THE LONG PLAY

 


The Long Play with Al Neff" is a continuing Sunday evening Feature on The GOAT. This year, Every Sunday Evening, Album Rock WXYG, The GOAT will feature a full album at 8:00 PM from the halcyon musical days of 1971.

1971 was Quite an amazing year in Album Rock history. Gonna be a tough choice every week. So many great ones to choose from.

We hope you’ll tune in Next Sunday evening, May 9, 2021 at 8:00 PM for “The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys” by Traffic.
The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys is the fifth studio album by Traffic, released in 1971. It was their first studio album to feature percussionist Rebop Kwaku Baah, and the only studio appearance of drummer Jim Gordon and bassist Ric Grech. Grech had previously worked with Traffic singer/multi-instrumentalist Steve Winwood in the short-lived supergroup Blind Faith while Gordon had played with another former Blind Faith member, Eric Clapton, in the similarly short-lived Derek and the Dominoes. Drums on the track 'Rainmaker' are played by Only Ones drummer Mike Kellie.

As with other Traffic albums, The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys featured varied influences, including jazz, folk music and Classical. The name of the album's title track was suggested by the actor Michael J. Pollard.

The album features "Rock & Roll Stew" and the title track, which received heavy FM airplay. This is the only Traffic album to feature two lead vocals by Jim Capaldi ("Light Up or Leave Me Alone" and "Rock & Roll Stew"). His only other lead vocal on a Traffic album was "Dealer" from Mr. Fantasy (1967).

The LP's front cover is notable for its top right and bottom left corners being clipped, giving the illusion of a three-dimensional cube. On original pressings of the UK and some European versions, the title of both the album and song are shown as 'The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys' (with a hyphen) on the record labels.

Critical retrospectives on the album are generally positive. AllMusic was overwhelmingly approving in its assessment, praising the variety brought by the non-Winwood/Capaldi compositions and the power of the lengthy title track, and claiming the album "marked the commercial and artistic apex of the second coming of Traffic". In addition, Robert Christgau commented on the band's growth from previous efforts, stating that while the group is "devoid of intellectual thrust," they're "onto something," and "when it works, it suggests a nice paradox—relaxed and exciting at the same time." Pop Matters offered yet another viewpoint, calling it "an album that's easy to listen to over and over, but one that seldom shows up on 'best of' lists." It commented that most of the songs are highly underrated and require multiple listens to appreciate.

The album was certified gold less than a year after its release in the United States, and eventually certified platinum in 1996. It was remastered and reissued with one bonus track on 19 March 2002. It was voted number 625 in Colin Larkin's All Time Top 1000 Albums 3rd Edition (2000).

Tune In and Turn On, Next Sunday Evening, May 9th, and every Sunday evening at 8:00 PM for The GOAT'S "The Long Play with Al Neff.” Don’t forget, right after the “Long Play”, we do a “Replay” of this week’s GOAT GUEST DJ SHOW.
 

 

 


 

 

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