Traffic - John Barleycorn Must Die (CD)


R 159

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  1. Performer
  2. Rock & Pop
  3. Art Rock
Number of Discs
Number of Items
John Barleycorn Must Die [Remaster]
Country of Origin
Universal Distribution
Mono / Stereo

Rolling Stone (9/3/70, p.42) - "...The best cut on the album is probably the title tune....Wood's flute is again exceptional, delicate and ornate, and Steve sings the song just right, with an admirable sense of restraint and simplicity..."
Q (2/00, p.104) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...a stew of jazz, folk and prog....seeing the band lapsing into a little too much jam-based indulgence..."
Mojo (Publisher) (1/00, p.106) - "...shows that Traffic were capable of thoughtful, inventive and occasionally very beautiful music."
Record Collector (magazine) (p.98) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[With] tracks such as 'Glad' and 'Freedom Rider' featuring extended jamming sections within robust song structures, while 'Every Mother's Son captures Winwood at his most soulful."
Uncut (magazine) (p.94) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "It's a trio record with an economical sound canvas....A much more sophisticated affair, pointing more towards jazz and improvisation than folkish simplicity."

  1. [ Disc 01 Track 01 ] Glad
  2. [ Disc 01 Track 02 ] Freedom Rider
  3. [ Disc 01 Track 03 ] Empty Pages
  4. [ Disc 01 Track 04 ] I Just Want You To Know - (previously Unreleased)
  5. [ Disc 01 Track 05 ] Stranger To Himself
  6. [ Disc 01 Track 06 ] John Barleycorn
  7. [ Disc 01 Track 07 ] Every Mother's Son
  8. [ Disc 01 Track 08 ] Sittin' Here Thinkin' Of My Love - (previously Unreleased)
Songs / Tracks
  1. [ Disc 01 Track 01 ] Glad
  2. [ Disc 01 Track 02 ] Freedom Rider
  3. [ Disc 01 Track 03 ] Empty Pages
  4. [ Disc 01 Track 04 ] I Just Want You to Know - (previously unreleased)
  5. [ Disc 01 Track 05 ] Stranger to Himself
  6. [ Disc 01 Track 06 ] John Barleycorn
  7. [ Disc 01 Track 07 ] Every Mothers Son
  8. [ Disc 01 Track 08 ] Sittin' Here Thinkin' of My Love - (previously unreleased)
Pop / Rock
South Africa

Originally released on Island (9116).
Traffic: Chris Wood (flute, saxophone, electric saxophone, organ, percussion); Steve Winwood (flute, bass instrument); Jim Capaldi.
Personnel: Steve Winwood (vocals, acoustic guitar, piano, electric piano, organ, bass guitar, percussion); Jim Capaldi (vocals, drums, tambourine, percussion).
Liner Note Author: Brian Hogg.
Recording information: Island Studios; Olympic Studios, London, England.
Although JOHN BARLEYCORN MUST DIE was originally intended as Steve Winwood's post-Blind Faith solo debut, Winwood and producer/label head Chris Blackwell first drafted Jim Capaldi to provide lyrics, and then Chris Wood dropped by to add his familiar reeds, and almost by accident, Traffic was reborn.
This was a different, and better, Traffic than the ill-fated quartet lineup with Dave Mason, which never entirely settled on an artistic direction. The sound of JOHN BARLEYCORN MUST DIE, on the other hand, remained the template for the rest of the reunited band's career--long, organically developed songs with a subtle jazz-rock feel, powered by Capaldi's percussion and Winwood's organ. "John Barleycorn," a traditional English folk song about the process of brewing ale (not, as the liner notes mistakenly claim, a call for temperance), here becomes a pastoral reverie carried along by flute and acoustic guitar, and proves to be the record's highlight. However, the quality of the other songs, particularly the instrumental opener, "Glad," and the outstanding ballad "Empty Pages," is nearly as high.

Date Released
Audio Format
PCM Audio
Studio / Live
Video Disabled
Steve Winwood; Guy Stevens; Chris Blackwell; Steve Winwood; Guy Stevens
  1. Traffic
39m 28s
Brian Humphries; Andy Johns; Brian Humphries; Andy Johns
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