Sunday, May 15, 2011


I had a request for some Traffic with Mason. Here is a bootleg from the BBC and other sources.
A generous number of tracks but a rather uneven disc. There are some gems but there are also several disappointments. Tracks 2-11 and 16-20 were recorded live on BBC Radio, 1967-68; Tracks 1, 12-15 & 21 are studio recordings from summer, 1967. The "alternate tracks" from the "Mr. Fantasy" album are only alternate in the loosest sense. These are definitely the same basic tracks (that is, keyboard, bass, drums and rhythm guitar tracks) as on the first album, some with different overdubs - for instance the guitar solo on the first "Mr. Fantasy" alternate. Others are rough mixes, which usually means some instruments or vocals are missing. The second "Mr. Fantasy" is the same track as on the first album. The BBC Radio sessions are much more interesting. These were not from a live concert but were live recordings that many artists did of their current repertoire in the BBC studios. The sound ranges from barely acceptable to very good. "Paper Sun" and "No Face, No Name, No Number" are exceptional, and the performances and arrangements on "40,000 Headmen" and "Smiling Phases" are excellent. It's interesting to note that on a number of the early Dave Mason tunes, the group is simply singing live over the album tracks ("Hole In My Shoe," "A House For Everyone"). On the later ones, the band is playing live. And of particular interest: Mason sings and plays guitar on "Pearly Queen," which is good but falls short of Winwood's interpretations. The disc, with its flaws, is recommended and appears to be quite available.

Traffic: The Perfumed Garden (Essential Studio Sessions & BBC) 1967-1968

Dave Mason - guitar, bass,
Chris Wood - saxophone,
Jim Capaldi - drums
Steve Winwood - Guitar, Organ. Vocals

01 - Dear Mr. Fantasy
02 - Radio Introduction
03 - Hole In My Shoe
04 - Paper Sun
05 - A House For Everyone
06 - No Face, No Name, No Number
07 - Hope They Never Find Me Here
08 - 40,000 Headmen
09 - Dear Mr. Fantasy
10 - You Can All Join In
11 - Feelin' Alright
12 - Heaven Is In Your Mind
13 - Dealer
14 - Utterly Simple
15 - Coloured Rain
16 - Smiling Phases
17 - Heaven Is In Your Mind
18 - Pearly Queen
19 - Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring
20 - Coloured Rain
21 - Dear Mr. Fantasy


Anonymous said...

Thanks! I wonder why there is so little studio outtake material from this band. Strange.

Anonymous said...

This looks ripe for a recall - Traffic were a terrific band at this time and must be worth hearing, even if it's a bit uneven !
Hope you'll consider it - thanks.

Manchester, UK

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