Traffic ¦ John Barleycorn Must Die

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Veröffentlichung John Barleycorn Must Die:


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John Barleycorn Must Die auf Wikipedia (oder andere Quellen):

John Barleycorn Must Die
Traffic-John Barleycorn Must Die (album cover).jpg
Studio album by
Released1 July 1970
RecordedFebruary–April 1970
StudioIsland and Olympic, London
GenreProgressive rock, folk rock, jazz-rock[1]
ProducerChris Blackwell, Steve Winwood, Guy Stevens
Traffic chronology
Last Exit
John Barleycorn Must Die
Welcome to the Canteen
Singles from John Barleycorn Must Die
  1. "Empty Pages"
    Released: July 1, 1970 (US only)

John Barleycorn Must Die is the fourth studio album by English rock band Traffic, released in 1970 as Island ILPS 9116 in the United Kingdom, United Artists UAS 5504 in the United States, and as Polydor 2334 013 in Canada. It marked the band's comeback after a brief disbandment, and peaked at number 5 on the Billboard 200, making it their highest-charting album in the US,[2] and has been certified a gold record by the RIAA. In addition, the single "Empty Pages" spent eight weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 74.[3] The album was marginally less successful in the UK, reaching number 11 on the UK Albums Chart.[4]

Background and content

In late 1968, Traffic disbanded, with guitarist Dave Mason leaving the group for the second time prior to the completion of the Traffic album. In 1969, Steve Winwood joined the supergroup Blind Faith, while drummer and lyricist Jim Capaldi and woodwinds player Chris Wood turned to session work. Wood and Winwood also joined Blind Faith's drummer Ginger Baker in his post-Blind Faith group Ginger Baker's Air Force for their first album, Ginger Baker's Air Force (1970).[5]

At the beginning of 1970, after the demise of Blind Faith, Winwood returned to the studio ostensibly to make his first solo album, originally to be titled Mad Shadows. He recorded two tracks with producer Guy Stevens, "Stranger to Himself" and "Every Mother's Son", but yearned for like-minded musicians to accompany, inviting Wood and Capaldi to join him. Thus Winwood's erstwhile solo album became the reunion of Traffic (minus Dave Mason), and a re-launch of the band's career.[6] Mad Shadows would go on to be the title of Mott the Hoople's second album, also produced by Guy Stevens, and the new Winwood/Traffic album took its title from one of its tracks and became John Barleycorn Must Die.

The album featured influences from jazz and blues, but the version of the traditional English folk tune that provided the album's title, "John Barleycorn", also showed the musicians attending to a modern interpretation of traditional folk music in the vein of contemporary British bands Pentangle and Fairport Convention. Whereas previous Traffic albums had been dominated by more concise song structures, John Barleycorn saw the group develop into a looser, jam-oriented progressive rock and jazz fusion style, setting the tone for their subsequent output in the 1970s.

The album was reissued for compact disc in the UK on 1 November 1999, with five bonus tracks, including three recorded in concert from the Fillmore East in New York City. In the US, the remastered reissue of 27 February 2001 included only the two studio bonus tracks.

Steve Winwood oversaw a deluxe edition that was released on 15 March 2011,[7] featuring the original studio album, digitally remastered on disc one, plus a second disc of bonus material, including more of the Fillmore East concert, with alternate mixes and versions of album tracks.


The original LP release of the album had the front cover design on a background consisting of a photograph of burlap. Later LP copies had the design on a grey background. The cover is displayed prominently during a party scene in the 1971 movie by Dario Argento, Four Flies on Grey Velvet.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Christgau's Record GuideC+[9]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music[10]

Retrospective reviews of the album have been mixed. AllMusic criticised the vocal sections as "excuses for Winwood to exercise his expressive voice as punctuation to the extended instrumental sections", but made note of how the album took the band's jazz/rock leanings beyond mere jamming.[8] Village Voice critic Robert Christgau said the departure of Mason hurt Traffic's songwriting on the album, leaving the band to depend on Winwood's "feckless improvised rock, or is it folksong-based jazz?"[9]

It was voted number 369 in Colin Larkin's All Time Top 1000 Albums 3rd Edition (2000).[11]

