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Smiling Phases [Box set]

Traffic Audio CD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
Price: £14.04 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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The multi-year reissue campaign for Traffic, one of the most highly regarded rock groups of its era, concludes with the release of the original band's final three albums and a new "best of" package, each issued June 20, 2003 by Island/UME. This last installment includes Shootout At The Fantasy Factory (1973), On The Road (1973) and When The Eagle Flies (1974), each digitally ... Read more in Amazon's Traffic Store

Visit Amazon's Traffic Store
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Frequently Bought Together

Smiling Phases + Blind Faith + John Barleycorn Must Die
Price For All Three: £25.92

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Product details

  • Audio CD (15 Dec 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Universal / Island
  • ASIN: B000001DTW
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 88,390 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Disc 1:

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Paper Sun (Album Version (Stereo)) 4:16£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Hole In My Shoe 3:04£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Smiling Phases 2:42£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Heaven Is In Your Mind 4:15£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Coloured Rain 2:42£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. No Face, No Name, No Number (Album Version) 3:33£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush 2:41£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Dear Mr. Fantasy (Album Version) 5:39£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. You Can All Join In 3:36£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Feelin' Alright? 4:17£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Pearly Queen 4:18£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. (Roamin' Thro' The Gloamin' With) 40.000 Headman 3:14£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Vagabond Virgin 5:17£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Shanghai Noodle Factory 5:07£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen15. Withering Tree 3:03£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen16. Medicated Goo 3:35£0.99  Buy MP3 

Disc 2:

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Glad 7:01£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Freedom Rider 5:27£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Empty Pages 4:36£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. John Barleycorn (Must Die) 6:24£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. The Low Spark Of High-Heeled Boys11:33Album Only
Listen  6. Light Up Or Leave Me Alone 4:46£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Rock 'N' Roll Stew 4:22£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Shoot Out At The Fantasy Factory 6:02£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Walking In The Wind 6:50£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. When The Eagle Flies 4:26£0.99  Buy MP3 

Customer Reviews

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4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hidden Masters of the late 60's 1 Nov 2003
Format:Audio CD
I bought this as an introduction to Traffic some years ago. I knew nothing about the band except for Steve Winwood and 'Hole in my Shoe', so I didn't know what to except. I was keen to hear Winwood's voice in a late 60's setting as I'd really loved his vocals in the Spencer Davis Group.
Well. what a phenomenal discovery. This CD chronicles the band's entire career (excepting the later 'Far from Home') and chooses a consistently excellent selection of tracks.
'Paper Sun', along with 'Hole in my Shoe' are suitably psychedelic (token sitars etc.) but then you move into some quality songwriting.'Smiling Phases' and 'Coloured Rain' remind me of some of Paul Weller's early solo stuff but the tour de force is 'Dear Mr Fantasy' with its top vocal and guitar solo, not too mention the trippy fade out at the end. Marvellous!
From here on in, we are in the prime of Traffic's songwriting skill. 'Feelin' Alright' is beautifully depressive (and covered by Weller on the 'Above the Clouds' CD). 'Pearly Queen' revives some quality guitars, whilst 'Vagabond Virgin' and 'Shanghai Noodle Factory' show Winwood's vocals at their soulful searing best.'Withering Tree' also displays the lead singers vocals at their most powerful ("...into the arms of eternity...." - awesome!).
Then, we move into the early 70's Traffic tracks where both the line up and songs change. To be honest, it's a time in music I'm not that keen on (70's American soft rock - i.e. Steely Dan, Eagles etc.) but thankfully the vocals carry almost all of the songs, well apart from 'Glad' which is a New Orleans instrumental. 'Freedom Rider' has an excellent ending and 'John Barleycorn' is a good old folk song enlivened by some passionate singing.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good comprehensivel compilation 20 Feb 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This cd has a generous enough coverage from all the band's major releases. Personally, I prefer the early to middle period stuff. Overall though a good introduction to the band's output.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm feelin' alright 1 Sep 2011
By Dangerous Dave TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
Traffic were always an unusual band. Steve Winwood, the much acclaimed white soul shouter - he may or may not have been the best, but he was certainly the youngest - had made a sideways move to psychedelia from rhythm & blues, and had formed Traffic with three mates from Midlands based bands. Their first single, "Paper Sun" bore out the psychedelic label with prominent sitar in the backing but the follow-up, "Hole in my shoe" was something else entirely. More like a kiddie song than heavy psych (or at least the sort of music we were hearing from bands on the US West Coast), it actually did very well and continues to pop up on oldies programmes. Both written and sung by band member Dave Mason, this single was actually not atypical for Traffic in their early days. Mason's penchant for whimsy was but one of the factors that went into the complex mix that was Traffic.

I've always considered the second and third studio albums as their best and would also put both in the category of rock classics. The second, "Traffic" was the last one with Mason on board and is possibly their best set of songs. The third, "John Barleycorn must die" was the first with "long" numbers. It had only six tracks (that is, the UK version) but four of them were over six minutes in length. The album also had an odd history in that the band had effectively disbanded after "Traffic" and Winwood started this one as a solo album and then the band (minus Mason) reformed around him. Subsequent albums were disrupted by the on-off status of "Traffic" and another Winwood sidestep to Blind Faith, but their content largely followed the direction of "John Barleycorn" with even more emphasis on extended jamming, sometimes with added African percussion.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent retrospective! 15 Feb 2008
Format:Audio CD
Mainly just to corroborate the previous reviewer, since there is just the one review of this superb double cd Traffic retrospective. This is definitely THE compilation to go for, rather than the "Best Of Traffic". That particular item dates back to about 1970 and has a running time of only some forty minutes. This far-superior double renders the other compilation practically obsolete.

The first disc of "Smiling Phases" draws in the early non-album singles, big chunks of the first two albums and a few bits of stuff from "Last Exit". The second disc features more than half of the folkier "John Barleycorn Must Die" and half of "Low Spark Of High-Heeled Boys". The latter's great title track is included in all 11 minutes 35 seconds of its splendour. The quality dips a little at the end, with one track from "Fantasy Factory" and a couple from "When The Eagle Flies". (Although an ex-girlfriend definitely wouldn't agree with my assessment of "Walking In The Wind", which is her favourite Traffic track in the whole world. Ever.)

All in all, therefore, quite fabulous value-for-money. And another good demonstration of a record company succeeding in putting out a product which is designed to satisfy. (Rather than sneakily holding back on one or two choice tracks.)
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