In 1967 Steve Windwood, Chris Wood, Jim Capaldi, and Dave Mason got together and formed a band. Like many artists at the time (Rolling Stones, Beach Boys, The Zombies) they were inspired by the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper release earlier in the year. Traffic’s debut, Mr. Fantasy draws on the eclectic, psychedelic blueprint of that album. The influence here is heavy and obvious with the carnival sounds of Berkshire Poppies and House for Everyone, and it even has a song (Utterly Simple) which features a sitar.
The opening cut Heaven in your Mind would serve as the title to the repackaged US re-release of the album that same year after Dave Mason’s (first of many) departures from the band. In the eyes of Windwood and Capaldi, Traffic was a collaborative venture which found Mason on the outside looking in.
The original mono recording of Mr. Fantasy is a short jaunt, just 33 minutes, ending with the four minute jazz jam – Giving To You.
“You know, it’s like, it’s jazz is where it’s at – you know where I’m at…”
You can add 40 minutes here with Traffic’s second, self titled album – Traffic – for a one-two punch to kick off the new year.
Enjoy getting caught in Traffic!