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24
4.6 out of 5 stars
Traffic (Remasters)
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
I'm reviewing the album rather than the sound, something which I can't say spoiled this reissue for me anyway. With four great musicians and two great songwriters at the height of their power, Traffic could hardly go wrong. Dave Mason continued to provide the more commercial material, such as the maypole folk of 'You Can All Join In' while Steve Winwood, in tandem with Jim Capaldi, was reputedly the more progressive partner. In truth, all of the songs are quite accessible. Winwood's songs tend to have more character, especially the quizzical 'Who Knows What Tomorrow Will Bring?' and the impassioned 'Cryin' To Be Heard'. Chris Wood's playing on 'No Time To Live' also makes for a wonderfully spooky recording. The album would be worth buying without the bonus material, though this is quite generous. The soundtrack hit, 'Mulberry Bush' is one of those instant songs that drives you round the bend when you've heard it a few times, but you can always skip that.
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
This is an example of how NOT to remaster a classic album. While it was remastered from the original mastertapes using 24 bit sampling, Sonic Solutions No Noise was applied liberally making this album sound like you're listening to it with towels thrown over your speakers. Traffic's second terrific album featured the original four piece line up in top form with Dave Mason contributing what would later be a huge hit for Joe Cocker "Feelin' Alright".

Pick up the American import instead. Bill Levenson and his able crew used the original mastertapes and elected NOT to overuse Sonic Solutions No Noise (which is probably the worst thing that has happened to music. It's great for cleaning up scratchy 78RPM records but not a modern recording). The American edition features the mono single mix of the singles for the album as well as the stereo single mix for "Withering Tree". The rest of the bonus tracks here (with the exception of "Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush" and "Am I What I Was or Am I What I Am" which can be found on the U.S. "Heaven Is In Your Mind" & "Mr Fantasy" again both preferred to the UK versions)can be found on the album "Last Exit" which gathered the band's singles and combined them with a couple of covers recorded live in concert.

There are some terrific bonus tracks included all from singles or the soundtrack from "Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush" (a film I've never seen). All certainly add value to the package but the sound is so mushy and soft buried as it is within the No Noise (which sucks the life out of recordings by eliminating tape hiss but, in the process, eliminating the sound of the room, the dynamics, etc.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 16 June 2008
Whatever the benefits of the USA mastered version (I'll now have to secure a copy!), this is probably my favourite Traffic album. Energy, creativity and musicianship abound despite the artistic tensions within the band (Mason vs the rest?)which resulted in some tracks being recorded as a trio without any overall detriment (e.g. the dark saga of 40,000 Headmen). Classic and contrasting songs abound from Mason's "You can all join in" hoe down and "Feelin' alright", to the later Traffic staples of "Who knows what tomorrow may bring" (gentle funk), "Pearly Queen" and the aforementioned "40,000 Headmen". Traffic's music entered new haunting and passionate realms with the segued "Cryin' to be heard" and "Cryin' to be heard" - a far cry from some of the psychedaelic whimsy of their first album. Winwood and Mason's vocal contributions are outstanding. Capaldi's drumming is absolutely rock solid and Chris Wood's sax and flute playing were never more coherent and convincing. To top it all is that amazing Hammond organ playing of a still young Steve Winwood, supported by excellent piano and guitar interludes. The bonus tracks represent different lines ups, with and without Dave Mason. The coming of age film "Mulberry Bush" actually featured the Spencer Davis Group (without SW of course), and Medicated Goo and Shanghai Noodle Factory were two sides of the final Traffic single of this period which sadly made no real impression on the charts. Outstanding music which stills sounds good to me even in this release.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 27 August 2009
Good variety of musical styles here and bonus tracks to boot (including the excellent "Medicated Goo"). If like me you love Blues, Soul of the Atlantic and Stax varieties, Hendrix and mid to late period Beatles, you aren't going to go wrong here, those are the kind of feels that you get for your money. Sound quality is fantastic on this reissue and the liner notes are really informative on the history of the band. As good as anything ever released by Cream or Clapton and much better than the Blind Faith album.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 31 July 2002
After the 'acid' whimsey of Traffic's debut album, Mr Fantasy, Traffic, the second offering, begins to offer insight into the dysfunctional artistic powerhouse that was Traffic. The young Winwood, playing guitar, piano and Hammond, plus providing the principal vocals, rails and rallies against the entire dark ages of music. Mason, Wood, Windwood, plus Capaldi define the role of the late 60s 'musician as artistic 'avatar'. Listen to Cryin' to be Heard and No Time to Live, plus 40,000 Headmen. Musical peaks, generated by sublime egos that can only degenerate into fracture and bitterness. Buy it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 13 February 2009
I had this album years ago when it first came out but had almost forgotten about it. Found an old cassette of it recently so added it to my Christmas list and am certainly glad I did. It's got five extra tracks on it which is a great bonus but even without them the original album on it's own is well worth having again.

