While we’re on the subject of good album covers, that of Traffic’s 1971 album, The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys, continues to divide opinion on whether it’s a classic or not. I say it isn’t; everyone else says it is.
In fact, I’d go so far as to say it’s quite poor, faintly reminiscent of The Who’s Tommy, and possibly designed as a portent to what lies within.
Nevertheless, Rolling Stone would list Tony Wright’s artwork as one of their “100 Greatest Album Covers”, but what do they know? Then again, what do I know? Very little, obviously. That’s why I’m sat here writing this barely coherent nonsense for free.
album reviews, prog rock
The first thing that strikes you about Traffic’s Mr. Fantasy is the album cover. A red-hued photograph of the band avoiding a hard day’s graft in the rustic Berkshire cottage where the album came to fruition, whilst watching a peculiar harlequin/marrionette figure sat before the fireplace. Presumably the Mr. Fantasy of the title.
It’s a cover that mixes the cosiness of a countryside cottage offering protection from the elements, with a suggestion of the hallucinatory uneasiness associated with the darker aspects of late 60s drug culture.
But that’s just the cover, what about the ruddy recording?
album reviews, psychedelic rock