TRAFFIC — Mr. Fantasy

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TRAFFIC - Mr. Fantasy cover
4.23 | 12 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 1967

Filed under Jazz Related Rock


1. Heaven Is in Your Mind (4:19)
2. Berkshire Poppies (2:58)
3. House for Everyone (2:04)
4. No Face, No Name, No Number (3:34)
5. Dear Mr. Fantasy (5:35)
6. Dealer (3:12)
7. Utterly Simple (3:19)
8. Coloured Rain (2:41)
9. Hope I Never Find Me There (2:09)
10. Giving to You (4:17)

Total Time: 34:13


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About this release

Island (UK), Fontana (France/Germany), United Artists (US)

Thanks to snobb for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

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Members reviews

TRAFFIC's debut is one of the more neglected gems of the British psychedelia, probably due to the fact it never scored a hit in America, at least in the format it was released in UK. But it is a masterpiece of songwriting and eclecticism in its own right.

Winwood, Capaldi, Mason and Wood created an amazing album of seemingly different influences and approach. Psychedelic keyboards, hard guitar solo a la CREAM, British folk and music-hall, jazz paranoia and Indian raga with overall Winwood's soulful voice make an album that can be enjoyed over and over. Mason gives important musical component with his guitar, bass and sitar, offering one of the best raga moments in rock music, "Utterly Simple", which beats the Fab Four's "Within You, Without You" by and large IMO.

Each song has its place on this surprisingly mature record, but the title track - allegedly drug-influenced imagination - "Dear Mr. Fantasy" (which was to be honored by such giants as THE GRATEFUL DEAD on their last official live set "Without a Net" in 1989), beautiful flute ballad "No Face, No Name, No Number", and "Coloured Rain" with distinguished Wood's saxophone are the highlights. One can notice that the peculiar sound of TRAFFIC, with dominating organ, piano and woodwinds (sax and flute) and with ever diminishing presence of lead guitar and bass guitar, makes it a sort of precursor of the acts like VAN DER GRAFF GENERATOR, albeit coming from different attitude: VDGG were always more avant-garde and "classically" influenced than TRAFFIC, who sticked with R'n'B, folk and jazz scheme. However, Wood's saxophone at certain moments sounds almost as crazy as Dave Jaxon's!

This is a wonderful album, keeping in mind that this review refers to the original UK version, that is one of true "proto-progressive" rock albums of the great period 1967- 69, worth investigating by any serious music collector.
Sean Trane
(first of a series of ten)

Traffic started out as a psychedelic group so you will find here mostly short psych songs full of weird but very innovative ideas and eastern sounds. One must remember that groups back in 67 were not really given the artistic freedom of later groups just a mere two years later. Traffic were also releasing many non-album singles and the bonus tracks on this album are mostly just that - A-choice stuff and no third-choice-bottom-of-the-drawer alternate tracks. Giving To You, Paper Sun & Hole In My Shoe are pure delights.

Progheads will find heaven in the title track and Dealer , where the musicians are given space to expand and have the room for it (in terms of track lenght), and announces many great things to come. The only thing I can unfortunately denounce here is the lack of a proper bassist.

Although technically speaking this album should not have that fourth star (ideally 3,5 *) , the historical importance of such an album is all too sadly forgotten , so this might be my way of setting the record straight. MUCH RECOMMENDED but be aware that some of those tracks have not aged that well.

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  • Fant0mas
  • KK58
  • Unitron
  • Lynx33
  • Vano
  • Kontiki
  • Ponker
  • yair0103
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