Thursday, April 30, 2020

Traffic Jam At the Barleycorn Exchange

It's the end of April -- sure lived up to T.S. Eliot's label of "the cruelest month," didn't it? -- and I'm here with one more before Mayday.
Today we have kind of an obvious one, with a 50th anniversary performance from one of the great groups of the rapidly-waning Classic Rawk era.
I may cover the leader of this band in a couple of weeks for his b'day, but in case I don't I will thrust this one cloudward.
Neither the leader or his cohorts ought need much introduction, except to say they were one of the first big groups to break up and then reconvene later on to enjoy even bigger success.
When they did come back together in 1970 -- after splitting in 1968 -- they produced several acknowledged and timeless masterworks of the idiom.
The first of these all-time LPs is where we'll land today, as they debut it three months before its release in front of a delirious hometown audience that sounds like they know they are witnessing history.
I have selected one among the many versions of this one that circulate, with the one I feel is the best sounding of the bunch.
For whatever reason, this was broadcast on the BBC when it happened, and then in subsequent years it was picked up by the Westwood One network.
Thing is, the BBC broadcast was in mono, and the WW1 in stereo.... except the stereo one was crossmixed to have applause over the beginning of all the tunes.
What we have here is the mono portions mashed up seamlessly to the stereo bits, so the announcements -- by BBC legendario John Peel -- are mono and the music is in glorious stereo.
This was created by a fan from the pre-broadcast materials for each version, and unless this surfaces someday in a better form this may be the best we get.
BBC "In Concert"
Paris Theatre
London, UK

01 Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring? 
02 Every Mother's Son
03 No Time to Live
04 Medicated Goo
05 John Barleycorn
06 Pearly Queen
07 Stranger to Himself
08 Empty Pages
09 Glad
10 Freedom Rider 

Total time: 1:00:51

Steve Winwood - keyboards, guitar & vocals
Chris Wood - saxophones, flute, organ & percussion
Jim Capaldi - drums, percussion & vocals
John Peel - MC

merge of the mono BBC transcription discs with the stereo Westwood One CDs
John Peel announcements are mono, the music is stereo
declipped and track markers slightly shifted by EN, April 2020
I will be back in a few days to kick off May... there may or may not even be a radiofilm if I can forget about how much my hip hurts right now.
I know it's quarantine and all, but this is one kind of Traffic you can get stuck in for hours and risk no untoward contagions, so enjoy and Happy Mayday!--J.


  1. Dear EN - I like to finish my web browsing by looking at your site. You always leave me with a smile on my face, even when your post is acknowledging someone's passing. The love of the music shines through. Thank you

  2. I got the "John Barleycorn" LP in the early seventies and have their flawed official live album "On The Road". Looking forward to listen to this concert announced by "Peely", whose Birthday is coming up on 30 August! Thank you for this gem!