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.
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
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.
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
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.