Traffic – Traffic (1968)
Welcome to a new segment known as “Classic Album Tuesdays” or “CAT” Where we’ll look back at various albums we’ve enjoyed over the years and what not. For this week I thought I’d reminisce about one of my favorite albums currently enjoying it’s 40th anniversary, this being Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Traffic’s 1968 self-titled album Traffic. Though it’s certainly not one of the most memorable albums of it’s time, and probably something you wouldn’t expect to see in this kind of segment, It’s one of my favorite albums of the sixties.
Coming off of their psychedelic debut album that was Mr. Fantasy released in 1967. The then 4 piece Traffic (Led by 20 year old multi-istrumentalist Steve Winwood) decided to take a more blues/rock oriented approach to their sophomore album. With Producer Jimmy Miller (Other albums including Beggars Banquet and Blind Faith) Steve Winwood (Vocals/Organ/Guitar/Bass), Jim Capaldi (Vocals/Drums), Dave Mason (Vocals/Guitar/Bass/Harmonica) and Chris Wood (Saxophone/Flute) headed into Island Studios to work on what would be their most cohesive work in their entire 8 run.
An album blending many genres, from Blues, to Jazz, to Folk Traffic is filled to the brim with inventive and creative arrangements not to mention some very tight musicianship. With song-writing duties being split between Winwood/Capaldi and Dave Mason, we get many different kinds of songs that somehow manage to gel together. From the British Blues Rock of “Pearly Queen” to the Jazzy beat of “Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring” and who could forget Dave Mason’s “Feelin’ Alright” (Which would of course later be made famous by Joe Cocker) Traffic is a feel good album, especially well suited for cruising’ down the highway on a warm summer’s day. It was one of the first albums I got after getting my first iPod and it’s really stuck with me.
Favorite Tracks: “Pearly Queen”, “Feelin’ Alright”, “Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring”