Traffic’s First Recording – Mr. Fantasy

Traffic

If I had to pinpoint the music genre that best typifies the signature sound of Traffic it would be primarily jazz rock fusion. When I hear the beginning stride piano intro to “Glad/Freedom Rider” or the signatures used on “The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys” an improvisational jazz feel abounds. The secondary characteristic of Traffic’s sound is English folk rock.

File:Traffic1.jpg

The first Traffic recording, was titled Mr. Fantasy distributed on Island Records in the UK. Like most English imports the song tracks varied between the U.S. domestic release and the English album.  Traffic’s USA LP release, titled Heaven Is In Your Mind was on United Artists Records. When Traffic’s record label, Island re-released Mr. Fantasy in 2000 on Audio CD. It was then that the UK and USA releases were synchronized, eliminating the disparity of the tracks, in stereo and mono.

Original UK album

  1. “Heaven Is in Your Mind” (Jim CapaldiSteve WinwoodChris Wood) – 4:16
  2. “Berkshire Poppies” (Capaldi, Winwood, Wood) – 2:55
  3. “House for Everyone” (Dave Mason) – 2:05
  4. “No Face, No Name, No Number” (Capaldi, Winwood) – 3:35
  5. Dear Mr. Fantasy” (Capaldi, Winwood, Wood) – 5:44
  6. “Dealer” (Capaldi, Winwood) – 3:34
  7. “Utterly Simple” (Mason) – 3:16
  8. Coloured Rain” (Capaldi, Winwood, Wood) – 2:43
  9. “Hope I Never Find Me There” (Mason) – 2:12
  10. “Giving to You” (Capaldi, Mason, Winwood, Wood) – 4:20 (album version)

Mono bonus tracks from the US 2000 CD release

  1. Paper Sun” (Capaldi, Winwood) – 4:15
  2. “Giving to You” (Capaldi, Mason, Winwood, Wood) – 4:12 (different U.K. mono single mix, with lyrics sung by Winwood)
  3. Hole in My Shoe” (Mason) – 2:54
  4. “Smiling Phases” (Capaldi, Winwood, Wood) – 2:43
  5. Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush” (Capaldi, Mason, Winwood, Wood) – 2:18
Back Cover

Original US album (Heaven Is In Your Mind)

  1. “Paper Sun” (Capaldi, Winwood) – 3:26
  2. “Dealer” (Capaldi, Winwood) – 3:13
  3. “Coloured Rain” (Capaldi, Winwood, Wood) – 2:46
  4. “Hole in My Shoe” (Mason) – 3:04
  5. “No Face, No Name, No Number” (Capaldi, Winwood) – 3:38
  6. “Heaven Is in Your Mind” (Capaldi, Winwood, Wood) – 4:22
  7. “House for Everyone” (Mason) – 2:05
  8. “Berkshire Poppies” (Capaldi, Winwood, Wood) – 2:59
  9. “Giving to You” (Capaldi, Mason, Winwood, Wood) – 4:18 (mono version of the U.S. album has the different U.K. single mix, with lyrics sung by Winwood)
  10. “Smiling Phases” (Capaldi, Winwood, Wood) – 2:44
  11. “Dear Mr. Fantasy” (Capaldi, Winwood, Wood) – 5:33
  12. “We’re a Fade, You Missed This” (Capaldi, Winwood) – :53

Stereo bonus tracks from the US 2000 CD release

  1. “Utterly Simple” (Mason) – 3:17
  2. “Hope I Never Find Me There” (Mason) – 2:09
  3. “Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush” (Capaldi, Mason, Winwood, Wood) – 2:35
  4. “Am I What I Was or Am I What I Am” (Capaldi, Winwood, Wood) – 2:32
Original English Cover, which became the ultimate album/CD cover
Island Records
Image via Wikipedia
US Cover

Cover (Heaven Is in Your Mind:Traffic)

Jimmy Miller produced this album and Eddie Kramer engineered it! How’s that for a dynamic duo for ya 😉

For more insight into what this period in music was like refer to the Rolling Stone Magazine Archives All Access section to read about the early days of Traffic with articles by Al Kooper, Jann Wenner and David Dalton (Cover Story).


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