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Welcome To The Canteen Original recording remastered, Live

4.5 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, Live, 22 Apr 2002
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Product details

  • Audio CD (22 April 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered, Live
  • Label: Island Records
  • ASIN: B00006399Z
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 33,716 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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Product description

BBC Review

A shining light amongst the general malaise of 1960s blues/rock groups, Traffic have been elevated to legendary status by following generations of rootsy performers. Joe Cocker, Paul Weller and all manner of neo-soulsters regard this short lived outfit as a benchmark of musical integrity. This re-mastered and re-released live date was recorded at the Fairfield Hall, Croydon in July 1971, a time when the 60s was still exerting its full effect on the times and the sound of the group. The line-up of Traffic was almost more changeable than Spinal Taps, but this release featured multi-instrumentalist and main man Steve Winwood, who was still a shockingly young 23, despite the fact this was his second successful outfit after he disbanded the also near-legendary Spencer Davis Group. Along with Winwood on Hammond Organ were guitarist Dave Mason, singer Jim Capaldi, bassist Rick Grech, Chris Wood on various horns, Jim Gordon on drums and the wonderfully named "Rebop" Kwaku Baah on percussion.

The sound of Traffic at this time perfectly illustrates the main influences on the, then contemporary, rock scene blues, soul, rock and folk all mix together to create a truly organic sound in this warts and all recording. The up-tempo opener "Medicated Goo" is a great place to start and it's almost impossible not to visualise the hippie-stoner audience trying to get up onto its shaky legs in order to dance to this gleeful, energetic song!

The following three tracks "Sad & Deep As You", "40,000 Headmen" and "Shouldn't Have" are the mid set lull tracks that must have given the switched on audience time for some deeper contemplation before the elongated version of "Dear Mr Fantasy" began to get them back in their groove shoes.

The set's closer - a highly syncopated version of the Spencer Davis Group's "Gimme Some Lovin" - highlights perfectly the US soul roots of most of Winwood's prodigious writing at the time. Traffic were a short-lived outfit, mainly due to the fact that all the group's members became involved in other solo projects and super-groups. Winwood himself even shelved Traffic for while to join Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker in the equally lauded Blind Faith.

As a reminder for original fans and an introduction for new listeners, Welcome To The Canteen is a worthy, honest and happy package that illustrates what was best about the musical melting pot of the late 60s and early 70s. Recommended. --Greg Boraman

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Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
excellent
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Format: Audio CD
This was a contractually obligated album and a period of transition too, and it's also Traffic best moment live.
Soon "Welcome to the Canteen" would be followed by "The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys," showing most people that the band was not dead, although by "Shoot Out at the Fantasy Factory" they have, arguably, reached creative exhaustion.
Anyway, the band is playing live here, and even at the expense of a poor recording -even after remastered-, Traffic sounds great. Back is, again, Dave Mason, Jim Gordon and Reebop Kwaku Baah provide a powerful percussion section, and there's always Stevie Winwood.
His voice, electric piano, and organ navigate the groove, and keep as much R&B and it exudes Rock.
If you've known Traffic from the times this was out for the first time, then you'll be transported. If you haven't heard them, it's as good a place to start as any.
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Format: Audio CD
Traffic is one of rock's greatest groups.
This live album features some of the group's
classic pieces, but the reason you should get it
is the 11mins live version of "Dear Mr. Fantasy".
This is one of Traffic's best pieces ever,
up there with "The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys",
"Roll Right Stones", "Forty Thousand Headmen",
"Dream Gerrard", and "John Barleycorn".
The live version is far better than the much
shorter (5mins) studio version from the Mr. Fantasy
album. The other pieces are all excellent and
it's easy to tell that the band is having fun
doing a great gig.
The sound is not up to studio quality, but very good
for a live album from that period.
A must-have album for anyone who likes Traffic
and one that should be high on the chart for anyone
who likes so-called "progressive" rock.
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Format: Audio CD
This album should've been longer - but how much perfection could a band put on one single (live) album? All the playing on this sounds just right, by any instrument (including Winwood's voice).

The only album that I rank above this in my (large and varied!) collection is Soon over Babaluma by Can - A wholly different animal (both the band and the album) So it's no shame to come 2nd to that masterpiece.

It's just a shame that this band has remained so obscure, if only they'd been as well-known as (name some greats here) Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Cream (Non of which exist anymore, and not all members are still alive, with the exception of Cream - Some of whose members have health problems already) there'd be more material from them available, I reckon there must be enough video material in nexistence to make at least one DVD!
This album is better than any of Traffic's studio albums. There is no weak moment on it. Except when it stops, I want it to continue!

The musicians sound as if they're enjoying themselves There aren't any elaborate flights of fancy (in a way they are very disiplined, play for the music and not your own ego) just good musicianhip and good music (Gimme some lovin is arguably the greatest gig-closer)
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Format: Audio CD
Traffic remain under-rated in the history of rock. This album shows the fluency and emotion of their live act..like all the great bands an enhancement of their (impressive) studio work. Down the decades, 'you shouldn't have took more than you gave" remains deeply impressive, musically and emotionally.
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Format: Audio CD
Why "remaster" the original album release......?? Go get the master tape and give us the WHOLE gig !!!
UNEDITED !!!
What we have got is sublime.......absolutely brilliant ! Imagine what the whole gig was like ! Apparently it was taken from two gigs.....
SO LETS HAVE BOTH OF THEM !!!
UNEDITED !!!

I REST MY CASE.

1 star off for screwing up the opportunity !
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Format: Audio CD
I have nothing to add other than that this is one of the worst remasters I've ever heard. It wasn't the best Traffic album in the first place, the nature of it's recording already dictated that was going to be the case. The sound of the original vynil is excellent, even the original 8bit digital transfer sounds good compared to this. What on earth were the remastering engineers thinking when they decided they'd done the job? Did they even review their work? An awful washy sound, trying too hard to seduce the ears, the engineers have absolutely ruined it. Such a shame. I would like to have given this at least four stars on the choice of materiel and the musicianship of the perfromers but due to the awful, awful remastering job this particular issue gets just the one star.
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