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Traffic — Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys
Album: The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys
Avg rating:
8

Your rating:
Total ratings: 3420









Released: 1970
Length: 11:20
Plays (last 30 days): 3
If you see something that looks like a star
and it's shooting up out of the ground
and your head is spinning from a loud guitar.
And you just can't escape from the sound
don't worry too much, it'll happen to you
We were children once, playing with toys.

And the thing that you're hearing is only the sound
of the low spark of high-heeled boys.

The percentage you're paying is too high priced
while you're living beyond all your means.
And the man in the suit has just bought a new car
from the profit he's made on your dreams.
But today you just swear that the man was shot dead
by a gun that didn't make any noise.
But it wasn't the bullet that laid him to rest
was the low spark of high-heeled boys.

If you had just a minute to breathe
and they granted you one final wish
would you ask for something, like another chance.
Or something similar as this
don't worry too much, it'll happen to you
as sure as your sorrows are joys.

And the thing that disturbs you is only the sound
of the low spark of high-heeled boys.

The percentage you're paying is too high priced
while you're living beyond all your means
and the man in the suit has just bought a new car
from the profit he's made on your dreams
But today you just swear that the man was shot dead
by a gun that didn't make any noise
But it wasn't the bullet that laid him to rest
was the low spark of high-heeled boys....high-heeled boys.

If I gave you everything that I own
and asked for nothing in return
Would you do the same for me, as I would for you?
Or take me for a ride
and strip me of everything, including my pride
But spirit is something that no one destroys

And the sound that I'm hearing is only the sound
of the low spark of high-heeled boys.
Comments (601)add comment
 Tomasni wrote:
7 down to 2
 

I'll counter with a well deserved 9.
The alternate title of this song is 'DJ is going outside to burn one'. Or sometimes 'DJ has to use the head'.
c.
The placenta is paying too high a price?
One of the greatest songs of the 70s.
 Enness wrote:
I swear this is on every day. A bit too much, Bill.
 
Hard disagree.
Acid etching is a printmaking process where a film or coating is applied to a metal plate -usually copper. The coating is then drawn on by scratching away the coating with a tool or stylus exposing the raw metal. The plate is then dipped in acid. This creates an etching in the metal as the acid eats away at the exposed metal. The plate is then cleaned and used in an intaglio press to create multiple prints. Perhaps not the acid etching you were thinking of, but this is the process.

DanFHiggins wrote:
Wow,
14 and tripping to this.
I musta been crazy.
Lasted forever!

edit:
I do believe that there is something called acid etching!
 
I swear this is on every day. A bit too much, Bill.
Simply sublime
Wow,
14 and tripping to this.
I musta been crazy.
Lasted forever!

edit:
I do believe that there is something called acid etching!
 Angry_Old_Man wrote:
A classic, stale, awesome, burnt out, rock standard, rerun.

The groove is too deep on this track...took it off the shelf too soon.

 
That's the sort of mumble described as bollocks in the 17th century when articulated from the pulpit by stale vicars.  Bollocks then and still bollocks now...
If you had just a minute to breathe and they granted you one final wish, would you ask for something like another chance, or something similar as this?

Yes.  Yes, I would.
Ain't it the truth.
Such a cool, calm, sizzling mixture of rock and jazz ... 
I can only think of my arrival in Boulder, CO when this album started being played on all those wonderful FM stations. Like RP is now. It always brings back those memories of the place and of the people met.
Great song... but you can hear “groove echoes” all over the place. Was this a transfer from vinyl?
Flashback of good old times with my buddies partying basement style. 
Love the sentiment of the lyrics - youth is expensive in many ways but it’s spirit lives on into adulthood. Nice music too
Love the sentiment of this song - youth is expensive in many ways but it’s spirit lives on, despite the cons of the greedy. Awesome.
rated this high, not low.
half for the actual song, half for the album cover, and half for the memory spark.
me and the boys would listen to this after some bong.
Crazy: "Capaldi had originally written only two verses of lyrics. He quickly wrote the third verse while Winwood was recording the song's vocal and slipped it in front of him in time for him to sing it."

