Incoming Traffic: The Studio Albums 1967-1974 vinyl box set

6LP vinyl box set due in May

Universal Music are set to release a new Traffic vinyl box set, the snazzily titled, The Studio Albums 1967–1974.

The six-LP set collects together the Island-released Mr Fantasy, Traffic, John Barleycorn Must Die, Shoot Out At The Fantasy Factory, The Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys and When The Eagle Flies. 1969 odds ‘n’ sods compilation Last Exit isn’t included.

The LPs have been remastered from the original tapes and presented in their original and highly collectable ‘first’ Island pressing form (gatefold sleeves, pink eye labels etc). The set also includes a related and rare facsimile promo poster for each album.

Traffic were originally formed in 1967 when Steve Winwood fled the Spencer Davis Group at the ripe old age of 18, and joined drummer/singer Jim Capaldi, singer/guitarist Dave Mason and reed player Chris Wood. The quartet soon rented a cottage out in rural Berkshire to ‘get their heads together in the country’ (man).

While the group were quickly successful with the singles ‘Paper Sun’ and ‘Hole In My Shoe’, they were more at home on the album format, and also enjoyed considerable success within the U.S., scoring four consecutive top ten albums from 1970 to 1974.

The Studio Albums 1967-1974 is released 17 May 2019.

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The Studio Albums 1967-1974 - 6LP vinyl box


Mr Fantasy LP

Side A

  1. Heaven Is In Your Mind
  2. Berkshire Poppies
  3. House For Everyone
  4. No Face, No Name, No Number
  5. Dear Mr. Fantasy

Side B

  1. Dealer
  2. Utterly Simple
  3. Coloured Rain
  4. Hope I Never Find Me There
  5. Giving To You

Traffic LP

Side A

  1. You Can All Join In
  2. Pearly Queen
  3. Don’t Be Sad
  4. Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring
  5. Feelin’ Alright?

Side B

  1. Vagabond Virgin
  2. Forty Thousand Headmen
  3. Cryin’ To Be Heard
  4. No Time To Live
  5. Means To An End

John Barleycorn Must Die LP

Side A

  1. Glad
  2. Freedom Rider
  3. Empty Pages

Side B

  1. Stranger To Himself
  2. John Barleycorn
  3. Every Mother’s Son

Shoot Out At The Fantasy Factory LP

Side A

  1. Shoot Out At The Fantasy Factory
  2. Roll Right Stones

Side B

  1. Evening Blue
  2. Tragic Magic
  3. (Sometimes I Feel So) Uninspired

The Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys LP

Side A

  1. Hidden Treasure
  2. The Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys
  3. Rock ‘n’ Roll Stew

Side B

  1. Many A Mile To Freedom
  2. Light Up Or Leave Me Alone
  3. Rainmaker

When The Eagle Flies LP

Side A

  1. Something New
  2. Dream Gerrard
  3. Graveyard People

Side B

  1. Walking In The Wind
  2. Memories Of A Rock N’ Rolla
  3. Love
  4. When The Eagle Flies

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Tony Nicholls

I’ve got all the remastered CDs.never understood why Island (in the UK) stopped after “low spark” had to get u.s.imports of ‘shoot out’.on the road.& ‘when the eagle’not that expensive really.vinyl’s a “no” from me anyway.ps would love the facsimile promo posters tho’.x


Just a bit of info about this set… don’t think it’s already been addressed… (the kind of info I’d like to read myself anyway)

The download that comes with the set is all WAV files.
These WAV files are tagged as follows:
– John Barleycorn – “remastered 2010”;
– When the Eagle Flies: no remastering info;
– all the other albums: “remastered 2017”.

Some of the LPs sound fine, very quiet, good dynamics, but some (i.e. “When the Eagle Flies”) have a lot of surface noise, as others have already noted; the WAV files sound great, maybe a bit more dynamic than the Lps but I guess it might be expected right?

