842 590 Traffic
Produced by Jimmy Miller
Released on October 1968
Find it at GEMM
842 590 cover  

A note from Claire, who wrote the following review and provided all the necessary track info, et cetera: This retrospective review is not just about a band whom I really liked, but about a band of which I knew two of its members at least by sight, namely Dave Mason and Jim Capaldi, in the days when they were the then lead guitarist and drummer respectively of Worcester's top band "The Hellions." Both later joined Steve Winwood and Chris Wood to form “Traffic.” What a brilliant band! And this second album was an absolutely stunning follow up album to their debut, Mr Fantasy.

This second album by Traffic opens with "You Can All Join In", a Dave Mason song with a lovely little hook:- any old words, steps, life, according to which verse you are currently listening. The album then continues with "Pearly Queen" a Winwood/Capaldi composition, and a song that Steve still sings even in his shows today sometimes. Incidentally, note how many of the songs on this album (and since then) have been co written with Jim Capaldi, a seriously underrated songwriter. It is then followed by "Don't Be Sad", a beautiful little Dave Mason song with that same wistful feeling that several of his songs from this period have. After that is "Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring", another Winwood/Capaldi composition, with Steve Winwood singing the opening lines in a falsetto voice and then reverting into his more normal voice. Track 5 is "Feelin' Alright", another Dave Mason composition and an absolutely superb song, one that absolutely oozes feeling, and one of my all-time favourites songs by Traffic. And Dave was only nineteen when he wrote this song. The next song, and the first song on side two of the vinyl album, is "Vagabond Virgin". A long time ago I had a friend who was a cousin of Chris Wood, and she had the "Traffic" album, but she would not let me listen to this particular track when she played it to me. And yet the song was co written by Dave Mason and her cousin Chris Wood. So it was some while later before I actually heard the track! But I couldn't help feeling how true it was and how Dave had probably got the inspiration from one the girls who would come in from one or other of the Worcestershire villages for the local Saturday-night dance. I could certainly have related to it, and was probably just about as naive as the "Vagabond Virgin" of the song at that time. Next is "40,000 Headmen", another song which Steve Winwood sometimes still includes in his repertoire. It is another song co-written by Steve and Jim Capaldi, and opens with a very wistful almost bird-like call from Chris Wood's Flute. Although I think it is a good song, with rather fascinating words, it is not one of my favourites. After that comes "Crying To Be Heard", another Dave Mason song that again has that same emotional feeling to it as "Feelin' Alright". He was certainly a very good songwriter even in those days. The next track is "No Time To Live" another Winwood/Capaldi collaboration, opening once more with that same haunting playing by Chris Wood reminiscent of the "40,000 Headmen" opening, but this time played on saxophone. The album finishes with "A Means To An End", yet another Winwood/Capaldi composition. Steve Winwood is prominent with his vocals on this track, although other members of the band sing backing vocals. It is a mid pace song with an insistent beat, and a subliminal biblical reference thrown in for good measure. The album was certainly an excellent one, and still worth purchasing. I freely admit to being biased here, but if you never discovered "Traffic" you missed a great band. -- Claire Rosemary Jane

Claire adds: The liner notes by producer Jimmy Miller are worth quoting (and she's right): "The U A man wants some big underground DJ to write the liner notes, Traffic don't really care whether there are liner notes or not. And I'm just thinking that not enough people know about Traffic.

"Not enough people have ever driven with Dave, or had him sit on their bed, and play an acoustic; and sing four new songs, and ask if you dig them; and suddenly you don't know how to say a "Yes" that really means it.

"Not enough people have ever met Chris Wood, or any other saxophone player free of trying to top "the Bird" or Stitt, or Coltrane; blowing so honestly hard that the roots of his hair fly out. Fewer people have ever seen him sleep.

"No one else ever went up to Birmingham, that weekend with Steve, to see the Cream right after they formed, and at a time when Steve was getting into his coming out. Not too many people have seen him play, whilst too many who have seen him, have not heard him.

"Too many wonder how Jim can sweat so much, or if the drops will begin to fall off in time. Not enough people knew that nothing falls off of Jim out of time.

"And the U A man still thinks that some underground DJ should write the liner notes. It's all a shame!"