(from Wikipedia)
Outstanding classic album, love that final sax blast at the end.
OK, so you never wore high heels; I get that. but, don't you feel the plaintive cry of young men trying to be sooo cool  but being stuck in a world they can't get out of  if they continue to be the way they are?  And Steve Winwood's awesome keyboards?
COMEON!
This richly mixed album was the soundtrack to a great summer spent. For sonic and sentimental reasons, I hereby bestow a righteous 9 on thee. Another gem, Bill! Thank you.
I have been listening to this album regularly, since it was first released, and it never gets old. I love this track especially..!
This song reminds me of all the drugs I took  in the early seventies. 
7 down to 2
Rating me: 7 - Quite Likeable    only
 joelbb wrote:

One of your proclivities must be poorly researched inaccuracy.  Dylan's immediately previous album, "Bringing It All Back Home" (March 1965) featured "Gates of Eden" at 5:44, "Bob Dylan's 115th Dream" at 6:34 and "It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleedin')" at a righteous 7:34.  You've just been geezered, Dude.
 
Come on, man, "poorly researched inaccuracy" is a redundant phrase.  Had you more carefully read my post instead of rushing to make an ad hominem response you would see that I had written : "Bob Dylan had several long tunes...as early as Highway 61 Revisited (1965) and even before then...".  
Certainly one of the best of Stevie and company. Nice combo of rock and jazz.
Love the instrumental bit in the middle. 10 for me.
the hazards of being a galm rocker in 1971
Killer album more power to you
Golden Brown, never a frown -- just a funeral. 
One of the first vinyl albums I bought in 1976 when I was 14 years old.
Loved the idea of them chopping the corners of the cover off to match the art.
Can't do that with a CD or MP3... Experiences missed....
Dream Gerrard from Where The Eagle Flies please...
I'm pretty sure I was stoned the first time I heard this, and it burned itself into my boogie soul...
 lily34 wrote:

same. totally dig it.

but i've often wondered what a low spark of high heeled boys actually is. i don't understand.

 
From songfacts:

Jim Capaldi started writing this in Morocco, where he was getting ready to make a movie called Nevertheless with actor Michael J. Pollard. The film project fell through, but did lead to one of Traffic's best-known songs. Said Capaldi: "Pollard and I would sit around writing lyrics all day, talking about Bob Dylan and the Band, thinking up ridiculous plots for the movie. Before I left Morocco, Pollard wrote in my book 'The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys.' For me, it summed him up. He had this tremendous rebel attitude. He walked around in his cowboy boots, his leather jacket. At the time he was a heavy little dude. It seemed to sum up all the people of that generation who were just rebels. The 'Low Spark,' for me, was the spirit, high-spirited. You know, standing on a street corner. The low rider. The 'Low Spark' meaning that strong undercurrent at the street level." >>
You guys are really on the classic rock trip lately. Enough already.
Oh yeah
I think you either get it or not

Like most things
 Angry_Old_Man wrote:
A classic, stale, awesome, burnt out, rock standard, rerun.

The groove is too deep on this track...took it off the shelf too soon.
 
Lucid - I concur.
Have the vinyl for this. One of my favorites; and to think, would never have heard it and the others—Hot Tuna, Grateful Dead—without stereos rumbling through dorm doors along with sharp grass scent. The Doors actually had 'Light my Fire' for a time on radio, before 'What's His Face' grabbed the glory. I think Woodstock threw R&B at the world. Then it was strangled and died.

Read a snipe below about rock going to the dregs when this album was issued. At least you don't listen to 4 rinsed Beatles songs an hour with Motown another 4 in that hour. RP has a unique range. Support it or you will have the 60's 30 songs per day again.

And, the Brown Shirts are back, again. 
A classic, stale, awesome, burnt out, rock standard, rerun.

The groove is too deep on this track...took it off the shelf too soon.

 lily34 wrote:
this makes me so happy.
also, it makes me want to go to sleep.

 
"Lil" soft little shove "Lil..."  PUSH   "LILY!!! You're nasal snorting and you took my pillow again!!!"    {#Hearteyes}   
luv this song (maybe about preening rich tranny-boys avoiding the looks of others or something)
 nagsheadlocal wrote:
When I hear that long, low opening note I know I'm not going to get much work done for a bit.
Just as good today as when I first heard it in high school.

 
same. totally dig it.

but i've often wondered what a low spark of high heeled boys actually is. i don't understand.
 ronniegirl wrote:

yep and again now.  Sit back!

