John Barleycorn Must Die

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Steve Winwood already had a great music career when he decided to record his first solo album in 1970. First with the Spencer Davis Group, then Traffic and the super group Blind Faith. Traffic was disbanded in 1968 but when Jim Capaldi and Cris Wood joined Steve in 1970 it no longer was going to be a solo album and the reincarnation of Traffic was a fact.

The album I’m talking about is “John Barleycorn Must Die” which is the best Traffic made. It starts with a long instrumental jam “Glad” non stop followed by “Freedom Rider”, the brilliant “Empty Pages”, from rock to jazz and folk. The title track is based on a traditional old folk song about someone who got murdered and was named after the cereal crop barley which was used to made beer and whisky. There is no weak track on the album. Sadly they couldn’t reach this quality again on later Traffic albums and Steve decides to start a solo career.


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John Barleycorn must die
Glad / Freedom Rider / Empty Pages / (I Just Want You to Know) / Stranger to Himself / John Barleycorn / Every Mother’s Son / (Sittin’ Here Thinkin’ of My Love)

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