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Traffic — Freedom Rider
Album: John Barleycorn Must Die
Avg rating:
6.8

Your rating:
Total ratings: 894









Released: 1970
Length: 5:22
Plays (last 30 days): 0
Like a hurricane around your heart
When earth and sky are torn apart
He comes gathering up the bits
While hoping that the puzzle fits
He leaves you
He leaves you
Freedom rider

With a silver star between his eyes
That open up at hidden lies
Big man crying with defeat
See people gathering in the street
You feel him
You feel good
Freedom rider

When lightning strikes you to the bone
You turn around, you're all alone
By the time you hear that siren sound
Then your soul is in thelost and found
Forever
Forever
Freedom rider

Here it comes
Comments (158)add comment
While enjoying All Mixed Up by The Cars, I was wondering what a good follow-up song would be, and then Freedom Rider came on {#Motor}
The bass on this track rocks!
Reading my mind again Bill?  Was just thinking this weekend that something off John Barleycorn Must Die was due in the rotation.  Lo and behold— Freedom Rider.  Don't think any group today can bring about the "feel" of Traffic.  Classic for sure- Thanks for the mid-day lift!
Traffic avec soleil et à Bordeaux ! Super !
This and "Low Spark" are usually blasting out my stereo speakers when riding on Forest Service dirt roads in the north Georgia mountains.  Surreal music to match the surreal views.
 hobiejoe wrote:
Puts me in mind of Gil Scot Heron from around about the same time.

 
John Barleycorn will NOT be televised.
 MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM! Sushi!{#Bananapiano}
ppopp wrote:
The higher Steve Winward's voice goes, the more I feel like eating a box jellyfish wrapped in blue-ringed octopus.

 


 likewise brother  westslope wrote:
Love me some 'Traffic'!  

 


The higher Steve Winward's voice goes, the more I feel like eating a box jellyfish wrapped in blue-ringed octopus.
Hearing this song transports me to my high school daze.
You had to be there when this dropped. 
 mgkiwi wrote:
{#Frustrated}  -  This is soo good, I could bust right thru a brick wall with my enthusiasm

{#Beat}  - Someone please hit me with a hammer to see if this great music is really happening.

  {#Undecided} - I roll my eyes at anyone who doesn't see the greatness in this wonderful track by Traffic.

 


 westslope wrote:


You know, it does sound a tad dated but I guess when I hear Steve Winwood's voice or rock flute from the period, I get all warm and nostalgic.  

 
me too.
flute rock!
This album was so revolutionary when it emerged it seemed like music would never be the same and this was among its best songs.  Alas, it was a breakthrough disk that never did become a model for rock music. It remains, nonetheless, among the greatest ever.
 sunward wrote:
 Giselle62 wrote:
funny, it IS a little off-key at times...never even thought about it. Love every molecule of this music. Does this mean i might not love it the same way if it were perfectly in tune?

  
I had always thought that the off key bits were intentional. The muscianship is, after all, pretty amazing. Anyway, I love it. 
 
These guys consumed mass quantities of lsd back in the day, especially in the beginning when Dave Mason was still in the band.  Hard to say what is intentional and accidental with Traffic.  Few ever gave it much thought and just played it and enjoyed it for what it was.

Heard a great live set of this album from the old WMMS archive a few years agp from back when this was a new album.  The live version was much livelier and not so passive as the studio version.
{#Frustrated}  {#Beat}  {#Undecided}
 westslope wrote:
Love me some 'Traffic'!  

 

You know, it does sound a tad dated but I guess when I hear Steve Winwood's voice or rock flute from the period, I get all warm and nostalgic.  
Love me some 'Traffic'!  
Excellent - another lousy voice band to add to the day's mix!
So far;
Coldplay
Counting Crows
The Smashing Pumpkins 
Dave Matthews Band
Traffic 
 pomalley wrote:
 
To me, two songs that MUST be played after one another are The Police, off Zenyatta Mondatta
song 1  Driven to Tears
song 2 When the World is Running Down.....

One does not live without the other.  
 
And Led Zeppelin's "Heartbreaker / Living Loving Maid". It is so written.
Me gusta la flauta traversa,  el juego con el stereo. ....genial
 Beastie wrote:
I know Traffic had its own flutist; however, Ian Anderson, the best rock and roll flutist of all time, included a song in one of its records called John Barleycorne Must Die - or something like that. Some passages of the flute in this song sound like Ian's playing. Don't know what the association could be, given this album's title. Does anyone know if there is one at all?

 
"John Barleycorn" is a British folk song which dates from the 16th Century.  Scores of artists have performed and recorded it, including Tull, Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span, and Traffic.  Chris Wood was the flutist for Traffic.
 Beastie wrote:
I know Traffic had its own flutist; however, Ian Anderson, the best rock and roll flutist of all time, included a song in one of its records called John Barleycorne Must Die - or something like that.
 
