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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One step on from 'John Barleycorn'
1971's 'Low Spark Of The High Heeled Boys' saw an augmented Traffic line up dilegently working over the same ground as John Barleycorn and finding new sprouts of growth everywhere.
Winwood is in great voice, Chris Wood's flute & sax are used to perfection while the rhythm section's gentle but solid groove allows Capaldi, Winwood & Wood ample room to solo...
Published on 12 Sep 2003 by Mr. C. W. Smith

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2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant but low-powered follow up to a classic
This album is the next release on from "John Barleycorn Must Die", a true classic. This well-esteemed band, which at various times exhibited the full-on genius of Steve Winwood, and the brilliance of Chris Wood, Jim Capaldi and David Mason, were capable of memorable, ground-breaking music.

Unfortunately, this album does not, to my ear anyway, contain as much of...
Published on 3 April 2011 by Just Dave


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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One step on from 'John Barleycorn', 12 Sep 2003
By 
Mr. C. W. Smith "karyobin@hotmail.com" - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys (Audio CD)
1971's 'Low Spark Of The High Heeled Boys' saw an augmented Traffic line up dilegently working over the same ground as John Barleycorn and finding new sprouts of growth everywhere.
Winwood is in great voice, Chris Wood's flute & sax are used to perfection while the rhythm section's gentle but solid groove allows Capaldi, Winwood & Wood ample room to solo.
Standout tracks have to be the sinewous workout of the title track, the Capaldi sung 'Rock'N'Roll Stew' and the pastural beauty of 'Rainmaker' although that said none of the other tracks are below par and it is overall an excellent recording.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars bright spark, 4 July 2009
By 
Cratedigger (Loughborough, Leicestershire, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys (Audio CD)
It wasn't just the title track that made replacing my faithful old vinyl copy for CD version vital. After more than 30 years it's still a favourite album from Stevie & Co. From the jazzy free-wheeling "Low Spark" to the almost traditional pre-world "Rainmaker" this record is crying to be heard.
From a long time ago when I was a student, but not nostalgia - few groups have ever sounded this good.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice... now and then!!!, 12 April 2013
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First, some kind of "background"...
I "discovered" this álbum in mid eighties, in the wake of Winwood`s "Back in the high life" success. on my teens.
At that time, the independent labels were rising, bringing forth the talents of The Smiths, The Cure, among others,
breaking through the bunch of disposable artists (you name them!). Remember, I`m talking of 80's brazilian perspective
of international pop/rock!
I already knew sounds from the past, like favourites from classic rock era (Beatles, Hendrix, Joplin, Zeppelin) and some prog rock luminaires (Genesis, Yes, Floyd). But Traffic was a different story.
Long songs and free jamming was nothing new to me, but these guys got something else.
The sound overall is pretty much accoustic. Even when rich harmonies appear, the groove is rocking in textures with
african percussion coloring the usual drums sounds. Sax, piano, flute and guitar alternates in the lead, driving songs with folk, rock and R&B roots.
This unique blend of elements could be indigest. With Winwood and Capaldi as Chefs, becomes a fine recipe.
The church boy voice and melodic talent of Winwood, and the rhythm mastery and raspy voice of Capaldi are fantastic on their own. Combined, is pure gold.
My old favourites are "hidden treasure", transcendent in Winwood`s voice, and the title track, a delightful (and imperceptible) 12 minutes jamming class in one lesson! My new favourites are "r`n`r stew", more powerful in this remastered back to black vinyl edition, and "many a mile to freedom", richer in subtle details. Nice pressing, with a voucher for free download in btb`s website.
All in all, a wonderful pleasure, the same from almost 30 years ago, sounding better than ever. How many records can make you feel that way?
Highly recommended for lovers of folk, rock, jazz, african and latin rhythms, and, more especially, of life!!!
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Traffic's finest hour, 3 Mar 2008
By 
Levenbridge (Yorkshire, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys (Audio CD)
The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys somehow captures or maybe even sums up what it feels like to be young, unique and creative and conveys that to the listener, when you listen to it you feel young and certain and empowered. The album is cosidered to be one of the highest moments in rock music and is one of those very few that still shine 40 years on.

