Wednesday, October 04, 2006

108. Traffic - Traffic (1968)

Track Listing

1. You Can All Join In
2. Pearly Queen
3. Don't Be Sad
4. Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring
5. Feelin' Alright
6. Vagabond Virgin
7. (Roamin' Thru The Gloamin' With) 40 000 Headmen
8. Crying To Be Heard
9. No Time To Live
10. Means To An End


Well, this is a pleasant album, but it also has some interesting elements. The British keep tryng to do their version of the blues throughout the 60's from the Rolling Stones to John Mayall, Clapton and Cream and Traffic is very much a part of that tradition but it has a certain jazzy twist.

Real nice use of uncommon intruments for a bluesy record, the hammond organ, sax, piano and particularly flute are all very good additions to the more traditional drums and guitars. This makes for a pretty unique album for the time and it is in fact a very good one. It manages to be both innovative and commercial.

Traffic does not have the rockyness of Cream or the Stones or the traditionalism of Mayall but it seems to be predicting another style of music. There are some little elements of what would later be prog albums, particularly in the instrumentation, reminding one of Jethro Tull or even Yes, but without the excesses. Traffic manages to make ther music infectious and pretty nice to listen to. As I said, a very pleasant album and an innovative one at that. Stream it from Napster or buy it from Amazon UK or US.

Track Highlights

1. Feelin' Alright
2. (Roamin' Thru The Gloamin' With) 40 000 Headmen
3. Crying To Be Heard
4. Don't Be Sad

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

Winwood and Mason were friends of Jimi Hendrix. Winwood played organ on the slower jam version of a song "Voodoo Chile" from Hendrix's famous double-LP Electric Ladyland and Mason played 12-string guitar on Jimi's version of "All Along The Watchtower" that appears on the same album. Hendrix first heard Bob Dylan's Watchtower at a party he was invited to by Mason and decided to record his own version the same night.

Additionally, Chris Wood provided flute for "1983 (A Merman I Should Turn To Be)".

Every Traffic album displays the "Traffic symbol" somewhere on the front and/or back cover. On the album cover reproduced above, Chris Wood is pointing to it.

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