So have this really been “newly remastered from the analogue tapes” as the sticker reads? I wouldn’t swear to it.
It’s a bit of a hit-and-miss set really.


I’ve seen the trailer on youtube for the Traffic box. JBMD seems to be a single sleeve, with a white insert…Wasn’t the original UK release gatefold, with a picture of Winwood, Wood and Capaldi in the fields?

Michael Hargreaves

JBMD in the box is the correct gatefold cover.

Riccardo Bonanni

A lost opportunity by Universal and indirectly by Steve Winwood or who is having the copyrights on Traffic recordings and issues after fifty years from Mr.Fantasy. This useless and expensive 6LP set studio reissue (missing Last Exit ! and enclosing poor repro poster) surely cannot satisfy the majority of collectors or simply fans. By sure there are in the vaults studio recording materials, demos, different mono and stereo UK and US takes, BBC sessions, various recorded live unpublished concerts of the group, pictures, etc. An example as the real job must be done for the whole Traffic group remain the Chris Wood Evening Blue Box, containing an excellent mix of LPs, CDs, a well documentated and illustrated story book included Wood and Traffic pictures and infos. Another good example could be the Led Zeppelin SuperDeluxe album Box issue. Sadly, a big lost opportunity.

Angelo Pettazzoni

now 128 euro on amazon italy …


I would like to know if the Live Concert, from which the 2 Live Teacks on “Last Exit,” exists in ( near) entirety, especially if well recorded/preserved.

Fred De Sena

Where is LAST EXIT!!!!

Stephen Bieth

Last Exit was a throw together record the label put out when Traffic split for a short time in 68 or 69. The band had nothing to do with it.


OMG! YES! Finally. One of the best bands ever! John Barleycorn is such a wonderful album. There are few flaws in Traffic’s recording carreer. Perfect addition to my Chris Wood “Evening Blue” box set. Happy weekend from Hamburg everyone.


Missed opportunity by not including Hole in My Shoe, Paper Sun and Mulberry Bush singles methinks
Shame wasn’t available around 12 years ago
when I bought a Vinyl Lovers copy of Mr Fantasy (5 bonus tracks including the singles)
Back to Black copies of John Barleycorn and Low Spark which had to be imported from Australia as they weren’t made available anywhere else (I believe)
Next I obtained an 80s copy of Shoot Out from local second hand store.
Finally Traffic was a RSD title couple of years back

Neil Storey

For David Bly. Hope the following helps re your stereo / mono query…

ILPS 9081T was only issued in Stereo in the UK. I’ve never seen a mono mix master reel. I’m 99% certain that’d be the same on a worldwide basis, even back in 1968.

Stereo / mono Island LPs date back to December 1967 when both configurations were issued. Prime examples are 959 / 9059 which was Nirvana’s The Story Of Simon Simopath and 970 / 9070 being The Spencer Davis Greatest Hits.

The first two stereo only Island releases were The Spontaneous Music Ensemble album, Karyobin Are The Imaginary Birds Said To Live In Paradise (ILPS 9079) which was recorded at Olympic on February 18 1968 and released on July 12. SME were led by drummer Jon Stevens. Then came the first Spooky Tooth LP called Its All About, 9080 which was issued July 26. Traffic’s second followed on September 20 while 9082 was Wynder K Frog’s Out Of The Frying Pan. Also issued in September although I don’t have an accurate date for that.

The Traffic album numbering – the T was appended to the catalogue number to signify it was a slightly more expensive LP than a conventional ILPS 9000 release. This due to it including the 8pp insert of images all shot by Dick Polak in the studio and on Uffington Down.

Sequentially, the next mono releases were 983 – a record by Derrick Harriott, 984 – by The Merrymen featuring Emile Straker, 986 – a Various Artists compilation of tracks recorded by Bunny Lee entitled Leaping With Mr Lee, 990 – Derek Morgan and his Friends while the final mono LP of that era, 993 was issued on April 9, 1969 and was another Various Artists compilation called The Unfolding Book Of Life volume 1 (mainly gospel songs). A Vol 2 was planned (994) but ultimately never issued. All are mono only releases because they were recorded in mono.