Track listing and personnel

Side one
1."Glad"Steve Winwood
2."Freedom Rider"Winwood, Jim Capaldi
    • Winwood — vocals, organ, piano, percussion
    • Wood — saxophone, electric saxophone, flute, percussion
    • Capaldi — drums, percussion
3."Empty Pages"Winwood, Capaldi
    • Winwood — vocals, organ, electric piano, bass guitar
    • Wood — organ
    • Capaldi — drums, percussion
Side two
4."Stranger to Himself"Winwood, Capaldi
    • Winwood — vocals, all instruments
    • Capaldi — vocals
5."John Barleycorn (Must Die)"traditional; arranged by Winwood
    • Winwood — vocals, acoustic guitar, piano
    • Wood — flute, percussion
    • Capaldi — vocals, tambourine
6."Every Mother's Son"Winwood, Capaldi
    • Winwood — vocals, all instruments other than drums
    • Capaldi — drums
Total length:35:06

Previously unreleased studio bonus tracks 4. ("I Just Want You To Know") and 8. ("Sittin' Here Thinkin' of My Love") are solo demos by Winwood. The live tracks, recorded on 18/19 November at the Fillmore East, comprise what was to have been side one of Live Traffic (ILPS 9142), presumably shelved in favor of Welcome to the Canteen.

1999 reissue
1."Glad"Winwood 6:59
2."Freedom Rider"Winwood, Capaldi 5:30
3."Empty Pages"Winwood, Capaldi 4:34
4."I Just Want You to Know"Winwood, Capaldi
    • Winwood — vocals, all instruments
5."Stranger to Himself"Winwood, Capaldi 3:57
6."John Barleycorn"traditional; arranged by Winwood 6:27
7."Every Mother's Son"Winwood, Capaldi 7:08
8."Sittin' Here Thinkin' of My Love"Winwood, Capaldi
    • Winwood — vocals, all instruments
9."Backstage and Introduction" (live; introduction by Bill Graham)Winwood, Capaldi 1:50
10."Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring" (live)Capaldi, Winwood, Chris Wood
11."Glad" (live)Winwood
    • Winwood — Hammond organ
    • Wood — saxophone
    • Grech — bass guitar
    • Capaldi — drums

Island Records 314 548 541-2, also includes the previously unreleased tracks "I Just Want You to Know" and "Sittin' Here Thinkin' of My Love".

2001 US remastered reissue
2."Freedom Rider"5:29
3."Empty Pages"4:38
4."I Just Want You to Know"1:33
5."Stranger to Himself"3:57
6."John Barleycorn"6:26
7."Every Mother's Son"7:08
8."Sittin' Here Thinkin' of My Love"3:24
2011 deluxe reissue disc two
1."Stranger to Himself" (alternative mix)Winwood, Capaldi4:09
2."John Barleycorn Must Die" (first version)traditional; arranged by Winwood5:05
3."Every Mother's Son" (alternative mix)Winwood, Capaldi7:03
4."Back Stage and Introduction" 1:44
5."Medicated Goo" (live)Winwood, Jimmy Miller4:17
6."Empty Pages" (live)Winwood, Capaldi4:47
7."Forty Thousand Headmen" (live)Winwood, Capaldi4:30
8."Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring?" (live)Winwood, Capaldi, Wood5:16
9."Every Mother's Song" (live)Winwood, Capaldi7:00
10."Glad" / "Freedom Rider" (live)Winwood / Winwood, Capaldi14:30

Tracks 4–10 recorded on 18–19 November 1970 at the Fillmore East.


  • Steve Winwood – acoustic piano (1, 2, 5), organ (1, 2, 3), percussion (1, 2), vocals (2-5), electric piano (3), bass guitar (3), all instruments (4), acoustic guitar (5), all other instruments (6)
  • Jim Capaldi – drums (1, 2, 3, 5, 6), percussion (1, 2, 3), vocals (4, 5), tambourine (5)
  • Chris Wood – percussion (1, 2, 5), saxophone (1, 2), electric saxophone (1, 2), flute (1, 2, 5), organ (3)


  • Chris Blackwell – producer (1, 2, 3, 5)
  • Steve Winwood – producer (1, 2, 3, 5)
  • Guy Stevens – producer (4, 6)
  • Brian Humphries – engineer
  • Andy Johns – engineer
  • Lee Hulko – mastering
  • Mike Sida – album design
  • Richard Polak – photography


Chart (1970/71)Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[12]14
United Kingdom (Official Charts Company)11
United States (Billboard 200)5


