Traffic - On The Road (1973)

Traffic were a British rock band active from the late 60s to the early 70s. Their line-up changed numerous times, but the three constant members throughout their career were the core trio of Steve Winwood, Chris Wood and Jim Capaldi.

In 1973 Traffic embarked on a world tour, at that time with the lienup of Steve Winwood (keyboards/guitar/vocals), Chris Wood (sax/flute), Jim Capaldi (percussion/drums/vocals), Rebop Kwaku Baah (percussion), David Hood (bass) and Roger Hawkins (drums). They took with them an extra keyboard player, Barry Beckett, who was a colleague of Hood and Hawkins (the three of them being being the owners and house band of the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Alabama)
A live album came out of the tour, and On The Road was released later the same year. It featured a small selection of songs, all drawn out to considerable lengths, showcasing the abilities of the talened lineup with lots of jamming. Winwood was the star of the show of course, leading the band through a selection of tunes mostly from their most recent studio release (Shoot Out At The Fantasy Factory). Capaldi's vocals were featured on his own "Light Up Or Leave Me Alone", but elsewhere he only performed as a percussionist (though he did take the drum seat on "(Sometimes I Feel So) Uninspired").
However by the end of the tour change was again on the cards for Traffic, as Hood and Hawkins finished their brief sojourn with the band and returned to America.

Shoot Out At The Fantasy Factory (1973) <|> When The Eagle Flies (1974)
More from Traffic

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14 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was/am a Traffic fan and have all of their albums and their Santa Monica DVD but I always found this album boring. There's no energy in the band and no enthusiasm for the music. I can only think that the album was recorded at the end of the tour when the band was tired of travel and perhaps tired of the material too. Contrast this album with "Welcome To The Canteen" - a good selection from the band's early psychedic era played (I think) better than the studio recordings. Six songs on both albums but "Canteen" is one disc. What does that tell you? "On The Road" also falls short of the performance on the Santa Monica DVD. Filmed a year earlier, the Santa Monica performance is laid-back but far more interesting. This is the lost potential of "On The Road".

Anonymous said...

I saw Traffic on this tour in York, still the best gig I've been to... bought the vinyl, bought the cd re-issue, can't live without it... you might really need it too...

Anonymous said...

Great stuff...long drawn out versions of great songs....thanks

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Dave said...

I agree with the first person to comment. The diversity and freshness of Traffic's first albums were gone, and their music became slow and sludgy. But, I am checking this out to see if I'd like it now, 40 years later. Renewing my acquaintance with the first Traffic albums was a pleasure.

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Anonymous said...

I recall hearing at one point that the first CD release of this album had a different versions than the original lps and than later versions of the CD. Was this just a smoke induced voice in my head or was there something like that?

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