TRAFFIC - LOW SPARK SESSIONS 1971

June 25, 2012 – 4:37 am

Update: June 25, 2012

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TRAFFIC
The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys Sessions [Zooey Records(?), 1CD]

Sessions at Olympic Studios, London, UK; 1971. Very good to excellent soundboard.

This could have come from the Japanese (?) boot from Zooey Records.

Thanks to miogi for sharing the tracks on Lossless Legs. miogi noted: “I believe this originated from 38f, all thanks to him.”

Track notes by Father Gino, posted at winwoodfans.com:

This is billed as outtakes from the Low Spark studio sessions, though it seems to have other stuff as well. The sound quality is excellent except for the alternate mix “Rock & Roll Stew” extended version which is curiously distorted. Twelve tracks pretty much suitable for diehard fans only.

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (224 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Please Do Not Hammer The Links. Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. The tracks should still be around. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

Track 01. The Low Spark Of High-Heeled Boys - alternate take, February 9, 1971 (18.6MB)
Not really that different from the real version except that Chris Wood’s electric sax is replaced by lethargic noodling.

Track 02. Rock And Roll Stew - alternate take, May 19, 1971 (5.2MB)
Same words and progression as the actual take but the feel of the song is completely different. Almost a different song entirely. Interesting to see how the song evolved over three months’ time.

Track 03. Rainmaker - alternate take, May 19, 1971 (11.8MB)
Pretty much what it says.

Track 04. Rock And Roll Stew - alternate mix, August 25, 1971 (9.9MB)
This is (I guess) the full version from the English 45. As mentioned above, it is somewhat distorted (overmodulated) though certainly listenable. The instrumental ending not included on the album version is not particularly memorable. If this is indeed the extended 45 version, you haven’t missed much.

Track 05. Light Up Or Leave Me Alone - alternate mix, August 25, 1971 (7.9MB)
Mostly, the difference is Capaldi vocalizing a bit during the instrumental sections.

Track 06. Traffic Jam #1 - take 2 (7.9MB)
Personnel not really listed but it sounds like Winwood, Gordon and Grech sounding sorta like Blind Faith. Interesting take but just a jammy thing.

Track 07. Traffic Jam #2 - with Muscle Shoals Horns (5.4MB)
Track 7 and 8. Not sure who’s playing what beyond the obvious. The rhythm section certainly seems to be the Alabamy boys and I’d bet on Winwood on guitar and maybe organ. Shoot Out meets a horn section.

Track 08. Traffic Jam #3 - with Muscle Shoals Horns (8.4MB)

Track 09. It’s So Hard - Jim Capaldi and Jim Gordon demo #1 (12.1MB)
Track 9 and 10. Capaldi and (Gordon) playing acoustic guitar, fleshing out the song. For diehard fans only.

Track 10. It’s So Hard - Jim Capaldi & Jim Gordon demo #2 (15.3MB)

Track 11. Easter Weekend - Jim Capaldi demo #1 (5.4MB)
Track 11 and 12. Same as above.

Track 12. Easter Weekend - Jim Capaldi demo #2 (6.0MB)

Lineup:
Stevie Winwood - keyboard, guitar, vocals
Dave Mason - guitar
Jim Capaldi - vocals
Chris Wood - sax
Rick Grech - bass
Jim Gordon - drums
Reebop Kwaku Baah - percussion

Click here to order The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys. The 2002 reissue of the album contains the bonus track, Rock & Roll Stew Parts 1 & 2 (a different mix from the above). This is also the version of “Rock & Roll Stew” that appears on the Gold compilation.

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  1. 13 Responses to “TRAFFIC - LOW SPARK SESSIONS 1971”

  2. Dave Mason is on this?

    By Just Bill on Jun 25, 2012

  3. This bootleg has appeared on silver disc before with Dave Mason listed as a participant. Googled and found out that Dave Mason was on tour with Traffic in 1971 and was on the live album “Welcome to the Canteen” which was recorded in July of 1971. The Low Spark sessions was recorded in September. It’s possible Mason was at the sessions but his parts were erased when the album was released.

