Saturday, December 29, 2012

Island Records: Rock & Roll Stew

The second single to be released in America on Island Records was Traffic’s “Rock & Roll Stew . . . Part 1.” The album “The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys” featured a greatly expanded version of Traffic that came about on their “Welcome the Canteen” tour and album. The new line-up saw Jim Capaldi move out from behind the drum kit to a more visible role as a percussionist and vocalist.

Veteran drummer Jim Gordon took over the job as the primary rhythm master with Rebop Kwaku Baah also joining Capaldi as percussionist. While Steve Winwood and Jim Capaldi were the primary songwriters of the band, “Rock & Roll Stew” was written by Gordon and bassist Ric Grech. Capaldi sang lead on this tune as well as on “Light Up or Leave Me Alone.”

As a single, “Rock & Roll Stew . . . Part 1” only charted at 93 in 1971. The LP, however, did quite well by placing seventh on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums chart.

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