Friday, October 17, 2014

Goodies from GFreedom's Music Collection # 16

              TRAFFIC: John Barleycorn Must Die (1970)
'Traffic' was an english band formed in 1967, by some great musicians such as: Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi, Dave Mason and Chris Wood. They begun as a psychedelic band heavily influenced by The Beatles, but soon they diversified their sound by adding more instruments like Sitar, Mellotron, Harpsichord etc, and by incorporating Jazz and improvisational techniques to their music. They were disbanded for the first time in 1969 and Steve Winwood joined 'Blind Faith', but that didn't last for long. They were reformed in 1970 and their first release was the excellent album with the title 'John Barleycorn Must Die'. For those who don't know who 'John Barleycorn' was here's an article taken from wiki:
[John Barleycorn is a British Folksong. The character of John Barleycorn in the song is a personification of the important cereal crop barley, and from the alcoholic drinks made from it, such as beer and whisky. In the song, John Barleycorn is represented as suffering attacks, death and indignities that correspond to the various stages of barley cultivation, such as reaping and malting. Jack London gave the title John Barleycorn to his 1913 autobiographical novel that tells of his struggle with alcoholism.]
 The original version of the album includes 6 songs and has a total running time of 35 minutes. All the songs are really excellent works, but the "masterpiece" here in my opinion is the self-titled song, which is a 6-minute-long Folk ballad with guitar and flute as basic instruments. But as I mention above all the songs are excellent, starting from the instrumental 'Glad' up to the closing song 'Every Mother's Son'. Very important ingredient in their music are the woodwind instruments that are being used, such as flutes and saxophones. The album's music style is Rock of course, but with many Jazz and Folk influences. 
  My personal opininon is that 'John Barleycorn' is maybe the most important album 'Traffic' ever released, and it is surely a starting point for those who are interested in their music. If I had to rate it I would give a minimum of 4 stars out of 5.
Here you can see the original version's songlist:
1. Glad
2. Freedom Rider
3. Empty Pages
4. Stranger to Himself
5. John Barleycorn
6. Every Mother's son 
In the following video you can listen to the song 'John Barleycorn'.
I hope you found this post interesting and informative.
Thank you for reading...