842 590 booklet gatefold 842 590 booklet back cover
842 590 booklet gatefold 842 590 booklet back cover

K RONOMYTH 2.0: TRIFFIC. Hogsblood’s made a mad dash from the basement, pink disc in hand, shouting something about the Missing Link, and I half expect to find a large sasquatch down there. Turns out all I find is the sleeve to the 2001 remaster of Traffic’s first second album (not to be confused with their third first album, released in Italy also as Traffic), and I nod knowingly. Their second album is a psychedelic steeple where wanderers as widely influential as Jethro Tull and David Bowie once made their pilgrimage, such that the album’s composite effect is incalculable. The record contains ten of the most indelible psychedelic treats you’ll encounter in a summation of the 6Ts, written and performed by Dave Mason, Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi and Chris Wood though rarely, oddly, together. In fact, there are songs like “Cryin’ To Be Heard” and “Don’t Be Sad” that Jimmy Miller must have strung together from sheer force of will. The album clearly benefits from an overflow of talent; no two Mason songs sound alike and Winwood is a musical visionary. Nowhere else would you find a yakety sax for flower children (“You Can All Join In”), blistering blues rock (“Pearly Queen”) and a killer approximation of The Band (“Don’t Be Sad”) careen into one another, only to be erased with a sly and slinky wink of the eye with “Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring.” Here, the roots of folk and blues flower into colorful marzipan treats, and the sum effect is like hearing a career’s worth of ideas crammed onto a single disc. By mixing the rarefied language of The Beatles with the vernacular of blues and jazz, Traffic did indeed provide a missing link that helped usher in progressive rock as we knew it in the 7Ts. The 2001 remaster includes mono versions of “Feelin’ Alright” and “You Can All Join In” (which are completely redundant as far as I’m concerned) and the B side, “Withering Tree,” which also appeared on 1969’s catch-all compilation, Last Exit (which is completely redundant as far as I’m concerned).


  1. YOU CAN ALL JOIN IN    (Dave Mason)    3:34
  2. PEARLY QUEEN    (Steve Winwood/Jim Capaldi)    4:20
  3. DON'T BE SAD    (Dave Mason)    3:24
  4. WHO KNOWS WHAT TOMORROW MAY BRING    (Steve Winwood/Jim Capaldi/Chris Wood)    3:11
  5. FEELIN' ALRIGHT    (Dave Mason)    4:16
  6. VAGABOND VIRGIN    (Dave Mason/Jim Capaldi)    5:21
  7. FORTY THOUSAND HEADMEN    (Steve Winwood/Jim Capaldi)    3:15
  8. CRYIN' TO BE HEARD    (Dave Mason)    5:14
  9. NO TIME TO LIVE    (Steve Winwood/Jim Capaldi)    5:10
  10. MEANS TO AN END    (Steve Winwood/Jim Capaldi)    2:39

    CD reissue bonus tracks
  11. YOU CAN ALL JOIN IN (MONO SINGLE MIX)    (Dave Mason)    3;43
  12. FEELIN' ALRIGHT? (MONO SINGLE MIX)    (Dave Mason)    4:01
  13. WITHERING TREE    (Steve Winwood/Jim Capaldi)    2:53

    Expanded CD reissue bonus tracks


JIM CAPALDI -- drums, percussion, lead vocal, vocals, album design
DAVE MASON -- lead vocal, acoustic guitar, guitar, harmonica, bass guitar, organ
STEVE WINWOOD -- lead vocal, organ, lead guitar, bass guitar, rhythm guitar, piano, harpsichord
CHRIS WOOD -- tenor sax, soprano sax, flute, Coke tin, sleigh bells, bass guitar, percussion, vocals
Glyn Johns, Eddie Kramer, Brian Humphries, Terry Brown -- engineers
Richard Polak, Gered Maknowitz -- photography

return to TRAFFIC discography

UK October 1968 Island LPmono/LPstereo ILP/ILPS 981 booklet
US October 1968 United Artists LP UAS 6676 booklet
FRA 1968 Fontana LP 885 543 MY repackaged as FEELIN' ALRIGHT
GER 1968 Island LP 88064ET  
SWE 1968 Island LP ILPS 0981  
SAF April 1969 Fontana LP STL 231  
HKG   Liming LP LM 2283  
JPN 1972 Island LP ICL 27 gatefold cover
UK 1975 Island LP ILPS 9081 booklet
JPN 1975 Island LP ILS-80278 gatefold cover, booklet
ITA   Island LP ORL 8496  
UK 1986 Island LP ILPM-9081  
JPN   Island LP 20S-0093  
UK 1992 Island CD 842 590  
US 1993 Island LP 90059-1  
US 1995 Mobile Fidelity CD UDCD-629 gold disc
UK 1999 Island Remasters CD IMCD-265  
UK 2000 Simply Vinyl LP SVLP 142 180g vinyl
UK 1999 Island Remasters CD IMCD 265 digital remaster
UK January 11, 2000 Polygram Int'l CDX 551 152 w. 5 bonus tracks
US February 27, 2001 Island CDX 542 852 digital remaster w. 3 bonus tracks
JPN   Island CDX PHCW-2702 digital remaster w. 5 bonus tracks
JPN June 13, 2007 Universal CDX UICY-9271 w. 3 bonus tracks
JPN 2008 Universal CDX UICY-93642 SHMCD remaster w. 3 bonus tracks


For more discographies visit...

© 2009 Connolly & Company. All rights reserved.