    By Admin on Jun 25, 2012

  4. Wow…Rock And Roll Stew[track 2] had essentially no groove to speak of. It’s a real testament to how talented they were to shell this version, revamp it altogether and produce a far superior, catchy-grooved finished product from these raw materials.

    By jude kilgour on Jun 25, 2012

  5. thanks, big-O. great find!

    I-)

    By I-) on Jun 26, 2012

  6. I ORIGINALLY TOLD THESE LADS TO NAME THEMSELVES TRAFFIC LIGHT.
    WE WERE ALL HANGING OUT AT A DUMPSTER BEHIND ERIC CLAPTONS HOUSE LOOKING FOR GOOD USED STRINGS AND PLECTRUMS AND THE IDEA HIT ME LIKE A BOLT OUT OF THE BLUE. I TOOK A RATHER DARK CRAYON AND MADE A SIGN SAYING BAND FOR HIRE,TRAFFIC LIGHT WHICH STEVIE PROMPTLY HELD UP SO ONCOMING TRAFFIC COULD SEE IT FROM THE ROAD. NORMALLY I WOULD HAVE HAD MY CAMERA AND TOOK SOME SHOTS BUT JUST THAT DAY ANDY WARHOL WAS IN TOWN AND HE BORROWED IT BECAUSE HE LEFT HIS BEHIND ON A PLANE. I HAVE TAPES OF TRAFFIC DOING COVER VERSIONS OF THEIR OWN HITS BUT THEY ARE IN STORAGE.

    By dropkick sarge on Jun 27, 2012

  7. GOOD TRAFFIC SHOW HERE
    http://soundaboard.blogspot.ca/search/label/Traffic

    By dropkick sarge on Jun 28, 2012

  8. I saw this version of the band in 71 @ the Academy of Music in NY. Fabulous. JJ Cale opened for them, with Dave Mason guesting on guitar! One of my favorite concerts!

    By stu cohen on Jun 29, 2012

  9. Dave Mason was not a part of the studio sessions for Low spark. As has been said already, he guested at the Fairfield Hall gig which became “Welcome to the Canteen”. Gerry Donohue & I were used on some of the songs in an attempt to find what Traffic were looking for. The recording released of “Rainmaker” is the only one with a different line-up though never credited.

    By Mike Kellie on Jun 29, 2012

  10. wow - what an incredible thrill to know that people we listen to are actually tuning in and reading and watching and downloading things for their own collection on the same site.
    this is amazing.
    for those of u out there who dont know who mike kellie is.. and u should already…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Kellie

    mike.. i have never met u but i have spent nearly 40 years of my life listening to u. not always knowing who u were but most of the time thinking to myself or saying to others with me at the time to ‘listen to this part’ and meaning your parts of many songs u stood out on. thank u.

    By darth on Jun 30, 2012

  11. Hello Mike

    Thanks very much for your comments.

    By bigozine2 on Jun 30, 2012

  12. This looks great, looking forward to listening to it!

    By Tom on Jul 7, 2012

  13. Having just read my post from the 29th June this year I notice that I SHOULD have said Gerry CONWAY, not Donohue, and I were used on the sessions. It is now officially recognised that my version of Rainmaker is the one released. Thank you Darth for your message….MK August 2012

    By Mike Kellie on Aug 27, 2012

  14. Those three “Traffic Jams” are anything but! They are outtake mixes from Bobby Keys 1972 album. The first one is Crispy Duck, minus the horns. Next is Bootleg, followed by Steal From A King. All three are longer here than on the proper album. The only Traffic connection is that Jim Gordon and Dave Mason took part in making the album. Interesting tracks though!

    By afilosa09 on Mar 15, 2016

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