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Low Spark of High Heeled Boys

TrafficAudio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (145 customer reviews)


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The multi-year reissue campaign for Traffic, one of the most highly regarded rock groups of its era, concludes with the release of the original band's final three albums and a new "best of" package, each issued June 20, 2003 by Island/UME. This last installment includes Shootout At The Fantasy Factory (1973), On The Road (1973) and When The Eagle Flies (1974), each digitally ... Read more in Amazon's Traffic Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 15, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Polygram Records
  • ASIN: B000001FUX
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (145 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #245,034 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Hidden Treasure
2. The Low Spark of The High-Heeled Boys
3. Rock & Roll Stew
4. Many A Mile To Freedom
5. Light Up Or Leave Me Alone
6. Rainmaker

Editorial Reviews

Traffic ~ Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
97 of 106 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utopian flashback/flashforward September 12, 2004
Format:Audio CD
LOW SPARK was Traffic's best album, and one of the best of the whole great '65-'75 period. I know there are those partial to JOHN BARLEYCORN, but it's not as consistent. What you have here is perhaps the most purely realized expression of the counterculture's dream -- a glimpse of utopia, through the haze, at twilight, or late at night...

"Hidden Treasure" is the gateway, complete with mystical flute from Chris Wood. The brilliant title track is the first vision, and it ruled the underground airwaves for months with piano and spacey organ! There's an element of tension with the mainstream -- "the man in the suit has just bought a new car with the profit he's made on your dreams" -- but the Man loses! He's done in by "The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys," the power of the dreamers, who are building a new world in the ruins of the old.

The other two visionary tracks are "Many a Mile to Freedom," with ringing guitar ("together we flow like the river -- and together we melt like the snow") and "Rainmaker" with a long instrumental coda, and all four are by the Winwood/Capaldi songwriting team. The drummer and bass player actually team up for a fine funky number, "Rock & Roll Stew," with Winwood on wicked guitar and the refrain "I'm gone, gone, gone!" Capaldi's "Light Up" got lots of airplay, and it's a great song, but it doesn't really fit in the album -- I often program it first, or out, so as not to disrupt the flow.

This music takes me back to 1971/72, and through that door to an alternative and much better future! "Spirit is something that no one destroys..." The dream lives on...

REST IN PEACE, JIM CAPALDI! YOU WILL BE REMEMBERED!
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Time to Soar September 30, 2007
Format:Audio CD
First released in November 1971: "The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys" is the most popular release by this great band. Centered by the nucleus of: Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi & Chris Wood and with the assistance of: Ric Grech, Jim Gordon & Reebop Kwaku Baah. The opening cut: "Hidden Treasure", is a acoustic gem with the flutes of Chris Wood gliding over Steve's heartfelt vocals. 'Treasure' is an most amazing tune that crosses lines between folk & jazz. "Low Spark" sounds much better on this remaster, the bass is more fully defined than the LP, and other instruments spring forth out of the mix with new sound clarity.

The title cut, might be the best merger of rock & jazz, featured on ANY record. The piano explores many moods and discovers much color and textures. The percussion and sax, just seem to soar here above the rest of the instruments. "Low Spark of High Heeled Boys" is an mature piece of music that got the most attention on FM Radio of all the tracks on this record, and it deserves all of the praise it has gotten of the years.

"Light Up" is Jim Calpaldi's, showcase and it is the closest thing here to R & B. Jim, is in fine voice here and this was popular in dance clubs in the UK, back in the 80's (in a much longer mix.) "Rock N' Roll Stew" was a single (and the full single version can be found here as a bonus track, with the seldom heard part 2 included.) Again, this one features Jim on vocals and is considered the 'rock' number of the bunch, it's punchy & pulsating. "Many a Mile To Freedom" is almost a return to the band's sound of 67-69, gentle guitars and Chris Wood's flutes set the tone, and Steve shines again on an fantastic vocal here. "Rainmaker" wraps things up, and like the opener: "Treasure" due to it's dreamlike quality.
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Would Make a Great Chapter in a Classic Rock Bible. June 25, 2005
Format:Audio CD
If only there was one! This 1971 release from Traffic does everything right without ever once becoming overbearingly heavy. From the very first track, "Hidden Treasure" which is driven by Chris Wood's winsome flute and Steve Winwood's plaintive wail, you know you're in for something extraordinary.

And extraordinary it is! The title track is nearly twelve minutes of a blissful cool jazz/rock jam with just enough hipness to keep anyone listening to it from looking like a total coffee house beatnik. "Light Up or Leave Me Alone" is the late Jim Capaldi's excellent bluesy rocker with catchy pop riffs and some great keyboard fills, while "Rock 'n' Roll Stew" is one of the best pure rave rockers ever written and laid down in a studio. It stands as one of my two favorite staples on this classic album. My absolute favorite would be "Many a Mile to Freedom," which has a sweetness and vulnerability all its own without ever catering to whimpiness. "Rainmaker" is my least favorite track, but it's still a good one, and a vital part of the whole enchilada.

LSOHHB is an album you should have in your collection if you are a fan of great classic rock. With a mixture of jazz, blues, soul, and pop influences, it's as potent as a molotave cocktail without the nasty explosion, and there's no bitter aftertaste. Now that's what I call a rock 'n' roll stew.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars traffic fans take note! April 1, 2002
By bosley
Format:Audio CD
Hey... it's back in print - and the sound is much better than the old one, or _Smiling Phases_, or that hideously echo-drenched Winwood box. Plus, reappearing after 30 years is the long-forgotten extended version of "Rock and Roll Stew", which originally appeared in two parts on the single.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Original Recording-Brilliant Music
This album was very interesting when released, because it was not all heavy rock and roll. Its songs were some rock, some jazz fusion, and some progressive, but pretty much all the... Read more
Published 16 days ago by ADK Sonny
5.0 out of 5 stars Part of the classic rock foundation
This is a must have in a collection of building block albums of Classic Rock. A step or two away from the norm like Jethro Tull and Yes and SuperTramp and Steely Dan and Madura.
Published 25 days ago by S. Gardner
5.0 out of 5 stars Traffic fan
I enjoyed there gold hits album and there albums for years. this one is for any fan of traffic and Steve windwood.
Published 1 month ago by Kurt Mstoecklhuber
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fan for Years
I had a cassette tape of this album back in the 70's and I lost it. I have loved the sound of Traffic's music from the first time I heard it. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Cynthia M. Ripperger
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best from the 70's
I have been replacing old albums for a long time. It is difficult to find cd's that sound like the original album. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Phillip L Moran
5.0 out of 5 stars Thanks to my father-in-law for this one
The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys...odd album title but excellent music. It's good music that you can play in the background. Read more
Published 2 months ago by S. Z. Horvath
4.0 out of 5 stars Good music
With "Low Spark" being over 10 minutes long, and a great song, this whole album is good. More jazz sounds than I remembered, which is great.
Published 2 months ago by C. McCann
5.0 out of 5 stars Traffic at their best
Love anything with Steve Winwood. I had this album when I was a teenager way back when and loved it then. Traffic really had a great sound.
Published 3 months ago by Laura L. Creek
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic.
This is the pinnacle of Traffic. While my favorite Traffic album is "John Barleycorn Must Die", I have to admit this is their best. Read more
Published 3 months ago by D. Doescher
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic!
This is probably the best of the albums recorded by Traffic. Not a bad song on the album. Nothing more to be said.
Published 3 months ago by Frederick J. Weyer
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