Traffic - Island 1968
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.