Traffic is the second album by the English rock band Traffic, released in 1968. It peaked at number 9 in the UK albums chart and at number 17 on the Billboard 200. Traffic had one of the most original (and interesting) sounds in British rock, and not only because of their eclectic musical influences, which embraced psychedelia, folk, jazz, soul, R&B, and even classical. Their unique sound was also the result of their unusual instrumentation. While the group went through a number of personnel changes, its constant core members were Steve Winwood (vocals, keyboards, guitars), Chris Wood (sax, flute, and organ), and Jim Capaldi (drums & percussion). With no regular bass player, Winwood often filled in with the bass pedals on his organ. And, while there is no lack of guitars on most Traffic recordings, the guitar is not emphasized or particularly important to the group’s sound.
One of the finest albums the original quartet produced their second self titled album captures the musical diversity that Traffic was capable of creating. When the trio fo Winwood-Capaldi-Woods began recording their second album Dave Mason decided to join them in the studio. The resulting tracks were so strong that the members decided to allow Mason to rejoin. Mason provides some of the second album’s highlights with his single Feelin’ Alright a magical 3 minute portrait of the band’s best qualities.
That isn’t to slight Winwood. He also (in collaboration with Capaldi and Wood)wrote some of his finest material for their second album. The band sounds more cohesive than on either Mr. Fantasy or Heaven Is In Your Mind Traffic isn’t the band’s best album (John Barleycorn Must Die still stands as the band’s definitive statement) but it is the best album recorded by the original quartet.
Release Date: February, 1968
Styles: Album Rock – Art Rock – Blues-Rock – British Psychedelia – Contemporary Pop/Rock – Prog-Rock
Traffic – Traffic Tracklist
- “You Can All Join In” (Mason) — 3:34
- “Pearly Queen” (Capaldi/Winwood) — 4:20
- “Don’t Be Sad” (Mason) — 3:24
- “Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring” (Capaldi/Winwood/Wood)[note 1] — 3:11
- “Feelin’ Alright?” (Mason) — 4:16
- “Vagabond Virgin” (Capaldi/Mason) — 5:21
- “(Roamin’ Thru the Gloamin’ with) 40,000 Headmen” (Capaldi/Winwood) — 3:15
- “Cryin’ to Be Heard” (Mason) — 5:14
- “No Time to Live” (Capaldi/Winwood) — 5:10
- “Means to an End” (Capaldi/Winwood) — 2:39
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