 
Yep, Yep and yeah, seriously, coming out of the stupor now.  Back to scanning and pricing.  Sooooooooooo good{#Bananajam}
This was so great at it's time, I still have this album and John Barleycorn.
 nagsheadlocal wrote:
When I hear that long, low opening note I know I'm not going to get much work done for a bit.
Just as good today as when I first heard it in high school.

 
yep and again now.  Sit back!
When I hear that long, low opening note I know I'm not going to get much work done for a bit.
Just as good today as when I first heard it in high school.
 joelbb wrote:

One of your proclivities must be poorly researched inaccuracy.  Dylan's immediately previous album, "Bringing It All Back Home" (March 1965) featured "Gates of Eden" at 5:44, "Bob Dylan's 115th Dream" at 6:34 and "It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleedin')" at a righteous 7:34.  You've just been geezered, Dude.

 
Duelling geezers. I love it!  

Just keep sharing information from the period dudes.  
{#Bounce} great cut ! zesty !
LOVE THAT PIANO! Even the discordant bits add to the slowly-percolated but very strong and forceful flavor of this spectacular song...
 Quixx_II wrote:
Couple of years ago a good friend "from this era" passed away suddenly. Drove through the mountains of Virginia with the CD player at full volume, windows open and remembering him and wishing him well. We're all here for only a short time...

 
RIP to your friend - I did something similar when my mom died as I drove home to Seattle from Spokane.  In that case the tunes were The Hollies, The Band, The Moody Blues, etc., although no windows down because it was early April and not quite warm enough. 

Here's to enjoying the moment we call life.  Peace, love, happiness, drugs and Rock & Roll, in whatever order!


One of the best mashups of jazz/rock ever recorded.  Love that bass!

We were children once, playing with toys.
Couple of years ago a good friend "from this era" passed away suddenly. Drove through the mountains of Virginia with the CD player at full volume, windows open and remembering him and wishing him well. We're all here for only a short time...
Nice - I get to settle into a decent groove that goes on for over 11 1/2 minutes.
 markybx wrote:
I'm amazed this is from 1970, it sounds more contemporary

 
Some music is timeless.  This is an example of the genre. 
 markybx wrote:
I love this, the contrast between the mellow jazz piano, drums and bass and the harsh that whatever it is sounds like some kind of medieval reed instrument, just works so well. 

 
sax
I love this, the contrast between the mellow jazz piano, drums and bass and the harsh that whatever it is sounds like some kind of medieval reed instrument, just works so well. 
Love it, Steve Winwood at his best...
I'm amazed this is from 1970, it sounds more contemporary
Awesome, totally unique song.
 ronniegirl wrote:
... from the profit he made on your jeans ...

always wondered about that. 

 
Ha ,,, made me look,,, just to double check for what I knew all these years,,,,,, its still dreams,,,,,,,

I had a boss that did this to me,,, so this song , when I got to a certain age had such resonance. And wouldn't ya know it, he got laid to rest by a bullet that didn't make any noise.,... 


 Emwolb wrote:

...then you should take a listen to John Barleycorn Must Die - a true classic



 
and their self titled second album which is how I learned of Traffic in 1968.  
thanks for playing...on my all time favourite list
... from the profit he made on your jeans ...

always wondered about that. 
Steve Winwood & Traffic = some of the all time greats.  9 > 10
Superb!

And your head is spinning from a loud guitar,
And you just can't escape from the sound,

 

I hitch'd from L.A. to frozen Misery.  I had just finished warming myself in a gas station convenience store and was ready to make a run for the last 50 miles, when a song I had never heard before began playing on a tiny transistor radio and brought me to a full stop.  My head was spinning from a loud guitar and I just could not escape from the sound.

Literally...  I stood right there at the cold door for 12 minutes, unable to move, trying get as close to the sound as I could.  Years later, I caught up with the sound and I still keep it.

The odd thing is, it’s not a guitar!  It’s an organ… (Ride Sally, ride!).  The mystifying, captivating sound that runs through the music is an organ!  Check it out, you can see it on Wikipedia - no guitars.  I have always wondered about that and finally got to the bottom of it today.  Thought you might like to know.


