- Album name: John Barleycorn Must Die
- Group name: Traffic
- Year: 1970
- Number of discs: one
- Label: United Artists
- Collection: Friedman
- Buy it on Amazon: $22.49
Level of familiarity before listening
I am unfamiliar with this Traffic record, but I previously reviewed The low spark of high-heeled boys (1971) and did not like it. I also am familiar with the John Barleycorn folk song.
What I expected
What it was actually like
I would not say that this was a folk record at all, but I did enjoy the folk style version of John Barleycorn. It made extensive use of the flute, which made sense in the context of a traditional English folk song, and I wasn’t bothered by it at all.
I did not, however, approve of some of the instrument choices in a couple of the other songs: Glad, a jazz instrumental with strong funk and soft rock elements and a horrendous saxophone solo; and Freedom Rider, more of a rock song with harder drumming but even more saxophone and a really atrocious saxophone part.
The rock songs Empty Pages, Stranger to Himself and Every Mothers Son were all better. I enjoyed the organ solo on the first of those. The latter two were both hard rock with more electric guitar, and the second was my favorite for its guitar solo.
3/5: interesting, but not for me