Volume 177, sent Jan 3, 2000:
1. Traffic discography
3. Playing with Steve
4. MORE WINWOOOD/TRAFFIC/MASON ON EBAY
5. HAP XMAS New DAVE/TRAFFIC items on ebay
6. Steve on VH1
7. Mutating songwriting credits, revisited
8. Pure opinion - Winwood solo albums
Date sent: Tue, 23 Nov 1999 12:50:20 -0500
From: Bob Kentfield
Subject: Traffic discography
In your Traffic discography, you have references to the United Artists USA release of Mr.
Fantasy and its predecessor, Heaven Is In Your Mind. Since you seem to be the only source I
can find that even acknowledges that there is anything other than the Island release, I'm
hoping you can help me out.
I have four copies of this disc as follows:
1) Cover: Heaven Is In Your Mind - Same picture front and back as UA Mr. Fantasy, but
without the track listing on the back.
Record: BLACK label, "Heaven Is In Your Mind" The numbers etched near the center (I
believe) are the same as the others, UAS-6651. In your discography you seem to imply that
"Heaven Is In Your Mind" is only Mono, but this (I believe) is stereo.
2 + 3) Cover: UA Mr. Fantasy
Record: Pink and Orange United Artists
Label: Mr. Fantasy
Cover: UA Mr. Fantasy
Record: Pink and Orange United Artists Label "Heaven Is In Your Mind" I am NOT certain
that this cover and record have always been together (I bought it used). If they were
issued together, it would seem to indicate that United Artists went BACK to the title
"Heaven Is In Your Mind" after Mr. Fantasy, and after they switched to the pink and orange
Do you know the sequence of a) UA changing the title to Mr. Fantasy and b) changing the
label from black to pink and orange?
I have on the way a record that I bought on ebay that is supposedly the
reverse of 4) Cover: "Heaven Is In Your Mind" Record: Mr. Fantasy. I
don't know yet the color of the label, and, like 4) I don't know if
they've always been together.
What I do know is that I'm becoming far more obsessed than I should be
with this, and I'm hoping you can help me out.
Date sent: Sat, 18 Dec 1999 10:33:49 -0500
Just wanna let everyone know that http://johnmayall.com is finally up and running!
Please don't interpret this to mean that it's my web site, because it's not.
Date sent: Fri, 24 Dec 1999 13:59:07 EST
Subject: Playing with Steve
Just read the very interesting reviews of the Shepards Bush Gig. It seems the Gig came
across really well. It was fun for all of us in the band to get together again. We've
really become a bit of a family/gang! We have fun!
It's nice to see people appreciating the communication and interplay that has developed
amongst us all.
Having worked with Steve since the Traffic Tour of 94, and spent time jamming at his home
in Lower Dean, as well as working on the Junction 7 album with him, I have to say that I've
seen his playing and musicianship become deeper, more fluid and inspired over the years.
He's always been a true musician but It feels like he's got back to that same pure energy
he had in the early days when he was just freely expressing himself and unconcerned about
commerciality or hits or any of that stuff. Also his love of Cuban Music has really
expanded his (as well as mine!) repertoire of expression.
He's been a great influence on me in so many ways. His integrity, dignity and his down to
earth spirituality has had a big impact on me over the years. I have worked with many well
known and successful artists over the years (see my website if you don't believe
me/rezzonator.com) but never have I learned so much or respected anyone as much as
Mr.Winwood. A gentleman forsure, and Thank God! There aren't enough of them in the world
these days! (Particularly the POP world)
Have a great Christmas. I look forward to more news letters in the future. By the way, I'm
in the process of posting a new selection of tracks on my mp3.com site.
(http://mp3.com/MJMcEvoy/) It's music I think will appeal to those Fans of Steve and
Traffic. I like to think that there is a reason why me and Steve have been so compatible
over he past 5 years. There are CDs available to purchase online and tracks can be down
loaded free to get a bit of the "flavour".Thanks a lot!
All the best for 2000,
Date sent: Sat, 25 Dec 1999 00:24:36 -0800 (PST)
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Jay Siekierski)
Subject: MORE WINWOOOD/TRAFFIC/MASON ON EBAY
Title of item: WINWOOD/MASON/CAPALDI TRAFFIC SEALED GOLD
Title of item: TRAFFIC/DAVE MASON '70s MARBLE SWIRL LP.
HAP NEW YEAR
The Sonics All Music Site Published By Jay Siekierski
Date sent: Sat, 25 Dec 1999 16:35:47 -0800 (PST)
From: email@example.com (Jay Siekierski)
Subject: HAP XMAS New DAVE/TRAFFIC items on ebay
hi Bluenigel here (J)
TRAFFIC deleted GOLD CD sealed
Dave mason Marble Vinyl
The Sonics All Music Site Published By Jay Siekierski
Date sent: Sun, 26 Dec 1999 15:16:49 EST
Subject: Steve on VH1
I was glad to get the smiling phases yesterday, I get the blues this time of year and it
was refreshing to hear some news about Steve. I don't think Steve should be on The List, I
really detest VH1. They used to run Steve's videos constantly and now all the line-up is
about Behind the music, Jeopardy, blah-blah ---- Steve is a legend and a survivor who
actually made the choices that allow him to have a happy and normal life. I feel the VH1
lounge lizards would take away some of his respectful image and probably waste his time.
