Sunday, 3 June 2018

Traffic - Shoot Out At The Fantasy Factory (1973)

Roll right stones....


Released February 1973

Recorded in Jamaica


1. Shoot out At The Fantasy Factory
2. Roll Right Stones
3. Evening Blue
4. Tragic Magic
5. (Sometimes I Feel So) Uninspired                  

The opening track, Shoot Out At The Fantasy Factory is a marvellous, pulsating piece of Santana meets Hendrix and they do some blues rock, while asking for some Jethro Tull-inspired flute. Great stuff. The also Jethro-Tull-ish Roll Right Stones (in places) lasts a full thirteen minutes, but it retains a unique feel with its fantastic bass and conga interplay. You have to say that Traffic overdid it a bit with sprawling workouts like this, but it was within the spirit of the age in 1973, at least some of it. Traffic avoided some of the worst excesses of “prog rock” by never going down the road of fairies and fantasies, lyrically and by always paying homage to funk, conga-driven rhythms and addictive bass lines. There is a touch of Pink Floyd about parts of Roll Right Stones, however. Despite its nearly twelve minutes, however, it never gets tiresome. What you always got from Traffic was high quality musicianship. This album, although not seeming to be as critically acclaimed as others, is no different. Listen to some of the guitar and organ interplay on Roll Right Stones, then the congas and piano and saxophone at around nine-ten minutes in.

Evening Blue is a lovely, immaculately-played bucolic number that 1990s-era Paul Weller would have loved, and probably did. Lovely laid back saxophone solo in it too. Tragic Magic is a saxophone-dominated instrumental that sounds as if it would be a good backing track for a soul/rock outfit like. Traffic were definitely always on the rock, funk and soul side of things. The final track, though, (Sometimes I Feel So) Uninspired, sees Traffic at their most Pink Floyd-esque with an introspective, self-pitying number. Great backing on it, though, as always.

Like 1973's Goat's Head Soup by The Rolling Stones, this album was recorded in Jamaica.


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