Traffic (Traffic album)

Traffic is the second studio album by the English rock band of the same name, released in 1968 on Island Records in the United Kingdom as ILPS 9081T (stereo), and United Artists in the United States, as UAS 6676 (stereo). The album peaked at number 9 in the UK albums chart[2] and at number 17 on the Billboard 200.[3] It was the last album recorded by the group before their initial breakup.

Traffic (album).jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 1968
RecordedJanuary–May 1968
StudioOlympic, London; Record Plant, New York
United Artists
ProducerJimmy Miller
Traffic chronology
Mr. Fantasy
Last Exit
Singles from Traffic
  1. "Feelin' Alright?"
    Released: September 1968

Background and contentEdit

In January 1968, after some initial success in Britain with their debut album Mr. Fantasy, Dave Mason had departed from the group. He produced the debut album by the group Family, containing in its ranks future Traffic bass player Ric Grech, while Traffic went on the road.[4] In May, the band had invited Mason back to begin recording the new album.

The album was somewhat of a departure from the psychedelia of Traffic's debut, featuring a more eclectic display of influences from blues to folk and jazz-rock. Mason ended up writing and singing half of the songs on the album (including his biggest hit "Feelin' Alright?"), but making scant contribution to the songs written by Jim Capaldi and Steve Winwood. His flair for pop melody had always been at odds with the others' jazz ambitions, evidenced by the dichotomy seen for the songs on this album, and by October he was again out of the band.[5] He would return one more time for a tour and album in 1971 to run out the band's contract.

Traffic was reissued for compact disc in the UK on 11 January 2000, with five bonus tracks, two from the soundtrack to the United Artists film Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush and three from Last Exit. In the US, the remastered reissue of 27 February 2001 included mono single mixes of "You Can All Join In" and "Feelin' Alright?," and the stereo single mix of "Withering Tree." The original album was produced by Jimmy Miller. The remasters were assisted in their production by Jim Capaldi.


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [6]
Rolling Stone(positive)[7]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music     [8]

AllMusic gave a positive retrospective review of the album, commenting that it achieved a strong balance between Dave Mason's simple and straightforward folk-rock songs and Steve Winwood's complex and often haunting rock jams.[6]

It was voted number 312 in Colin Larkin's All Time Top 1000 Albums 3rd Edition (2000). [9]

Track listing and personnelEdit

Side one
1."You Can All Join In"Dave Mason
2."Pearly Queen"Capaldi, Winwood
3."Don't Be Sad"Mason
    • Mason — lead vocals, harmonica, electric guitar
    • Winwood — lead vocals, Hammond organ, rhythm guitar, organ bass
    • Wood — soprano saxophone
    • Capaldi — drums, backing vocals
4."Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring"Capaldi, Winwood, Wood[note 1]
    • Winwood — lead vocals, Hammond organ, guitars, bass guitar
    • Capaldi — drums, percussion, backing vocals
5."Feelin' Alright?"Mason
    • Mason — lead vocals, guitar
    • Winwood — piano, bass guitar, backing vocals
    • Wood — tenor saxophone, backing vocals
    • Capaldi — drums, percussion
Side two
6."Vagabond Virgin"Mason
    • Mason — lead vocals, guitar
    • Capaldi — lead vocals, drums, percussion
    • Winwood — piano, bass guitar, backing vocals
    • Wood — flute
7."Forty Thousand Headmen"Capaldi, Winwood
    • Winwood — vocals, guitar, organ, organ bass
    • Wood — flute, Coke tin, sleigh bells
    • Capaldi — drums
8."Cryin' to Be Heard"Mason
    • Mason — lead vocals, bass guitar
    • Winwood — Hammond organ, harpsichord, backing vocals
    • Wood — soprano and tenor saxophone
    • Capaldi — drums, backing vocals
9."No Time to Live"Capaldi, Winwood
    • Winwood — vocals, piano, bass guitar
    • Wood — soprano saxophone
    • Mason — Hammond organ
    • Capaldi — drums
10."Means to an End"Capaldi, Winwood
    • Winwood — vocals, piano, electric guitar, bass guitar
    • Wood — drums, percussion[note 2]
Total length:40:24
2000 reissue bonus tracks (UK only)
11."Here We Go 'Round the Mulberry Bush" (from the film Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush)Capaldi, Mason, Winwood, Wood 2:45
12."Am I What I Was or Am I What I Am" (from the film Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush)Capaldi, Winwood, Wood 2:36
13."Withering Tree" (B-side to the single Feelin' Alright? - stereo single mix)Capaldi, Winwood
    • Winwood — vocals, piano, guitar, bass guitar
    • Wood — flute, percussion
    • Capaldi — drums, percussion
14."Medicated Goo" (A-side of a UK 1968 single - stereo mix)Winwood, Jimmy Miller 3:39
15."Shanghai Noodle Factory" (B-side of Medicated Goo - stereo mix)Capaldi, Miller, Winwood, Wood, Larry Fallon 5:03
2001 reissue bonus tracks US (Island Records 314 542 852-2) and Japan (Universal-Island Records UICY-93642) only
11."You Can All Join In" (mono single mix)Mason3:45
12."Feelin' Alright?" (mono single mix)Mason4:03
13."Withering Tree" (stereo single mix)Capaldi, Winwood2:53

Additional personnelEdit


  1. ^ The original LP issue credits the song to Winwood/Capaldi. However, both BMI records and later issues of the album list Chris Wood as co-writer.
  2. ^ The album credits list Wood as the drummer, but this is presumably a mistake, since no other source indicates that Chris Wood knew how to play drums. Most likely the track is Capaldi and Winwood, as on "Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring."


  1. ^ "Traffic - Traffic | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic.
  2. ^ Official Charts Company
  3. ^ "Billboard 200 - Traffic". Billboard. Retrieved 18 September 2017.
  4. ^ Traffic, 1999 reissue Island Records IMCD 265 546498-2, liner notes p. 4.
  5. ^ Nick Logan and Bob Woffinden, editors. The Illustrated New Musical Express Encyclopedia of Rock. New York: Harmony Books, 1977, p. 234.
  6. ^ a b Traffic at AllMusic
  7. ^ Wenner, Jann (4 January 1969). "Traffic". Rolling Stone. San Francisco.
  8. ^ Larkin, Colin (2007). Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 978-0857125958.
  9. ^ Colin Larkin, ed. (2000). All Time Top 1000 Albums (3rd ed.). Virgin Books. p. 128. ISBN 0-7535-0493-6.

External linksEdit