This QUIET British Import Island Sunray (Pink Rim) pressing has THE BEST SIDE TWO WE’VE EVER HEARD, which is where the two extended live cuts are found. We played a bunch of these recently (nothing but Brits, the only way to go for this album) and no side two could keep up with this one. It’s got more extension up top, more weight down low, and more energy than we heard anywhere else.
Side one was quite good as well and certainly worthy of Hot Stamper status, but we’ve heard better sound for this side before. The sound here is BIG and LIVELY with lots of ambience and a strong bottom end. It’s just a bit smeary at times, but certainly not like the dubby domestic copies.
Just for You
Shanghai Noodle Factory
Something’s Got a Hold of My Toe
Since Traffic originally planned its self-titled second album as a double LP, the group had extra material left over, some of which saw release before the end of 1968 (there was a new, one-off single released in December, “Medicated Goo”/”Shanghai Noodle Factory”). In January 1969, Steve Winwood announced the group’s breakup. That left Island Records, the band’s label, in the lurch, since Traffic had built up a considerable following. As far as Island was concerned, it was no time to stop, and the label quickly set about assembling a new album. The non-LP B-side “Withering Tree,” “Medicated Goo,” and “Shanghai Noodle Factory” were pressed into service, along with “Just for You,” the B-side of a solo single by on-again, off-again member Dave Mason that had been released originally in February 1968 and happened to feature the rest of the members of Traffic as sidemen; a short, previously unreleased instrumental; and two extended jams on cover songs from a 1968 live appearance at the Fillmore West.
It all added up to more than half an hour of music, and that was enough to package it as the posthumous Traffic album Last Exit… “Just for You” is one of Mason’s elegant folk-pop songs, including attractive Indian percussion. “Medicated Goo” has proven to be one of Traffic’s more memorable jam tunes…