So Where's Traffic?


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Posted by Bugged (& not VW) on 01/30/02 - 01:21:58
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Ok, all you mad list-makers down below:  I hate to whine, but why does no one on this board ever seem to mention Traffic?

Oversight?

Difference of opinion?

Because they didn't sustain their early promise?

For a few years, they were influential on the frontier between R&B & rock & jazz; they loved to jam, & at their best made some fascinating & beautiful music.  Their second album, "Traffic,"  to me, holds up remarkably well (mainly because of Dave Mason's lead guitar work & Winwood's guitar/keyboards/& vocals).  I find "John Barleycorn Must Die" still a delight from start to finish (can't ever listen to Winwood's keyboards on "Glad" without leaping out of my chair to dance)...

& this is not even counting "Welcome to the Canteen", all live, with its 11-minute version of "Dear Mr. Fantasy" & some gorgeous solos throughout by Dave Mason; some (to me, at least) really interesting drum work by Jim Gordon & Reebob Kwaku Baah (esp. on "40,000 Headmen" and "Gimme Some Lovin' ") -- Am I out on a limb all alone here?

A couple of months ago, several names were tossed around of musicians who'd excelled in several different realms, over an extensive period of creative work: musicianship, songwriting, vocals, production...
This was during my shy & demure period on A-Deck, & I now regret not having piped up about Steve Winwood, who I think was 17 years old when he was with the Spencer Davis Group & co-wrote "Gimme Some Lovin'"...In the early years of Traffic it seemed as if he intended to play & do everything, & maybe that was a problem -- I don't know.  I think he & they DIDN'T sustain their early promise.  Capaldi had one of the most obnoxious personalities I've ever seen onstage, & the band wasn't easy to connect with emotionally.  Uh-oh: I think I'm talking myself out of this nomination even as I write -- because I also didn't care much for most of SW's solo work from the mid-70's on.

Ok, ok -- I retract the Winwood part.  But I still think that if we really must have "top-50 lists", TRAFFIC should have a place on one.

I know, that & 50-cents will get me 30 minutes on the meter...

Cricket



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