Following the second Traffic LP, Jethro Tull’s This Was, Nirvana’s All Of Us, Tramline’s Somewhere Down The Line, Free’s Tons Of Sobs, John Martyn’s The Tumbler, Fairport’s What We Did… and British Blues adventure Volume 1 (9094) were all stereo only. From 9095 (Tramline’s 2nd LP – Moves Of Vegetable Centuries) sequentially by catalogue number as well as by date, all Island releases were in stereo.


Chris S

@Neil Storey
Festival Australia issued ‘Traffic’ titled as ‘Traffic 2’ & a Mono version was issued as can be seen here on Discogs: https://www.discogs.com/Traffic-Traffic-2/release/11478513
Suspect this would be a simple fold-down & not a true Mono mix. Have a copy of ‘Traffic 2’ but it is the Stereo version.

David Bly

While I appreciate the info, I already knew much of this –
in fact I have original UK pressings of …

It’s All About, Out Of The Frying Pan, All Of Us, What We Did…, Moves Of Vegetable Centuries, and other early Island LPs, but as I said before, ironically not ILPS 9081 T –
but I do have a weird single sleeve Canadian Island pressing of that (see link below – my copy is in WAY better condition!) As for Simon Simopath, I have a US stereo original on Bell, and I always wanted Karyobin (still do).

You are of course correct about the ‘T’ – they did the same thing with Quintessence’s In Blissful Company which had a unique multi-foldout cover and was ILPS 9110Q. I also don’t have that, but I do have their next one, a self-titled album on ILPS 9128.

In addition, I have original UK pressings of…

ILP 931 – Jackie Edwards: Come On Home
ILP 942 – Robert Parker: Barefootin’
ILP 944 – Wynder K Frog: Sunshine Superfrog
ILP 952 – John Martyn: London Conversation
ILP 966/ILPS 9066 – Various: British Blue-Eyed Soul
with this one, my cover is ILP 966, with a gold sticker on the front cover saying “STEREO”
and the disc is ILPS 9066
ILP 967 – Art: Supernatural Fairy Tales

and on the Sue label…
ILP 920 – various: 50 Minutes 24 Seconds Of Recorded Dynamite! – which is my oldest “Island” album – from 1965.

I could go into the 9100s and beyond, but it would take too long!

Take care!


eddie hanna

Hi There i am a big fan of traffic when is the traffic cd box set with all their studio albums next year 2020 I have some Traffic cds i have the low spark of high heeled boys and john barleycorn must die and last exit and best of traffic and Smiling phases I want to get some more traffic cds


Hi Alan Blevin !!

Can you tell us more about this?

Island prepared a massive Traffic box set a few years ago featuring all released albums/singles, lots of unreleased studio and live material as well as video. Steve blocked its release. This appearing must mean that impasse is not going to be resolved anytime soon.

Traffic is one of my favourite. Do you have more details or where I can find news about it?

Thank you !!

Alan Blevin

Island prepared a massive Traffic box set a few years ago featuring all released albums/singles,lots of unreleased studio and live material as well as video.Steve blocked its release.This appearing must mean that impasse is not going to be resolved anytime soon.

Steve j

Great release show casing what a great Label Island Records were in the 1960’s/70’s
This will sit nicely with the previous vinyl box set releases by Spooky Tooth,Free and King Crimson.
Ok so “Traffic” was re released for Record Store Day in 2016 with it original “eye” Island Label and gatefold cover but this is still a lovely item to have.
On a final note although called “The Studio Albums” as a real Bonus just imagine the unreleased Traffic Live November 70 thrown in this set for good measure
Well there’s always RSD next year

Mike Zlotnicki

Would love to know who remastered / cut the lacquers for this.


Much as I love these albums (possibly not so much When the Eagle Flies), this seems really pricey, especially with no book. I think I’ll stick to my original scratched vinyls unless there is a serious reduction in price.

Paul Mortimer

A wonderful band, so funky, bluesy, jazzy and versatile.

I won’t indulge in this box, I have all the originals on vinyl, they still look and sound lovely.

I still remember when I bought ‘Traffic’ (their 2nd album), released in 1968, the record shop assistant looked at me ruefully and said: “You know this isn’t available in Mono, don’t you…?” (No Mono copies were pressed AFAIK). My LP is worth a fair bit now!

I nodded and said I had a stereo-compatible stylus on my record player! My little Dansette didn’t quite convey the richness of Winwood & Co’s superb new album.

In September 1969, I got a new Bush SRP51 record player that had a DIN output to connect an add-on stereo channel amp – and that November, I’d got enough money to buy the compatible AU51 left-channel amp – Wow! All my stereo vinyl spread out across the room!

David Bly

There was/i/may be a question about whether “Traffic” was released in mono to the public (doesn’t seem to have been) but may have been planned and only white label copies have been pressed. Various places mention that
ILP 981T (which would be the catalogue number if it was released) came out, but if you search for actual pictures, copies for sale, they can’t be found.
In the US, it’s 100% certain that United Artists only released it in stereo.

In Canada is was released in a single sleeve – no gatefold, and no booklet, by Island Records Canada as WIS-4703 in stereo, and definitely was not released in mono.
I actually have this oddity.

Ironically, I may have added to the confusion slightly, as by going by others accounts, I assumed that ILP 981T actually did exist, and as such included that info when I edited the Wikpedia page for that album some years ago.

I am thinking delving into this more and with re-edit that page if I find definitive info either way.

Anybody out there that knows anything, let me know!

bruce kelso

hi dave , for over 40 years I have searching for a mono ilp 981t. it is listed in the 1968 island catalog but no one I know has ever seen or owned one. I think it was planned then cancelled .this release is a lost cause.

David Bly

THAT may be why I continued to believe it as I have one of those catalogues.
Thanks for reminding me why I also thought it had been released.

Brian Burhans

Where’s the CD format version? I guess they don’t want any of my money…

Brian Burhans

I believe the existing CD box set features un-remastered material so my question remains…where’s the CD format version (of the remastered albums)?

Mark McKendrick

@ Brian Burhans: The ‘Five Classic Albums’ pack contains all here except ‘When The Eagle Flies’, typically at around £12.99

Carl Parker

I’m not sure that Last Exit can simply be dismissed as an “odds ‘n’ sods compilation”.
I make no claims as to it being an essential album, but I recall it being released (after one of the splits) and it was promoted as a proper Traffic album, and it does stand on its own merits with studio versions of Withering Tree and Medicated Goo and a decent live side made up of Feelin’ Good and Blind Man.
It’s also notable that Welcome To The Canteen isn’t included. That’s a live album I’ve remained fond of since its release. Arguably not a Traffic album per se as it is attributed to band members rather than the band as a whole, but it is Traffic music (other than the Spencer Davis Band’s Gimme Some Lovin’ which is stupendously good) and on the rear artwork it has the Traffic logo showing on the ketchup bottle.
As noted the price seems steep. I will have to give a lot of thought to buying albums I already have, remastered or not.

David Bly

I agree with you about that -it should’ve been released also, but then by having the live stiff on side 2, some people could say “well where’s the other live albums then.

Maybe they will release a live box set where you then have one non-live side!

Two things about the studio side (and you may know this already) is that “Just For You” had previously been released as a Dave Mason solo single (along with “Little Woman”), but could technically be put on the album cause all the other members of Traffic are on it.

Also the version of “Withering Tree” that is on “Last Exit” is slightly different from the original version that was on the B-side of “Feelin’ Alright?”

Mark Wood

I have all the original albums so would like to hear a remastered set. The pricing is a little steep at over £20 an album and whilst the posters are a nice touch I think a comprehensive booklet would have been my preferred option. They may well bring it out on CD but I have only recently bought the 5 cd set brought out last year. If the price comes down to £90 I will buy it.

Marc I Federman

let’s hope for an “On The Road” re-master one of these days

paul crook

Finally. A must buy purchase for sure.


Was Steve involved in the remastering or approved this release?


WOW! Finally, Traffic is given a worthy deluxe revamp! One of my unsurpassed favorite rock groups. May I assume the records are pressed on audiophile 180 gram vinyl? Also, a bit surprised there isn’t a booklet of liner notes and photos with the box set, although the promo posters are a nice inclusion.

Aside from this lovely vinyl record offering, I would really like to see an audio engineer (Steven Wilson preferably) create 5.1 surround sound Blu-ray or DVD-A versions of the Traffic albums, especially “Mr. Fantasy,” “John Barley Corn Must Die” and “The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys,” perhaps with demos and alternate takes included as a bonus disc. Still, excellent news about the box set coming out!

Bob Romano

I agree with the 5.1 mixes


Here hear!!!! I totally agree SW 5.1 would be an EXCELLENT addition as well as a booklet of liner notes

Phil Cohen

Forget about surround sound remixes or vault material. Steve Winwood, who has long-term grievances against Island Records and Universal Music, will never permit such a thing. It’s a lost cause.

David Bly

It is unfortunate that Steve is still holding this grudge – Dave Mason is the only original member left, and I’m pretty sure he and Steve don’t see eye to eye.
Of course Chris Wood and Jim Capaldi are both sadly dead, but also some later members are too, not that they and the others still alive would likely have have had any say in this.

It’s really unfortunate because besides unreleased stuff, there’s released stuff you cannot get at all.

One important example is the original version of “Utterly Simple” from the “…Mulberry Bush” soundtrack which is a completely different performance of the song (no little girl talking in the middle of the song too!). If was briefly was released on the soundtrack CD for the film in the US by Rykodisc. But a UK version on RPM mistakenly used the “Mr. Fantasy” version instead.

The single version of “Medicated Goo” is a shorter edit with a false ending that is not heard on the stereo album.

And there are other similar things.

Please change your mind before you die, Steve, so you can rightly get acclaim for making these things available


They should have included the US “Heaven Is in Your Mind” in stereo and put the mono mix of “Mr Fantasy”, like they did on CD a few years ago. The two albums and mixes are quite different. But maybe they intended this to be “The UK studio albums” ?

David Bly

I have that CD so I know what you mean, but there are at least three (maybe four) mixes. There’s the UK stereo and mono mixes, and there’s the US mono mix, but other than “Paper Sun” being cut in two, I believe the stereo mixes of the US album are the same as the UK.

For me the ideal situation would be to have two double LPs – one for the UK (the cover’s already a gatefold!) and one for the US where they could show both the “Heaven Is in Your Mind” cover and the later one when they changed it to “Mr. Fantasy”.

David B

I agree they are excellent albums .. but no shame no cd set. The last cd remaster was in 1999 .. – here’s hoping for this set on cd…

Peter Berg

You can get pretty much the same set on CD from 2017. Sound may not be remastered but at least it’s CD. CD > Vinyl every time



“CD> Vinyl every time”
except when it’s not

Nick Love

One of my all time favorite groups, always gets unfairly lumped into the jam-band category based on their live excursions but they had some of the most inventive and finely crafted singles of the psychedelic era.

David Bly

I must say I’ve thankfully never heard of them referred to as a jam band, but damned if they weren’t one of the best bands of all time.

I actually have original UK copies of almost all of these albums, only lacking “Traffic”, and I do have a UK “Last Exit” and the other live albums.

But still will get this box set for sure!


These are great albums. Personally, I’m hoping for individual vinyl releases later in the year… Any likelihood of this do you think Paul?