Sunday, 20 May 2012

Sunday night is... Traffic 1972

Mr Fantasy Traffic with Stevie Winwood, 1972.

I think there was an old Music Hall phrase, 'Leave no turn unstoned'. It applies here.

We had this LP some years back and might still have it. The voice is unmistakeable. Rock was heading off into supergroups and prog rock and psychedelic rock and stadium rock. Winwood was seventeen when he first sang this way in the Spencer Davis Group about six years before. It's the black soul voice cropping up Handsworth, just as Dusty Springfield's black soul voice turned up in London.

I like this sound where it is, in England (Springfield was Irish but born in London) and in slightly unlikely places. There is a certain pathos to it, something strange and reaching. It wasn't, after all, the kind of voice British singers had had till then, and not too many others went with it at the time though you could make an argument for Rod Stewart, Eric Burdon and Joe Cocker and maybe Paul McCartney at certain moments. In effect it was a freeing of voice, a raising of possibilities. It wasn't Otis and it wasn't Wilson Pickett. It was the Britain of the lost future.

1 comment:

Andrew Shields said...

I got turned onto this song by the Grateful Dead's cover of it, which I heard live several times. It was always incredibly explosive!

Aside: boy does Winwood look stoned!