Traffic - Island 1968

Tracks: 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. 40.000 Headmen / 8. Cryin' To Be Heard / 9. No Time To Live / 10. Means To An End / 11. Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush / 12. Am I What I Was Or Am I What I Am / 13. Withering Tree / 14. Medicated Goo / 15. Shanghai Noodle Factory


Traffic was one of the greatest band to come out of Britain in the late 1960's. By the time the band recorded their second album, the original line-up was together again after of short period as a 3-piece band. Guitarist and songwriter Dave Mason had more or less walked in and out of the band. After the success of "Mr Fantasy" and the hit singles "Paper Sun" and "Hole in My Shoe", Mason left the others in early 1968, but he returned in May to join in on the recordings of the follow-up album simply called "Traffic"

Mason contributed several strong songs to the album, and his melodic and catchy songs give a great balance to the more soulful songwriting of Steve Winwood and Jim Capaldi. In fact this album consist of mere strong tracks/recordings.

Mason's opener, the catchy "You Can All Join In" would no doubt have been another hit for the band, had it been released as a single in Britain. In fact it did reach the singles charts in some European countries. Mason's other songs are equally strong. "Don't Be Sad" is a fine quiet ballad in typical Traffic arrangement.

"Feelin'Alright" has become a classic that has been covered by numerous other artists; paradoxically many of these cover-version are done in soul-arrangements, making it sound almost like a Winwood song. "Vagabond Virgin" written with Capaldi is another melodic song, in an up-beat. almost acoustice arrangent. "Crying to be Heard" with its exploding chorus is another highlight on the album.

Most of Steve Winwood's material on the is also first-class. "Pearly Queen" and "Forty Thousand Headmen" are Traffic at their very best.

The three bonus-tracks that were originally released on on their third album "Last Exit" are all among my favorite Traffic songs.

The last to bonus tracks are taking from the soundtrack for the movie "Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush" - none of them particularly memorable; but still nice additions.

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