His career and talent speak for themselves. Although I would love to see Steve on the
channel, I can't see him arguing over Lauren Hill being the best female rock singer ever. I
am off my soapbox now. I sincerely enjoy hearing from the folks who contribute to the
newsletter and can hardly wait for new music from Steve. I really love the Barleycorn
remastered CD and I understand more new Traffic will be coming soon (I mean unreleased and
remastered) Many thanks to you and the other people who keep the news coming in about such
talented musicians. I got an email from Walfredo Reyes jr. (Steve's talented drummer) He
was really nice and spoke of new projects for Steve in the new year. His tone was exciting
although he gave no specifics. A very nice gesture from a busy fellow. Keep your eyes and
ears open. Thanks, Tony g
Date sent: Mon, 27 Dec 1999 07:27:40 -0500
Subject: Mutating songwriting credits, revisited
From: Trafficologist (Ted G.) - firstname.lastname@example.org
Milking the Traffic Remasters for a little more trivia...
I recently noticed that the JOHN BARLEYCORN remaster, like later copies of TRAFFIC, credits
"Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring" to Winwood/Capaldi/Wood instead of the original
Winwood/Capaldi, and that the MR. FANTASY remaster credits "Dealer" to Capaldi/Winwood
instead of the original Capaldi. I don't have the TRAFFIC remaster so I don't know how it
credits "Vagabond Virgin" (Mason/Capaldi on the original TRAFFIC, Mason/Wood on later
Wondering "which of these mutating credits really are correct?", and being one who enjoys
researching totally pointless questions like this, I decided to do the "well, duh" thing
and look up the SP site's "legal" info on these songs. For what it's worth, this is what
"Dealer" - Capaldi (I knew that)
"Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring" - Winwood/Capaldi/Wood (OK,
I'll go along with that)
"Vagabond Virgin" - Mason (huh? no Capaldi or anything??)
I always thought the "VV" lyrics were pretty clearly JC material, so I suspect the "legal"
stuff is not as reliable as I thought. Oh well. Anyway, um... was I trying to make a point
with all of this? Probably not. Okay. 'Bye.
Date sent: Tue, 28 Dec 1999 09:14:40 -0500
Subject: Pure opinion - Winwood solo albums
From: Trafficologist (Ted G.) - email@example.com
Warning: Low-flying opinions ahead... be prepared to duck.
Judging from the deafening silence I've received in response to most of my questions
lately, most of you must be seeing my name, saying "Oh, it's THAT guy again", and skipping
my posts to read something of more current and immediate relevance to SW and his music,
such as info on "Wynnewood, PA". ;-)
Anyway, 2.5 months and 7 SPs ago I asked y'all for your opinions on the 7 SW solo albums.
No one responded, but now that I can finally say I've heard all 7 of them, I'll just answer
my own question, thank you very much.
STEVE WINWOOD - Speaking as one who loves WHEN THE EAGLE FLIES, I have to say this album
was a big, awkward step down from there. Favorite track: "Hold On". "Vacant" & "Midland"
could have been favorites, but each gets stuck in its least interesting groove for way too
long at the end. "Time Is Running Out" is OK but to me it sounds like it belongs on a
Capaldi album. (I'd like to see the lyrics to this one just to see how much space they
take up.) The last 2 tracks are fine musically (esp. the jamming on "Luck") but the lyrics
mess them up for me.
ARC OF A DIVER - I consider this Steve's most overrated album. As I've said, I only have
it for "Night Train" and the love-it-or-hate-it "Spanish Dancer". Sure, there's always
"While", but it's one of those songs I've simply heard too many times. On other songs I
hear the melodies being oddly twisted out of shape by the lyrics (particularly Mr.
TALKING BACK TO THE NIGHT - Actually, I don't have this & haven't heard most of it in
years. I remember thinking that Steve's one-man show had a strangely lonely sound even on
the tracks I liked (title track & most of Side 1). On recent, quick listens to parts of
this I couldn't get past the tinny, electronic sound. (Apparently "The Silence Is Your
Song", from this same period, is a cut above anything on TALKING.)
BACK IN THE HIGH LIFE - The only SW album I can say I heard when it was brand new. At the
time it sounded too commercial & un-Traffic-like for me and I rejected it. Revisiting it
recently with more educated ears, I have to agree with the consensus that this is SW's solo
best. Few complaints now except that "Higher Love" is another song I've heard too many
times and "Judgment Day" just doesn't flow like it should. Tracks I originally hated --
title track & "My Love's Leaving" -- have become pleasant surprises.
ROLL WITH IT - Favorites are "Morning Side", "Hearts On Fire" & "Shining Song". The rest I
find neither thrilling or offensive -- fairly enjoyable but not very substantial.
