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John Barleycorn Must Die (Remastered)
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John Barleycorn Must Die
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After his short-lived Blind Faith project, Steve Winwood re-formed Traffic with Wood and Capaldi and released this 1970 classic. But what's really special about this reissue are the unreleased tracks: the songs I Just Want You to Know and Sittin' Here Thinkin' of My Love , and Glad and Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring recorded live at the Fillmore East in November 1970!
Traffic's third studio album is also its third best, ranking below the band's superb second record (1968's Traffic) and its psychedelic debut (1968's Mr. Fantasy). The depth of those albums came from having two superior songwriters, Steve Winwood and Dave Mason; by John Barleycorn, Winwood was leading a trio that included Chris Wood on horns and Jim Capaldi on drums. Winwood now supplied guitar as well as keyboards, and songs such as "Glad" and "Freedom Rider" reflected the trio's fondness for instrumental jams. But the 1970 album is remembered most for the title tune, a traditional folk song blessed with one of the finest vocals of Winwood's long career. --John Milward
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- Product Dimensions : 4.88 x 5.59 x 0.47 inches; 3.17 Ounces
- Manufacturer : Island
- Item model number : 2140180
- Original Release Date : 2001
- SPARS Code : DDD
- Date First Available : July 27, 2006
- Label : Island
- ASIN : B000059T1E
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #5,968 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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This remaster sounds OK, though it is noticeably louder than the first issue. But the real reason I bought it (and the reason to own it) is the added live show on CD 2. This is essentially an unreleased Traffic concert album according to the liner notes, and it's from an era where the band was not well represented by live tracks. The track list encompasses several of my favorite Traffic compositions, including "Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring", "Every Mother's Son", "40,000 Headmen", and an excellent performance of the rarely heard "Glad/Freedom Rider". The band was obviously having a good time, and their enthusiasm shows in the way they draw out the songs to slightly extended lengths.
Regardless of the added studio tracks, the live show is worth the cost of the CD by itself. This is a must-have for every true Traffic fan.
Included on this reissue is an extra track not on the original vinyl called "Sittin' here thinkin' of my Love". Also included is a selection of two live songs from the Fillmore East recorded in 1970 after the fall of Blind Faith and Ginger Baker's Air Force which included Rick Grech on bass which actually fills out the sound much better than previous live offerings wherein the band had toured prior with only organ/flute/drums. This gives the listener/fan an oppurtunity to hear the band as a four piece prior to the Low spark/Shoot out ensembles of six to eight members, definently an added pleasure rather than an effort to get more "product" to the buying public.
Overall the time taken to re-master the album, give detailed liner notes and also include the original gatefold sleeve inner picture of the band as a three piece as well as other pics of the period are just fantastic. This version is highly recommended to all Traffic fans and even more so to the newly initiated listeners.
Top reviews from other countries
I was addicted to this (and Mr Fantasy) for about 9 months of last year and decided to get this version as it was said to sound better than the remaster I had...and I agree that it does... more natural in my opinion. This is the early Island Masters edition and it's in the running to be one of my all-time favourite albums (and bands!) Not too easy to describe the music though - I tried a little above - and it might take a few plays for it to start to come together for you... I had a compilation years ago and that was fine, but I recently found it's only the albums that make real sense to me now.
As ever, this is all held together by the fantastic Steve Winwood and if you're even slightly curious about this, why not give it a shot and it might surprise you to the extent that it makes you want to hear and buy everything under their name (and Winwood as well) just like me! :)
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 28, 2020