After a brief period of inactivity due to Steve Winwood falling ill, Traffic got back together in late 1972. Winwood, Chris Wood and Jim Capaldi had to put together a new lineup, as bassist Rich Grech and drummer Jim Gordon had left, with only percussionist Rebop Kwaku Baah staying with them. They found their new rhythm section in David Hood (bass) and Roger Hawkins (drums), part of the famed Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section. Capaldi had recently recorded his solo debut at Muscle Shoals, where he had met Hood and Hawkins. The new lineup started work on a new album, which was released in January 1973.
Shoot Out At The Fantasy Factory consisted of only five song (each at well over five minutes in length), which were for the most part darker in character than any of their previous output. Alongside four Winwood/Capaldi songs was a rare Chris Wood composition, the horn-based instrumental "Tragic Magic", with guest appearances from Hood and Hawkins' Muscle Shoals colleagues Barry Beckett and Jimmy Johnson. The other standout track was the lengthy, complex "Roll Right Stones", the most prog-rock the band had gone to date.
Even more so than on the previous album, Capaldi's contributions were diminishing, being listed in the credits as performing just percussion and backing vocals (in a band that featured both a drummer and another full-time percussionist). Though perhaps with a promising solo career now begun he had other things on his mind.
The album was a #5 hit in the US, and soon after its release the band started on a world tour to promote it.
The Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys (1971) <|> On The Road (1973)
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