The variation of the tunes is refreshing given what some groups around these days seem to do i.e. not record 10 tracks on an album but record one track ten times.
And the quality of the playing is superb. From the opening track, the wonderfully poppy "You Can All Join In" to the orginal single release "Feeling Alright" (later covered by Joe Cocker), to the haunting "40,000 Headmen" and "Crying To Be Heard" the standard of song-writing and playing is still a joy to listen to.

I thoroughly recommend previous listeners to get this CD back into their collection and for new ones to give it a real go - you won't be disappointed.
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on 30 September 2014
I'm intrigued as to why people would want to read my review of a 60s classic some 48 years after it first appeared. Anyway, whether you have just happened upon Traffic for the first time, or are a "completist" or simply nostalgic... It is a wonderful album. But Wayne Klein makes a vital point in his review: there are TWO versions of this remastered album and the Bill Levenson one - i.e. the US import - is the one to get. By comparison this version is like listening with cotton wool in your ears. My 5 stars are for the import version. I have no idea which version has been compressed into the entirely inadequate MP3 format. Traffic were a fabulous band, both live and in the studio and the over-sanitised Sonic Solutions version does them a disservice. Content-wise? Well it is what it is. Dave Mason, Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi and Chris Wood at their best. I slightly prefer Mr Fantasy, but maybe that's me being nostalgic. Buy them both! As a footnote, it is interesting to see that Traffic have promoted more members than most to the Great Rock & Roll band in the Sky with Capaldi, Wood, Rick Grech and Rebop all now accompanying the Celestial Choir.
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on 8 September 2014
With Dave Mason restored to the line-up after a brief period away, Traffic entered their most energized phase of creativity before Mason departed for a second time. 'Traffic' (1968) is a glorious collection of songs; Jim Capaldi and Steve Winwood's R&B-tinged rock workouts sit happily alongside Mason's classy folk/rock material and, for me, there is barely a weak moment here. The majestic 'Pearly Queen' and the subtle 'No Time To Live' are Winwood/Capaldi classics whilst Mason supplies a clutch of lovely tracks including 'Feelin' Alright' and 'Crying To Be Heard'. The bonus tracks are pretty decent too, with 'Medicated Goo' and 'Shanghai Noodle Factory' (from the 'Last Exit' LP) standing out. Although the first 3 studio albums [ 'Mr. Fantasy', 'Traffic' and 'John Barleycorn Must Die'] are all superb releases, on balance, 'Traffic' is the album I would buy first - it really is excellent, both musically and lyrically. Highly recommended.
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on 31 May 2013
There was a time when record companies gave bands time to create and do their thing. This was such a time. The first Traffic album was an amazing piece of work - the first made while "getting it together in the country" which really meant drinking loads and getting more than a little high. I anticipated the second album with bated breath. It did not let me down - it was more musical, less experimental and totally fascinating. Winwood was at his best and his band mates followed his lead. This album is a classic.
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on 29 September 2014
I first had this album in vinyl back in 68' somewhere along the line it got sold unfortunately . Always a great band to see live and this album did them justice . Shame there are'nt any bands around these days with the high calibre of the very excellent Traffic .
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