Folk & Jazz, it sounds Much Better on this Re-Master, the Bass is More Fully Defined than the LP. The Title Cut, might be the Best Merger of Rock & Jazz, featured on ANY Record. The Piano explores many moods, and the Percussion & Sax, just seem to Fly here, this is an Mature piece of music that got the Most attention on FM Radio of all the tracks on this Record, and it deserves the Praise it has Gotten of the Years.
"Light Up" is Jim Calpaldi's, Showcase and it is the closest thing here to R & B. Jim's, in Fine Voice here and this was Popular in Dance Clubs in the UK, back in the 80's (In a much Longer Mix). "Rock N' Roll Stew" was a Single ( And the Full Single version is a Bonus Track, with the seldom heard Part 2 included ). Again, this One has Jim on Vocals and is considered the "Rock Number" of the Bunch it's Punchy & Good. "Many a Mile To Freedom" is almost a return to the Band's sound of 67-69, gentle guitars and Chris Wood's Flutes set the tone, and Steve shines again on an Fantastic Vocal here. "Rainmaker" wraps things up, and like the opener: "Treasure", this Great Record, closes out the way it Began with Folk & a Touch of Jazz and Lot's of Style. To List the Best Records of the 70's: "Low Spark of High Heeled Boys" would be in the Top 20...One of the Greats...Re-Mixed, and sounding better...Five Stars !!!
1. Hidden Treasure
2. Low Spark of High Heeled Boys
3. Light Up or Leave Me Alone
4. Rock and Roll Stew
5. Many a Mile to Freedom
7. Rock and Roll Stew, Pts. 1 & 2 [Single Version] - bonus track