The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys marked the
commercial and artistic apex of the second coming
of Traffic, which had commenced in 1970 with John
Barleycorn Must Die. The trio that made that album
had been augmented by three others (Ric Grech, Jim
Gordon, and "Reebop" Kwaku Baah) in the interim,
though apparently the Low Spark sessions featured
varying combinations of these musicians, plus some
guests. But where their previous album had grown
out of sessions for a Steve Winwood solo album and
retained that focus, Low Spark pointedly contained
changes of pace from his usual contributions of
midtempo, introspective jam tunes. "Rock & Roll
Stew" was an uptempo treatise on life on the road,
while Jim Capaldi's "Light up or Leave Me Alone"
was another more aggressive number with an
unusually emphatic Capaldi vocal that perked
things up on side two. The other four tracks were
Winwood/Capaldi compositions more in the band's
familiar style. "Hidden Treasure" and "Rainmaker"
bookended the disc with acoustic treatments of
nature themes that were particularly concerned
with water, and "Many a Mile to Freedom" also
employed water imagery. But the standout was the
12-minute title track, with its distinctive piano
riff and its lyrics of weary disillusionment with
the music business. The result was an album that
quickly went gold (and eventually platinum) in the
U.S., where the group toured frequently.
Alkuperäinen julkaisu: 1971
Genre: classic rock, prog-rock, album rock
Rock n Roll Stew:
+ Bonus Träk
CD on UUSI ja muoveissa
Digitaalisesti remasteroitu 2002.
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