Thursday, 2 April 2015

#31 TRAFFIC - Fillmore East 1970 (Flac)

November 18, 1970
Fillmore East, New York City, NY

Soundboard master reel
running time 64: 04

Traffic, reformed in 1970, after Steve Winwood had initially begun recording his debut solo album. It became their third studio album, 'John Barleycorn Must Die' and was released in July.  Five of the six original album tracks are performed live here, with "Stranger To Himself" the only omission. The bulk of the remainder, appeared on the second self-titled album and the inclusion of Blind Faith member Ric Grech, gives these live tracks a more improvisational feel than their studio counterparts.

“The curious tale of the in-concert album that never was follows: Shows were taped at the Fillmore East, the release was scheduled; it even got an Island catalogue number – ILPS 9142, the perfunctory title of Live – November 1970 and is reckoned to have had finished sleeves and been just days from being pressed up and hitting the shops – but never materialised. Bootlegs exist, and some finalised tracks were released officially (including Bill Graham’s introduction; the performances are excellent) as bonus cuts on the expanded CD release of John Barleycorn Must Die. The performances are excellent, and as one theory of a lost tape is rather far-fetched if the sleeves were indeed printed, it is likely that events of the following year caused this project to be abandoned: these range from the band having second thoughts, to disputes between Chris Blackwell and UA records in the States over their handling of Winwood’s back catalogue.”  (info from

The ‘winwoodfans’ site conjectures that the album was perhaps unreleased, due to the record company United Artists releasing 'Winwood', a best of release, that had not been sanctioned by the artist. After a court order, that album was withdrawn. By this time, original member Dave Mason had rejoined the band along with two new members, and it was felt that the November 1970 recording, was now nothing to do with the current band. The writer of the piece Dan Ropek reflects on 'Live - November '70' "that it remains, perhaps forever, lost."

What does remain though, are these tracks, recorded over the same two dates at the Fillmore, they appear on this bootleg in excellent quality.

(See the comments by Luke, below this post for further information)

1. Introduction by Bill Graham
2. Medicated Goo
3. Pearly Queen
4. Empty Pages
5. Heaven Is In Your Mind
6. Forty Thousand Headmen
7. John Barleycorn Must Die
8. Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring
9. Every Mother's Son
10. Glad > Freedom Rider*
11. Means To An End
12. Dear Mr. Fantasy

Steve Winwood - vocals, guitar, organ
Jim Capaldi – drums, percussion, vocals
Chris Wood - piano, organ. sax, flute, vocals
Ric Grech - bass guitar

SBD > Master Reel > CD > EAC > WAV > FLAC (level 8, align on sector boundaries)
* - Some glitches from master reel were present, on track 10 these have been edited and smoothed

If you enjoy this bootleg I would suggest investigating the first four studio albums:

Mr. Fantasy - 1967
Traffic - 1968
John Barleycorn Must Die - 1970
The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys - 1971


  1. Thanks for sharing! You're on fire with posts lately! Traffic is one of those bands that i heard about, but never checked out. Until now!

    1. Your welcome. I wouldn't say on fire, maybe a little faster than usual!

  2. This isn't the unreleased album. The lineup for that was:

    Backstage & Introduction
    Who Knows What Tomorrow My Bring

    Pearly Queen
    Forty Thousand Headmen
    Dear Mr. Fantasy
    Can't Find My Way Home

    Not only is the song lineup different, but there are some differences with the takes, mixing, and editing. Forty Thousand Headmen and Dear Mr. Fantasy are different takes, while Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring has an edit not present on this recording. I think Glad and Pearly Queen are the same, although I'd have to verify, and the former fades out as Freedom Rider is starting.

    Here's the opening to the actual unreleased LP as released on the 1999 JBMD CD:

    Side 2 remains unreleased and, to my knowledge, unbooted.

  3. Thanks for the correct information Luke. I've updated the post and referenced your valuable comments. My original notes were taken from a false source of information and these have been corrected for the future

  4. No worries. Information about the actual album seems pretty sparse (and sometimes incorrect). It's unfortunate it hasn't been issued at some point, either independently or as bonus material of some sort. Of course there's also the tracks released on the Deluxe Edition. At some point I should note which performances are the same and which are different.

    1. Thanks Luke, look forward to hearing your analysis. I will include it at the bottom of the post.

  5. I am again a bit behind the curve, but so good to see this.

    What an album. What a show. What a time.

  6. Thanks for this excellent download. How funkyTraffic sound live! Great to hear live versions of these songs.... cheers