REFUGEES OF THE HEART - I find it annoying, yet somehow understandable, that this album
received such universally bad reviews. As with FAR FROM HOME, I like it yet I can see why
it wouldn't thrill critics. To my ears only "Another Deal" really sounds like something
could have been there that isn't. This has been called SW's most Traffic-like solo album;
I think I'd put it as "least un-Traffic-like".
"Light Of Day" is my favorite SW solo track, period, and the only one that makes me think
"hey, this guy was with Traffic, wasn't he?".
JUNCTION 7 - Just recently picked this one up. The critics all either loved or hated this
one, which I thought was better than all of them hating it. (Then again, maybe all of them
hating an album isn't so bad -- look at REFUGEES.) A common complaint from the haters was
Narada's 70's "soul"-based production. Actually what killed it for me on my first (and
probably only) listen was the flat-as-cardboard material. The slow numbers, especially,
are the sort of generic pop drivel that sends me running to my prog-rock records yelling
"AAAAAAA! Quick, let me hear some music where something actually HAPPENS!". The only song
I had any desire to hear again was "Fill Me Up". I realize a lot of SP readers are such
fans that pick up any new SW-related release the moment it hits the shops -- including
compilations of songs you already have ;-) -- but if by chance there are any Traffic fans
out there who don't have J7, I advise you to stay far away from it! My own copy will soon
be out on the used-CD market.
There. Got that off my chest. I feel better. Can't speak for anyone else, but I
personally welcome others' opinions on the subject. (For one thing, it would let me know
someone's actually READING this...)
From: Dawn (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date sent: Mon, 3 Jan 2000 11:06:45 -0500
Please forgive an off-topic post, but as I've found the SP community to be overwhelmingly
kind and thoughtful, I hoped you wouldn't mind. My mother is gravely ill in hospital, and
if you are inclined toward prayer, I would appreciate it if you would include her and my
family in your prayers. Thank you all.
Date sent: Tue Dec 28 16:04:47 EST 1999
Other comments on the remasters: MR. FANTASY: I'd have to agree with Ted that the mono Mr.
Fantasy is overkill. I'd much rather have the stereo versions of Paper Sun, Smiling Phases,
and Hole In My Shoe. And frankly, even one version of Berkshire Poppies and House For
Everyone is more than enough for me. I must admit, however, that I do prefer the running
order of the U.S. release. It's one rare example of a disc butchered by a record company
that actually improves the pacing. By the way, on my copy the mono version of Giving To You
has some pretty bad digital distortion, starting near the end of the guitar solo (from
about 2:22 to 2:33). Is mine defective, or does anyone else notice this? WITHERING TREE:
This sounds like it was remixed -- the acoustic guitar is much more prominent relative to
the piano than the Last Exit version, and there seems to be less reverb on the track. The
remaster also doesn't have the annoying sudden drop-off during the fade, but it's slightly
shorter (2:54 compared to 3:02). LIVE NOVEMBER '70: The two cuts from this are very fine
indeed -- there's so much more energy than on Welcome To The Canteen. It really is a pity
the rest of the Live November '70 disc wasn't included, as there's room for another 20
minutes or so on the John Barlycorn remaster. TRAFFIC: Similarly, on the Traffic remaster,
what were they thinking by including just three of the studio songs from Last Exit,
therefore making that disc semi-redundant? Actually, there's probably enough time left over
on the remaster to fit the rest of the Last Exit. Odd. HISS: One of the best things about
remastering nowadays is that it finally seems possible to remove that scourge of early
analogue technology: tape hiss. Compare the opening of the remastered No Time To Live or
40,000 Headmen to the previous CD issue. The new-found silence is thundering. LINER NOTES:
I feel a great opportunity was lost here. Not only are the liner notes sloppily edited and
riddled with typos, but they provide little more than the superficial, official history of
the band you can read anywhere, with no specific information on the albums in question.
(And I assume there will be no remasters of further Traffic albums, since the ``Traffic
story'' in the John Barleycorn package spans that disc through When The Eagle Flies.)
Rather than waste space telling us things like Low Spark ``was good, but lacked the magic
of old'' (Oh yeah? Not in my books), why not give us some background on the two studio
outtakes on John Barleycorn, or tell us why the Live, November '70 album was never
released? Why not tell us who was behind the U.S. version of Mr. Fantasy, and why they
decided to use those low-level loops of Mulberry Bush between tracks? And why is the mono
version of that album so different than the stereo? What were the circumstances behind
Medicated Goo or Shanghai Noodle Factory -- are they outtakes from the second album, or
what? Unfortunately, you won't find insights into these kinds of questions here. All in
all, great to have, but maddeningly not definitive. Traffic deserves even better.
Date sent: Mon, 3 Jan 2000 09:50:54 -0700
Reminder - SP in its current format will expire at the end of this month! I'll start
sending instructions and answering questions in the next volume of SP.
Happy New Year to all!
End of SP, volume 177