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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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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
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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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars low spark of high heeled boys ----- traffic, 10 Jun 2010
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arrived promptly in good condition. an album I had on "tangled cassette". good to have it back again!
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1 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finest, 2 April 2010
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This is simply the finest album ever recorded. From the opening track, the atmosphere just grows and grows.
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