Friday, February 02, 2007

199. Traffic - John Barleycorn Must Die (1970)

Track Listing

1. Glad
2. Freedom Rider
3. Empty Pages
4. I Just Want You To Know
5. Stranger To Himself
6. John Barleycorn
7. Every Mother's Son


For a white British band who was a part of the British blues scene of the late 60's Traffic brings us what is a very funky record. While it is funky and with starts with a great upbeat instrumental jazzy funk piece in Glad it doesn't forget it's roots and there are elements of folk here, particularly in the title track.

The whole album is pretty great and there are elements here which really stand out, the sax in Freedom Rider is almost a premonition of the use that Roxy Music would make of the sax. It seems like the great Traffic had been listeing to stuff like Faiport Convention and such but took the Jazz element much further here. While Fairpot Convention have the Jazz in the background Traffic inverts the roles and puts jazz right at the front of the work, while still using flutes in a very folksy almost Jethro Tull like way for example.

This is a very fun album to listen to, and after a few days you will be nodding and toe-tapping your way through it like there's no tomorrow. All tracks are pretty good here and seeing as they are only 6 there is not a skippable one. Actually the transformation of Traffic from their self-titled album is pretty astonishing and it was a good change as well. While their self-titled album was very good but unremarkable this is excellent and remarkable. Good on you Steve Winwood. Get it from Amazon UK or US.

Track Highlights

1. John Barleycorn
2. Glad
3. Freedom Rider
4. Every Mother's Son

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

The album was initially intended by Steve Winwood to be a solo album, but when Chris Wood and Jim Capaldi joined him, it became Traffic once more. The album was originally dubbed "Mad Shadows".

Glad, funky!:


O caipira said...

Francisco, first of all I would like to say that your album reviews are really great. Much better than the book. I´m from Brazil and I bought a Portuguese edition of the book, I mean, a book from Portugal. And the reason that I´m writing a comment is that I found different albums in my book. The numbers 198 and 199 in my book are Baden Powell - Canto On Guitar and Amália Rodrigues - Com Que Voz. I was not finding these ones to listen and then I decided to look what you have reviewed about them and for my surprising the albums are differents. Amazing, huh? Well, it´s the first difference that I´ve found. If I find others I will tell you.
Carlos Granja
ps: Eu poderia ter escrito em Português. hehehe.

Anonymous said...

People should read this.