Coolest album shape . . . great tunage takes me back to "those" days  {#Good-vibes}
 monicap69 wrote:

This song takes me back to the late 70s early 80s in smoky bars... getting my groove on with my laid back friends... Damn, I MISS those times{#Whisper}

 
Make new times.......
this makes me so happy.
also, it makes me want to go to sleep.
 Skydog wrote:
this is the only Traffic album I owned

 

...then you should take a listen to John Barleycorn Must Die - a true classic


 {#Daisy}Dav3thedog wrote:
Love Traffic!

 


 fgrunewald wrote:
I was walking my dog listening to this song. Outstanding Bill.

 
This song takes me back to the late 70s early 80s in smoky bars... getting my groove on with my laid back friends... Damn, I MISS those times{#Whisper}
I was walking my dog listening to this song. Outstanding Bill.
 willmcnaught wrote:

average rating an 8, you are on the wrong end of spectrum papajoe{#Drunk} stay off the juice lol 

 
Hey!  Just cause papajoe likes his songs in 3 minute bites, sung by American Idol contestants, that doesn't mean he is a drunkard.
this is the only Traffic album I owned
 lemmoth wrote:

Speaking as an older (58) dude I feel very sad for you. Just read all your song comments.

Almost tragic that you seem convinced that there has been no great rock and roll bands since around 1979 - oh - except Wilco.

That's about 36  years of a wilderness.

And you've missed out on a lot.

And a lot that do all the things you enumarate above.

Love this song, love Wilco but also a ton of other great and very good bands formed after I graduated from college, dude. 

 
A great response to Idiot_Wind...well said!  {#Clap}
 hayduke2 wrote:
totally awesome rock (not for hockeypucks)

 
My feeling exactly, each time I listen to it!  
 
totally awesome rock (not for hockeypucks)
 hayduke2 wrote:
Don Rickles 1973.JPG

hey lemmoth, idiot_wind is an interesting critical personality, and I actually found this photo of him

 
Don Rickles?
Love Traffic!
This takes me back to those hazy dorm nights of the late '70's......kinda spooky 2 a.m. Listening
This is just a great long jam. 9 for sure. Bordering on 10.
Don Rickles 1973.JPG

hey lemmoth, idiot_wind is an interesting critical personality, and I actually found this photo of him
 lemmoth wrote:
Speaking as an older (58) dude I feel very sad for you. Just read all your song comments.
Almost tragic that you seem convinced that there has been no great rock and roll bands since around 1979 - oh - except Wilco.
That's about 36  years of a wilderness.
And you've missed out on a lot.
And a lot that do all the things you enumarate above.
Love this song, love Wilco but also a ton of other great and very good bands formed after I graduated from college, dude.
 
Gotta agree with you, Lemmoth.
I think it's safe to say that the "Golden Age" of guitar rock was the late 60s through mid 70s, but it's absurd to say there's been no good music since.
 idiot_wind wrote:
Ya mean bands use to have saxaphone players?

Ya mean bands use to have piano players?

And these bands wrote songs that lasted more than three minutes?

And these bands wrote strange and cryptic lyrics that still bewilder listeners, 45 years later?

And there bands experimented... songs with sheer harmonics and melodics. And dissonance!

Wow. Was this all a dream.  Because it sure ain't happening in 2015.       

 
Speaking as an older (58) dude I feel very sad for you. Just read all your song comments.

Almost tragic that you seem convinced that there has been no great rock and roll bands since around 1979 - oh - except Wilco.

That's about 36  years of a wilderness.

And you've missed out on a lot.

And a lot that do all the things you enumarate above.

Love this song, love Wilco but also a ton of other great and very good bands formed after I graduated from college, dude. 
 papajoe_aiea wrote:
Sorry but this song is fatiguing.  Those pretentious lyrics.  That endless, screeching keyboard solo.  These guys and the self-indulgent ELP contributed to the end of a pretty good era in rock music.

 
average rating an 8, you are on the wrong end of spectrum papajoe{#Drunk} stay off the juice lol 
 willmcnaught wrote:


 
average rating of 8 out of 1900 Nuff said 
Ya mean bands use to have saxaphone players?

Ya mean bands use to have piano players?

And these bands wrote songs that lasted more than three minutes?

And these bands wrote strange and cryptic lyrics that still bewilder listeners, 45 years later?

And there bands experimented... songs with sheer harmonics and melodics. And dissonance!

