I first became aware of Traffic with 1971’s The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys, and really liked the jazz and blues influences I heard in the title track, the funky sound of “Rock & Roll Stew,” and the humorous tone of “Light Up Or Leave Me Alone.” That album, and 1970’s John Barleycorn Must Die, got a lot of airplay on FM radio in the early 1970’s. Their earlier material, from the late 1960’s, was more psychedelic rock-oriented, and many of the songs are better known for their cover versions (“Feelin’ Alright” and “Heaven Is In Your Mind” by Three Dog Night; “Smiling Phases” and “40,000 Headmen” by Blood, Sweat, and Tears). The band was generally a commercial success, particularly in the US, but were not popular with the critics, especially in the 1970’s up to their breakup in 1974. The band reunited and recorded Far From Home in 1994 before going their separate ways.
Today’s first song is taken from The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys, “Rock & Roll Stew.”
The second song is “Evening Blue” from 1973’s Shootout at the Fantasy Factory.
Traffic, your Two for Tuesday, March 15, 2016.