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4.7 out of 5 stars
The Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys
Format: Audio CDChange
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 12 April 2013
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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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 12 September 2003
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
on 4 July 2009
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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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on 3 March 2008
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
on 28 July 2014
This is quite an accessible record (compare to "John Barleycorn", a great record but it is a bit of a shock to the system if you only have Traffics first two studio albums).
There are some really well crafted tracks with great melodies on this record, even the songs with expanded instrumental breaks (there no real different to concerts by acts such as Hendrix, The Who & Zeppelin when they go off on one).
So if you do already own "Traffic" & "Mr Fantasy" & want to explore the bands 1970's output, then this may be a better starting point rather than "Barleycorn"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 10 February 2014
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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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 29 September 2013
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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on 16 April 2013
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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on 25 July 2014
classic album - classicband - title track one of the most beautiful tracks that i have ever heard.
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on 24 May 2015
Superb band and great value CD.
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