  1. ^ Murphy, Sean (29 March 2017). "The 100 Best Classic Progressive Rock Songs: Part 4, 40–21". PopMatters. Retrieved 19 May 2019. ... and a more jam-based jazz-rock on the masterful (but not-proggy) John Barleycorn Must Die
  2. ^ "Billboard 200 – Traffic". Retrieved 19 September 2017.
  3. ^ "Empty Pages" Chart History, Retrieved 9 August 2011.
  4. ^ Traffic in the UK Charts Archived 20 November 2011 at the Wayback Machine, The Official Charts. Retrieved 9 August 2011.
  5. ^ Nick Logan and Bob Woffinden, editors. The Illustrated New Musical Express Encyclopedia of Rock. New York: Harmony Books, 1977, p. 234.
  6. ^ John Barleycorn Must Die, 1999 reissue Island Records IMCD 266 546499-2, liner notes p. 3.
  7. ^ Progressive Rock with a Capital P. – PopMatters.
  8. ^ a b AllMusic: Traffic – John Barleycorn Must Die (1970) album review by William Ruhlmann
  9. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: T". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved 16 March 2019 – via
  10. ^ Larkin, Colin (2007). Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 978-0857125958.
  11. ^ Colin Larkin, ed. (2000). All Time Top 1000 Albums (3rd ed.). Virgin Books. p. 143. ISBN 0-7535-0493-6.
  12. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 312. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.

External links


Veröffentlichungen von Traffic die im OTRS erhältlich sind/waren:

Shoot Out At The Fantasy Factory ¦ John Barleycorn Must Die ¦ Mr. Fantasy

Traffic auf Wikipedia (oder andere Quellen):


Traffic 1973 in Hamburg
Allgemeine Informationen
HerkunftBirmingham, England
Genre(s)Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Folk Rock, Jazzrock
Gründung1967, 1970, 1994, 2004
Auflösung1969, 1974, 1994, 2004
Steve Winwood
Jim Capaldi † 28. Januar 2005
Chris Wood † 12. Juli 1983
Gitarre, Gesang
Dave Mason
Letzte Besetzung
Keyboard, Gitarre, Gesang
Steve Winwood
Ehemalige Mitglieder
Rick Grech † 17. März 1990
Jim Gordon
Reebop Kwaku Baah † 12. Januar 1983

Traffic war eine englische Rockband der späten 1960er und frühen 1970er Jahre aus Birmingham, England. Die Band bestand aus vier hochkarätigen Musikern, die zunächst in einer Art Landkommune ihren Sound fanden: Steve Winwood, Dave Mason, Chris Wood und Jim Capaldi.


Erste Phase

Winwood gründete Traffic im Jahr 1967[1], nachdem er die Spencer Davis Group verlassen hatte. Ihre Debüt-Single (Musik) Paper Sun war ein Hit in England. Die zweite Single Hole in My Shoe war sogar noch erfolgreicher.

Das erste Traffic-Album Mr. Fantasy (1967) war, wie die Singles, in England erfolgreich, nicht jedoch außerhalb. Das zweite Album, Traffic, erschien im Jahr 1968. Auf diesem Album brachte Mason viele Kompositionen (z. B. Feeling Allright) ein und sang die Lead-Stimme. Es gab Spannungen, da Mason nicht im Schatten Winwoods stehen wollte. Mason ging. Nach einer Tournee in Amerika löste Winwood die Band auf.

Zweite Phase

Winwood spielte bei Blind Faith und begann anschließend, ein Solo-Album vorzubereiten, das letztendlich jedoch als neues Traffic-Album John Barleycorn Must Die erschien; es sollte das erfolgreichste der Gruppe sein.

Im Mai 1971 erweiterte sich die Band um Rick Grech, Jim Gordon und Reebop Kwaku Baah; es folgten weitere Alben. The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys kam in Amerika in die Charts, nicht jedoch in England. Die Band löste sich erneut auf, nahm aber gelegentlich neue Alben auf: Shoot Out at the Fantasy Factory (1973) und When the Eagle Flies (1974).

Dritte Phase

Capaldi und Winwood hatten Solo-Erfolge, doch 1994 kam mit Far From Home ein neues Traffic-Album auf den Markt; beide gingen wieder als Traffic auf Tour, doch der große Erfolg blieb aus.

Dave Mason hatte einige Erfolge mit Solo-Alben in Europa, besonders aber in Amerika, wohin er sein Wirken verlegte. Trotz hervorragender Virtuosität an der Gitarre gelang ihm aber nie der richtige Durchbruch.

Chris Wood starb in Birmingham (England) am 12. Juli 1983 an einer Lungenentzündung und den Folgen seines Alkohol- und Drogenkonsums. Jim Capaldi starb am 28. Januar 2005 in London an Magenkrebs.