Wow. Was this all a dream.  Because it sure ain't happening in 2015.       
Nice!
I remembering hearing this song in the 70's as a young teen.  Just Classic.  Love the improv soloing and SAX. as a drummer, I love the tone of the toms and cymbals.  God-like.  I was wanted with the title meant too
"And your head is spinning from a loud guitar...."
One of my all time favorite songs.  It's the music, the tune, the tone, the rhythm that hooked me.  I've always wondered what the title meant but I guess it doesn't have to mean anything. {#Bounce}   
 {#Beat}papajoe_aiea wrote:{#Beat}
Sorry but this song is fatiguing.  Those pretentious lyrics.  That endless, screeching keyboard solo.  These guys and the self-indulgent ELP contributed to the end of a pretty good era in rock music.

 


 papajoe_aiea wrote:
Sorry but this song is fatiguing.  Those pretentious lyrics.  That endless, screeching keyboard solo.  These guys and the self-indulgent ELP contributed to the end of a pretty good era in rock music.

 
Pretentious? I am tempted to suggest inscrutable. But what's pretentious? And I would not lump Traffic with ELP, who really did out-ponder the more ponderous bands of the era.
 Bksy wrote:
10. 
On beyond ten.... 
 
true this should be a 11! lol first real concert I ever attended was Traffic, I'm a better man for it today! lol 
10. 
On beyond ten.... 
Great song. It was the first traffic song I liked. This whole album is great.
Sorry but this song is fatiguing.  Those pretentious lyrics.  That endless, screeching keyboard solo.  These guys and the self-indulgent ELP contributed to the end of a pretty good era in rock music.
Captures the energy and the cockiness of the era to perfection.

 
10.  "Godlike".  Any problems with that?
 Stingray wrote:

Your Dad and I love this band - especially this song!

It's on my all-time TOP-10 list.

Great TRAFFIC fan! 

 
Heard this song live last summer when Steve Winwood opened for Tom Petty. He nailed It!!!{#Cool}
Hahahahahahahaha - I just saw that 43 kids gave this song...go figure, how they rated this diamond!

Pffffff - there is no more help for this world! 
 JasondotG wrote:
My dad loves this band. 

 
Your Dad and I love this band - especially this song!

It's on my all-time TOP-10 list.

Great TRAFFIC fan! 
My dad loves this band. 
One of my all time favorite lyrics:

If you had just a minute to breathe
and they granted you one final wish
would you ask for something, like another chance.
{#Sunny}
Thank god they aren't playing roll right stone.  Yuck
Traffic is still so relevant true?  
 Boy_Wonder wrote:

Jesus, I had it in G minor.... with a gun that didn't make any noise.
Love the outro apocalyptic sax.

According to Wikipedia....

Musically, it is noteworthy for its sparse arrangement and slow deliberate pace alternating with a double-time densely layered pop chorus. The verses are in D minor while the choruses modulate to D major. The song is noted for the repeated piano riff in D Minor.

Funny, I always just thought it was a great track!

 


An 8 for this studio version but a 9 for the live version from "On The Road".

Yes the live version does get a bit self indulgent but just love when musicians of this calibre can jam for 18mins.
Thanks for that one Bill.
 LowPhreak wrote:

"Back in the day"? Traffic's one of my favorite bands in THIS day!

Great music transcends time.

 

It just doesnt get any better. I love the slight production flaws that they so often remove today....
 helgigermany wrote:
One if my fav. bands, back in the day...very nice sound!

 
"Back in the day"? Traffic's one of my favorite bands in THIS day!

Great music transcends time.
{#Devil_pimp}Double thumbs up !!
 freddyb wrote:
Steve Winwood is one of the greats. He wrote amazing songs at the age of 16 in The Spencer Davis Group. Then came Blind Faith, before Traffic. And he continues to produce wonderful music, to this day.

 
Blind Faith came after Traffic or sorta in the middle of Traffic.  Good stuff none the less and Winwood is one of the greats indeed.
One if my fav. bands, back in the day...very nice sound!
wunderbarer sound, mag ich !  YAH MAN
 billjacky wrote:
Steve Winwood has a unique voice.  I put him with Neil Young.  I was at Hyde Park 1969 watching Blind Faith.  And I found it on You Tube recently.  Magical memories.

 

The difference between Steve Winwood and Neil Young is that Steve can carry a tune...
Magical