Sunday, July 23, 2006

Traffic – Welcome to the Canteen {UK}[1972]@ 192 (Semi Acoustic Folk –Jazzy –Psych Masterpiece) (Kindly submitted by blplus)

Traffic don’t need to be introduced to the visitors of this site. But it will be good if we spend some time thinking about the many qualities of this band.

Traffic was different. Although they were immersed in psychedelia and noise as every other band of those years, they created a unique sound that was somehow more “open” and more “musical”. They did know how to exploit their rockier side, but they also had something in common with bands like Crosby, Stills and Nash or John Mayall (Room to Move era). That something was the acoustic, moody and lighter side of the 70’s scene, an obvious influence of rural folk and jazz.

I think that this is the reason why Traffic music still sounds so pleasant after decades. They had a timeless flavor, that can be well defined as simplicity. They were masters in musical economy. Nothing is excessive in Traffic. Every organ riff sublimely done by Winwood, every sound executed by Capaldi, everything blown by Chris Wood on sax or flute fell in place without saturation.

“Welcome to the Canteen” is the perfect example of this. Listen to the second track (“Sad and deep as you”) or to the third (40,000 Headmen) and delight yourself in the sweetness of the acoustic folky psych waters they used to navigate on. Mr Blplus is right when he said that this is the father of all unplugged albums. There’s electricity here but it is there only to add color to the organic sound of a what was a great and very honest band.

One curious thing about the story of this album is that although it was performed live by all the Traffic members, it wasn’t technically credited to the band but to the individuals due to some contractual problems with United Artist. The silly solution achieved was not to put the word “traffic” on the cover although everybody knew that it was a Traffic album. (Isn’t the Musical Industry grand?)

Traffic had all that was good of the 60’s and early 70’s and very little of what was wrong and boring. This is the kind of album that makes you go back to the cellar to take the dust out of old vinyls. Albums like this make you listen to entire discographies for a week.

Welcome to the Canteen was recorded at the Fairfield Hall, Croydon in July 1971

Have hippie dreams and…

Keep listening…!!!

Unless you're on acid I am sure you still remember where the links are.

PS.- Thanks to blplus for this one

Traffic - "Sad and Deep as You" ...


The Herbalist said...

This way to Traffic”

db said...

Wonderful stuff.
Ta :O)

Anonymous said...

I've been after this one for years and years. Thanks!!!

Love your page, by the way.

Nick Aubert said...

I happen to have this album on CD. It's an excellent album. Jazzy, folksy, rocking... very hard to classify musically, except as "excellent".

blplus said...

Thanks a lot Herbalist, I look forward to keep on contributing. Congratulations.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful, Thanks.

KaliKent said...

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