Die Band wurde im Jahr 2004 in die Rock and Roll Hall of Fame aufgenommen.


Im Jahr 1967 benannte sich die zuvor wenig erfolgreiche Londoner Band The Spectres, aus denen sich später Status Quo entwickelte, ebenfalls in Traffic um. Winwood und seine Bandkollegen konnten sich letztlich durchsetzen, so dass die Konkurrenten die Bezeichnung Traffic Jam wählten.



JahrTitelHöchstplatzierung, Gesamtwochen, AuszeichnungChartplatzierungenChartplatzierungen[2][3]
(Jahr, Titel, Plat­zie­rungen, Wo­chen, Aus­zeich­nungen, Anmer­kungen)
1967Mr. FantasyUK16
(8 Wo.)UK
(22 Wo.)US
(8 Wo.)UK
(26 Wo.)US
1969Last ExitUS19
(22 Wo.)US
mit Live-Aufnahmen
1970John Barleycorn Must DieUK11
(9 Wo.)UK

(38 Wo.)US
1971The Low Spark of High Heeled BoysDE48
(1 Wo.)DE

(30 Wo.)US
1973Shoot out at the Fantasy FactoryUS6

(29 Wo.)US
1974When the Eagle FliesUK31
(1 Wo.)UK

(27 Wo.)US
1994Far from HomeDE22
(11 Wo.)DE
(6 Wo.)CH
(4 Wo.)UK
(9 Wo.)US

grau schraffiert: keine Chartdaten aus diesem Jahr verfügbar


JahrTitelHöchstplatzierung, Gesamtwochen, AuszeichnungChartplatzierungenChartplatzierungen[2]
(Jahr, Titel, Plat­zie­rungen, Wo­chen, Aus­zeich­nungen, Anmer­kungen)
1971Welcome to the CanteenUS26
(19 Wo.)US
1973On the RoadUK40
(3 Wo.)UK
(24 Wo.)US

grau schraffiert: keine Chartdaten aus diesem Jahr verfügbar

Weitere Livealben

  • 2005: Last Great Traffic Jam

Raritäten und Kompilationen

JahrTitelHöchstplatzierung, Gesamtwochen, AuszeichnungChartplatzierungenChartplatzierungen[2]
(Jahr, Titel, Plat­zie­rungen, Wo­chen, Aus­zeich­nungen, Anmer­kungen)
1969Best of TrafficUS48
(14 Wo.)US
1975Heavy TrafficUS155
(3 Wo.)US
More Heavy TrafficUS193
(4 Wo.)US

grau schraffiert: keine Chartdaten aus diesem Jahr verfügbar

Weitere Kompilationen

  • 1968: Here We Go round the Mulberry Bush


Höchstplatzierung, Gesamtwochen, AuszeichnungChartplatzierungenChartplatzierungen[2]
(Jahr, Titel, Album, Plat­zie­rungen, Wo­chen, Aus­zeich­nungen, Anmer­kungen)
1967Paper Sun
Heaven Is In Your Mind
(4 Wo.)DE
(11 Wo.)UK
(1 Wo.)US
Hole In My Shoe
Heaven Is In Your Mind
(10 Wo.)DE
(4 Wo.)AT
(14 Wo.)UK
Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush
(12 Wo.)UK
1968No Face, No Name, No Number
Mr. Fantasy
(4 Wo.)UK
1970Empty Pages
John Barleycorn Must Die
(8 Wo.)US
1971Gimme Some Lovin’-Pt. 1
Welcome To The Canteen
(7 Wo.)US
1972Rock & Roll Stew...Part 1
(2 Wo.)US
1994Here Comes a Man
Far from Home
(3 Wo.)DE
Some Kinda Woman
Far from Home
(10 Wo.)DE

grau schraffiert: keine Chartdaten aus diesem Jahr verfügbar


  • Stambler, Irwin: The Encyclopedia Of Pop, Rock And Soul. 3. überarbeitete Auflage, New York City, New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1989, S. 693–695 – ISBN 0-312-02573-4
  • British Hit Singles. 13th Edition, London: Guinness World Records, 2001 – ISBN 0-85112-111-X
  • Whitburn, Joel: Joel Whitburn's Pop Annual 1955-1977, Menomonee Falls: Record Research, Inc., 1978 – Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 78–60196



  1. abgerufen am 20. Oktober 2019
  2. a b c d Chartquellen: DE AT CH UK US
  3. Auszeichnungen für Musikverkäufe: US


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