I was 14 years old when I bought my first Traffic album and and went to see the band live at that unforgettable gig in the Fairfield Halls Croydon (welcome to the Canteen - the band played for three hours and there was something almost unreal happening), but I remain as mysteriously moved and enriched by this album now as I did then. The desparately sad death of Jim Capaldi and Chris Wood mean that whatever it was that happened back in the late 60's and early 70's with these truely creative musicians has passed for ever and even though John Barleycorn is also simply magical, here remains their finest work.

The title track and Many a Mile to Freedom are often stated as Traffic's best songs but everything on the album is special - this is one of the very few rock albums that will survive the test of time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heeled Boys!, 10 Feb 2014
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Another magnificent album from one of my very favourite rock bands. Forty odd years of listening and I still love it as much as I did when I bought it on vinyl.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Traffic, 16 April 2013
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Mr. Peter J. Wilson (Sheffield) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys (Audio CD)
Brilliant
Loved their music when 1st out
Have all their LP's
Now buying their CD's
Highly recommended to any 60's / 70's blue fan
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Traffic for music lovers, 29 Sep 2013
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This review is from: The Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys (Audio CD)
One of Traffics best albums. Steve Winwood is still performing the title track in his live set. Quite rightly.
My only problem with this album is having the late Jim Capaldi on vocals on Rock and Roll Stew. He was never in the same league as Winwood. I bought Jack Bruce a pint in the Dog and Duck in Frith Street once and told him what a great vocalist SW was. He didn't stop and buy me a pint back!
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The title track is excellent, 22 Sep 2006
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This review is from: The Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys (Audio CD)
It captures the essence of the brilliance of Traffic, the whole band, not just Winwood - who is a consistently wonderful musician. The track is satisfyingly long, and you can hear the pleasure they have in performing it.

The other tracks are good, but don't match the standard of "The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys".
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2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant but low-powered follow up to a classic, 3 April 2011
This album is the next release on from "John Barleycorn Must Die", a true classic. This well-esteemed band, which at various times exhibited the full-on genius of Steve Winwood, and the brilliance of Chris Wood, Jim Capaldi and David Mason, were capable of memorable, ground-breaking music.

Unfortunately, this album does not, to my ear anyway, contain as much of it as previous releases. It's difficult to be sure why, other than to say that a combination of several factors is probably the cause. The line-up producing the earlier album was a three-piece, just Winwood, Wood and Capaldi. On "High Heeled Boys" we have double that number, with several of the new additions world-class musicians (Jim Gordon, Ric Grech), but the effect seems to be to dilute the focus and urgency of the earlier nucleus.

Where previously there was real inspiration, power and purpose on tracks like "Glad", on some tracks from this release like "Many a Mile to Freedom" this band sound like they are having the musical equivalent of a gentle stroll in the park. There just isn't much excitement there.

The "Barleycorn" concept is maintained with the use of longer tracks like the album's title-track interspersed with slightly shorter pieces. However, although the musicianship is never less than excellent, some of the shorter pieces seem to lack inspiration in terms of song-writing.

Another responsible factor may be substance abuse. its well known that at least two of this band were heavy users at this time (in fact, this point appears to mark the start of the final decline of Ric Grech). Drugs have been the source of many high points in rock history (Hendrix, Lennon, Arthur Lee for instance) but most would agree that they can produce lows as well.

Overall, then, to my ear this is in no way an unpleasant album, but it's not one I have ever rushed home to put on, in sharp contrast so some other Traffic stuff, like the first and second albums, and of course "Barleycorn".

So don't look for timeless music here. But given that its musicianship is of such high calibre, I believe it rates three stars.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Laid back so far, it fell over, 9 Aug 2012
This review is from: The Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys (Audio CD)
Saved by the long jam of "High Heeled Boys" although you get a sense mabe they were plonkers. Heads with bread head attitudes to use the lingo of the day. Traffic were never my favourite prog rock outfit. Although I liked Stevie Winwood's R&B and vocals when he cut loose. But for a summer's day "High Heeled"-the track, is still a pleasant little dottle down the traps of memory.
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