Traffic – On The Road (1973)

FrontCover1On The Road is a live album (2 LPs, reissued on 1 CD) by English rock band Traffic, released in 1973. Recorded live in Germany, it features the Shoot Out at the Fantasy Factory lineup plus extra keyboardist (for live performances) Barry Beckett.

The initial U.S. release of On the Road (Island/Capitol) 1973 was as a single LP consisting of: “The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys” (edited to 15:10), “Shoot Out at the Fantasy Factory,” “(Sometimes I Feel So) Uninspired” & “Light Up or Leave Me Alone.”

The album reached number 40 in the UK and number 29 in the USA. (by wikipedia)

One of the finest live albums….and who knew that Steve Winwood was such a fine guitarist? Was lucky enough to seem them in 1974 and this album is a fine reminder of just how good they were live. (by Cletus Dodgy-Mullet)

Strong effort live effort byTraffic. It’s pretty hard to sound bad when you have the Muscle Shoals rhythm section backing you up. The jams on Glad and Low Spark are burning! They could have eliminated one of the two songs from Shootout at the Fantasy Factory. But overall a good showing. (by Seanon)

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Get “On The Road” the drive is so good that you will want to stay “On The Road” there are not any pot holes, but there is definitely one big Traffic jam! Piano-guitar-Percussion-Bass-Sax-Flute-Drums-Keyboards. A flowing Traffic jam like none you have ever been in, get “On The Road” and experience live Traffic! (by Tripp Gazzeron)

Backed by Muscle Shoals sidemen, Winwood, Capaldi, and Wood rock like never before. Traffic songs that were already great were transformed into extended jazzy jams with interesting interplay between all the players. A funky groove unites all the separate tracks, making this a great driving album or a soundtrack for doing housework. Too bad the sidemen split from Traffic after this, since the album promised potential future development that might have significantly altered the direction of contemporary music. As it is, it’s a lesser-known gem in the rock archive that is absolutely necessary for any true music fan of 70’s progressive rock. (by Manley Peebleson)

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Thefirst time I saw Traffic was in 1973 at the Circus Krone, Munich … And it was such a thrilling concert … they played over 3 hours … one of the finest concerts I ever saw.

And here is one of the finest live albums ever … a timeless classic recording …  !

And a few weeks ago I saw Steve Winwood again … and he´still in a great shape !

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Personnel:
Reebop Kwaku Baah (percussion)
Barry Beckett (keyboards)
Jim Capaldi (drums, percussion, vocals)
Roger Hawkins (drums)
David Hood (bass)
Steve Winwood (vocals, guitar, piano)
Chris Wood (saxophone, flute)

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Tracklist:
01. Glad (Winwood) / Freedom Rider (Capaldi/Winwood) 21.00
02. Tragic Magic (Wood) 8.41
03. (Sometimes I Feel So) Un-Inspired (Capaldi/Winwood) 10.34
04. Shoot Out At The Fantasy Factory (Capaldi/Winwood) 7.04
05. Light Up Or Leave Me Alone (Capaldi) 10.49
06. Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys (Capaldi/Winwood) 12.46

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Traffic – Same (1968)

FrontCover1Traffic is the second studio album by the English rock band Traffic, released in 1968 on Island Records in the United Kingdom as ILP 981T (mono)/ILPS 9081T (stereo), and United Artists in the United States, as UAS 6676 (stereo). It peaked at number 9 in the UK albums chart[1] and at number 17 on the Billboard 200. It was the last album recorded by the group before their initial breakup.

In January 1968, after some initial success in Britain with their debut album Mr. Fantasy, Dave Mason had departed from the group. He produced the debut album by the group Family, containing in its ranks future Traffic bass player Ric Grech, while Traffic went on the road. In May, the band had invited Mason back to begin recording the new album.

Mason ended up writing and singing half of the songs on the album (including his biggest hit “Feelin’ Alright?”), but making scant contribution to the songs written by Jim Capaldi and Steve Winwood. His flair for pop melody had always been at odds with the others’ jazz ambitions, evidenced by the dichotomy seen for the songs on this album, and by October he was again out of the band. He would return one more time for a tour and album in 1971 to run out the band’s contract. (by wikipedia)

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After dispensing with his services in December 1967, the remaining members of Traffic reinstated Dave Mason in the group in the spring of 1968 as they struggled to write enough material for their impending second album. The result was a disc evenly divided between Mason’s catchy folk-rock compositions and Steve Winwood’s compelling rock jams. Mason’s material was the most appealing both initially and eventually: the lead-off track, a jaunty effort called “You Can All Join In,” became a European hit, and “Feelin’ Alright?” turned out to be the only real standard to emerge from the album after it started earning cover versions from Joe Cocker and others in the 1970s. Winwood’s efforts, with their haunting keyboard-based melodies augmented by Chris Wood’s reed work and Jim Capaldi’s exotic rhythms, work better as musical efforts than lyrical ones. Primary lyricist Capaldi’s words tend to be impressionistic reveries or vague psychological reflections; the most satisfying is the shaggy-dog story “Forty Thousand Headmen,” which doesn’t really make any sense as anything other than a dream.

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But the lyrics to Winwood/Capaldi compositions take a back seat to the playing and Winwood’s soulful voice. As Mason’s simpler, more direct performances alternate with the more complex Winwood tunes, the album is well-balanced. It’s too bad that the musicians were not able to maintain that balance in person; for the second time in two albums, Mason found himself dismissed from the group just as an LP to which he’d made a major contribution hit the stores. Only a few months after that, the band itself split up, but not before scoring their second consecutive Top Ten ranking in the U.K.; the album also reached the Top 20 in the U.S., breaking the temporarily defunct group stateside. (by by William Ruhlmann)

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Personnel:
Jim Capaldi (drums, percussion, background vocals)
Dave Mason (guitar, vocals, harmonica, organ)
Steve Winwood (keyboards, vocals, guitar, bass)
Chris Wood (saxophone, flute, background vocals, percussion)

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Tracklist:
01. You Can All Join In (Mason) 3.34
02. Pearly Queen (Capaldi/Winwood) 4.20
03. Don’t Be Sad (Mason) 3.24
04. Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring (Capaldi/Winwood/Wood) (*) 3.11
05. Feelin’ Alright? (Mason) 4.16
06. Vagabond Virgin (Capaldi/Mason) 5.21
07. 40,000 Headmen” (Capaldi/Winwood) 3.15
08. Cryin’ To Be Heard (Mason) 5.14
09. No Time To Live (Capaldi/Winwood) 5.10
10. Means To An End (Capaldi/Winwood) 2.39

(*)  The original LP issue credits the song to Winwood/Capaldi. However, both BMI records and later issues of the album list Chris Wood as co-writer.

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