John Barleycorn Must Die [Remastered Bonus Tracks]

( 2 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide
At only 22 years old, Steve Winwood sat down in early 1970 to fulfill a contractual commitment by making his first solo album, on which he intended to play all the instruments himself. The record got as far as one backing track produced by Guy Stevens, "Stranger to Himself," before Winwood called his erstwhile partner from Traffic, Jim Capaldi, in to help out. The two completed a second track, "Every Mother's Son," then, with Winwood and Island Records chief Chris Blackwell moving to the production chores, brought in a third Traffic member, Chris Wood, to work on the sessions. Thus, Traffic, dead and buried for more than a year, was reborn. The band's new approach was closer to what it perhaps should have been back in...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide
At only 22 years old, Steve Winwood sat down in early 1970 to fulfill a contractual commitment by making his first solo album, on which he intended to play all the instruments himself. The record got as far as one backing track produced by Guy Stevens, "Stranger to Himself," before Winwood called his erstwhile partner from Traffic, Jim Capaldi, in to help out. The two completed a second track, "Every Mother's Son," then, with Winwood and Island Records chief Chris Blackwell moving to the production chores, brought in a third Traffic member, Chris Wood, to work on the sessions. Thus, Traffic, dead and buried for more than a year, was reborn. The band's new approach was closer to what it perhaps should have been back in 1967, basically a showcase for Winwood's voice and instrumental work, with Wood adding reed parts and Capaldi drumming and occasionally singing harmony vocals. If the original Traffic bowed to the perceived commercial necessity of crafting hit singles, the new Traffic was more interested in stretching out. Heretofore, no studio recording had run longer than the 5½ minutes of "Dear Mr. Fantasy," but four of the six selections on John Barleycorn Must Die exceeded six minutes. Winwood and company used the time to play extended instrumental variations on compelling folk- and jazz-derived riffs. Five of the six songs had lyrics, and their tone of disaffection was typical of earlier Capaldi sentiments. But the vocal sections of the songs merely served as excuses for Winwood to exercise his expressive voice as punctuation to the extended instrumental sections. As such, John Barleycorn Must Die moved beyond the jamming that had characterized some of Traffic's 1968 work to approach the emerging field of jazz-rock. And that helped the band to achieve its commercial potential; this became Traffic's first gold album. ~ William Ruhlmann
All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
At only 22 years old, Steve Winwood sat down in early 1970 to fulfill a contractual commitment by making his first solo album, on which he intended to play all the instruments himself. The record got as far as one backing track produced by Guy Stevens, "Stranger to Himself," before Winwood called his erstwhile partner from Traffic, Jim Capaldi, in to help out. The two completed a second track, "Every Mother's Son," then, with Winwood and Island Records chief Chris Blackwell moving to the production chores, brought in a third Traffic member, Chris Wood, to work on the sessions. Thus, Traffic, dead and buried for more than a year, was reborn. The band's new approach was closer to what it perhaps should have been back in 1967, basically a showcase for Winwood's voice and instrumental work, with Wood adding reed parts and Capaldi drumming and occasionally singing harmony vocals. If the original Traffic bowed to the perceived commercial necessity of crafting hit singles, the new Traffic was more interested in stretching out. Heretofore, no studio recording had run longer than the five-and-a-half minutes of "Dear Mr. Fantasy," but four of the six selections on John Barleycorn Must Die exceeded six minutes. Winwood and company used the time to play extended instrumental variations on compelling folk- and jazz-derived riffs. Five of the six songs had lyrics, and their tone of disaffection was typical of earlier Capaldi sentiments. But the vocal sections of the songs merely served as excuses for Winwood to exercise his expressive voice as punctuation to the extended instrumental sections. As such, John Barleycorn Must Die moved beyond the jamming that had characterized some of Traffic's 1968 work to approach the emerging field of jazz-rock. And that helped the band to achieve its commercial potential; this became Traffic's first gold album.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/27/2001
  • Label: Island
  • UPC: 731454854122
  • Catalog Number: 548541
  • Sales rank: 189

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Traffic Primary Artist
Jim Capaldi Percussion, Drums, Tambourine, Vocals
Steve Winwood Organ, Acoustic Guitar, Flute, Percussion, Piano, Bass Guitar, Electric Piano, Vocals
Chris Wood Organ, Flute, Percussion, Saxophone, Electric Saxophone
Technical Credits
Jim Capaldi Composer
Steve Winwood Composer, Producer, Audio Production, Instrumentation
Chris Blackwell Audio Production
Margaret Goldfarb Reissue Production Coordination
Brian Humphries Engineer
Andy Johns Engineer
Guy Stevens Producer, Audio Production
Brian Hogg Liner Notes, Essay
Smay Vision Reissue Design
Jeff Willens Mastering
Traditional Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    This is a Great Traffic album

    This time they put it all together. They were always able to made great songs but this time it all added up to a great album as well. John Barleycorn Must Die is a truly classic Rock album.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews