summer album of the week 07/02/11

traffic: john barleycorn must die (releases july 1970)

traffic: john barleycorn must die (releases july 1970)

Though released in late July 1970, Traffic’s landmark John Barleycorn Must Die couldn’t sound more autumnal if it tried. A creative zenith not only for the celebrated British band, but for co-founder Steve Winwood, Barleycorn is a mix of chilly folk tradition (the title tune is an ages-old yarn spun into a ghost story), post-psychedelic pop (Empty Pages) and mutated jazz (the eery instrumental Glad). Though intended as a Winwood solo project, Barleycorn placed a reborn Traffic on an altogether darker road.



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