7E-1020 When The Eagle Flies
Produced by Chris Blackwell and Traffic
Released on September 1974
UK CHART POSITION #31 . . . US CHART POSITION #9 . . . GOLD RECORD (11/5/74)
Find it at GEMM
7E-1020 cover
[high resolution photo]
 

A listless turkey by any other name. For truth in advertising, look to the colorless cover. Clearly the band had tired of being in Traffic, and When The Eagle Flies is a wilting affair missing the energy and interplay of classics like Low Spark. Steve Winwood mumbles his way through “Love” and “Something New,” the band’s arrangements blowing through these thin compositions like a dry desert wind. I’ve flown with Eagle about a dozen times, and it’s not a completely thankless journey. “Dream Gerrard,” cowritten with the Bonzo Dog Band’s Viv Stanshall, is mildly mesmerizing; “Walking in the Wind” isn’t bad either. But most of the album lacks focus, dissipating into the aether without any sign of resistance. The title track, for example, might be the most apathetic treatment of the apocalypse I’ve ever heard. You can hear some interesting things going on in the music, vaguely jazzy sections and even a Mellotron, though the anemic band chemistry this time is hardly a catalyst for great things. Even fans of Traffic are likely to get frustrated with this sluggish performance, and you may want to pursue the solo work of Winwood and Jim Capaldi prior to plunking down ten bucks on a lame bird like this. Of course, I didn’t get much out of Last Exit or Welcome to the Canteen either. Not that I begrudge Traffic the money (assuming they still collect royalties on this record), but your time should be valuable, and When The Eagle Flies will waste too much of it searching for something that isn’t there.

7E-1020 back cover 7E-1020 lyric sleeve
7E-1020 back cover 7E-1020 lyric sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. SOMETHING NEW    3:15
  2. DREAM GERRARD    (Steve Winwood/Viv Stanshall)    11:03
  3. GRAVEYARD PEOPLE    6:05
  4. WALKING IN THE WIND    6:48
  5. MEMORIES OF A ROCK N' ROLLA    4:50
  6. LOVE    3:20
  7. WHEN THE EAGLE FLIES    4:24

    All songs written by Steve Winwood/Jim Capaldi unless noted

CREDITS

JIM CAPALDI --
ROSKO GEE --
STEVE WINWOOD --
CHRIS WOOD --
Brian Humphries -- engineer
Nobby -- engineer
Martin Hughes -- sleeve design

return to TRAFFIC discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK September 1974 Island LP ILPS 9273 lyric sleeve
US September 1974 Island LP/8T 7E-1020 lyric sleeve, picture label
AUS'L/NZ 1974 Island LP L 35307  
BRA 1974 Phonogram LP 410044  
CAN 1974 Asylum LP 7ES-1020  
GER 1974 Island LP 88334 XOT  
ITA 1974 Island LP ILPS 19273 lyric sleeve
JPN 1974 Island LP ILS 80059  
MEX 1974 Island LP LA 016  
NET 1974 Island LP 88334 IT  
ARG 1977 Island LP 5116 lyric sleeve
UK 1993? Island CD IMCD142  
GER 1998 Polygram Int'l CD 846 154  
RUS   Kankard CD TRCD-009  
JPN 2000 Island CDLE UICY-9278 Ltd. Ed. (5000), digital remaster
US May 20, 2003 Island CD 548826 digital remaster

 

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