Traffic is a rock band formed in 1967 in Birmingham, UK, with their initial membership consisting of Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi, Chris Wood, and Dave Mason. Starting out as a Psychedelic Rock band first and foremost, they had eventually diversified their sounds, incorporating elements of Soul, Folk, Jazz, and Progressive Rock. They had briefly disbanded in 1969, with Steve Winwood forming the supergroup Blind Faith which only lasted a year. In 1970, the band regrouped and released their biggest album John Barleycorn Must Die. This incarnation of the band lasted to 1974, releasing three more studio albums and two live albums. The stress of touring had gotten to Steve Winwood, prompting him to quit the band and pursue a successful solo career, and the rest of the band decided that they cannot carry on without him.
In 1994, Winwood and Capaldi reformed the group for a one-off touring group, with Wood having died of pneumonia in 1983. The footage from the tours has been recorded in the live compilation Last Great Traffic Jam in 2005. Winwood and Capaldi also recorded a final studio album in the band's name around the time of their tour. The band got inducted in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, with Winwood also receiving a nomination for his solo career.
- 1967 - Mr. Fantasy
- 1968 - Traffic
- 1969 - Last Exitnote
- 1970 - John Barleycorn Must Die
- 1971 - Welcome to the Canteen
- 1971 - The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys
- 1973 - Shoot Out the Fantasy Factory
- 1973 - On the Road
- 1974 - When the Eagle Flies
- 1994 - Far from Home
- 2005 - Last Great Traffic Jam
Members (Founding members in bold):
- Barry Beckett - Keyboards (1973; died 2009)
- Randall Bramblett - flute, saxophone, keyboards (1994)
- Jim Capaldi - drums, percussion, vocals (1967-9, 1970-4, 1994; died 2005)
- Rosko Gee - bass (1974, 1994)
- Jim Gordon - drums (1971-2)
- Ric Grech - bass, violin (1970-2; died 1990)
- Roger Hawkins - drums (1972-3; died 2021)
- David Hood - bass (1972-3)
- Rebop Kwaku Baah - percussion (1971-4; died 1983)
- Dave Mason - vocals, guitar, sitar, bass (1967, 1968, 1971)
- Michael McEvoy - keyboards, guitar, viola (1994)
- Walfredo Reyes, Jr. - percussion, drums (1994)
- Steve Winwood - vocals, guitar, keyboards, bass (1967-69, 1970-4, 1994)
- Chris Wood - flute, saxophone, keyboards (1967-9, 1970-4; died 1983)
And the thing that you're hearing is the only sound of the low spark of high-heeled tropes:
- Anthropomorphic Vice - "John Barleycorn (Must Die)" is a traditional English folk song of which Traffic's version is particularly well known. John Barleycorn himself represents the cereal grains, especially barley, used to malt alcoholic beverages.
- Epic Rocking - Many of their tracks from John Barleycorn Must Die onwards have exceeded six minutes, and even before then they would easily make ten in live concerts.
- The title cut from The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys album runs 11 minutes and 41 seconds.
- Siamese Twin Songs: "Glad" -> "Freedom Rider" is such a song.
- Spoken Word in Music - "Hole in my Shoe" has a spoken word section by the producer's stepdaughter, where she describes traveling on the back of an albatross to a magical land.