I doubt it. This album is called this way.
There are SO many off-key notes and piano mistakes in this song it's laughable...however, I'd take those over autotune ANY day of the week.
I know Traffic had its own flutist; however, Ian Anderson, the best rock and roll flutist of all time, included a song in one of its records called John Barleycorne Must Die - or something like that. Some passages of the flute in this song sound like Ian's playing. Don't know what the association could be, given this album's title. Does anyone know if there is one at all?
{#Yes}
 Giselle62 wrote:
funny, it IS a little off-key at times...never even thought about it. Love every molecule of this music. Does this mean i might not love it the same way if it were perfectly in tune?

 
I had always thought that the off key bits were intentional. The muscianship is, after all, pretty amazing. Anyway, I love it. 
funny, it IS a little off-key at times...never even thought about it. Love every molecule of this music. Does this mean i might not love it the same way if it were perfectly in tune?
i was brought up in a home that had this album on the turntable a lot and i'm still pretty much thrilled to hear it every time.

 
To me, two songs that MUST be played after one another are The Police, off Zenyatta Mondatta
song 1  Driven to Tears
song 2 When the World is Running Down.....

One does not live without the other.  

Puts me in mind of Gil Scot Heron from around about the same time.
Are we in a 'Traffic' jam?
 fredriley wrote:

If you didn't like the band on a double bill you'd be crying, so quit your flaming. For a hater hater you sure flame a lot.
 
Well, with the word "hate" twice in the name, I guess it's no wonder... Still, everyone's entitled to love or hate a song, or even to be (gasp!) indifferent!  I liked "Glad," but I'm not thrilled with this one.  Sure, it took a bunch of very skilled musicians to make the whole thing gel, but it still sorta hurts my ears. I think I'm ready for "Spindrifter" by Quicksilver Messenger Service.  I tried to submit it, but the bitrate was too low.

Damn - I hate it when that happens...

I love both these songs.....wonderful to hear them in their original order....back-to-back! Thanks, Bill
Speaking of Freedom Rider:

Freedom riders were civil rights activists that rode interstate buses into the segregated southern United States to test the United States Supreme Court decision Boynton v. Virginia (of 1960).<1> The first Freedom Ride left Washington, D.C., on May 4, 1961,<2> and was scheduled to arrive in New Orleans on May 17.<3>

Boynton v. Virginia had outlawed racial segregation in the restaurants and waiting rooms in terminals serving buses that crossed state lines. Five years prior to the Boynton ruling, the Interstate Commerce Commission had issued a ruling in Sarah Keys v. Carolina Coach Company that had explicitly denounced the Plessy v. Ferguson doctrine of separate but equal in interstate bus travel, but the ICC had failed to enforce its own ruling, and thus Jim Crow travel laws remained in force throughout the South.

The Freedom Riders set out to challenge this status quo by riding various forms of public transportation in the South to challenge local laws or customs that enforced segregation. The Freedom Rides, and the violent reactions they provoked, bolstered the credibility of the American Civil Rights Movement and called national attention to the violent disregard for the law that was used to enforce segregation in the southern United States. Riders were arrested for trespassing, unlawful assembly, and violating state and local Jim Crow laws, along with other alleged offenses.

Most of the subsequent rides were sponsored by the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), while others belonged to the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC, pronounced "Snick"). The Freedom Rides followed on the heels of dramatic sit-ins against segregated lunch counters conducted by students and youth throughout the South and boycotts beginning in 1960.

The United States Supreme Court's decision in Boynton v. Virginia granted interstate travelers the legal right to disregard local segregation ordinances regarding interstate transportation facilities. But the Freedom Riders' rights were not enforced, and their actions were considered criminal acts throughout most of the South. For example, upon the Riders' arrival in Mississippi, their journey ended with imprisonment for exercising their legal rights in interstate travel. Similar arrests took place in other Southern cities.


I keep thinking Hercule Poirot is coming ...
 crockydile wrote:
Never seen the same artist back to back on RP!!  {#Eek}

These guys play fast and loose with tonality, don't they? Pitch is all in the ear of the beholder, and all that rot, eh?

 
There is some Zeppelin and Who done the same way.  Sometimes you just gotta go with the flow.

{#Bananapiano}
 fredriley wrote:

If you didn't like the band on a double bill you'd be crying, so quit your flaming. For a hater hater you sure flame a lot.
 
If you 'hate': don't post.

As if we care ;) Nice Traffic tune BTW! 
 h8rhater wrote:

Because they are oh so good.  Quit your crying.

 
If you didn't like the band on a double bill you'd be crying, so quit your flaming. For a hater hater you sure flame a lot.


As a sprog brass player wondering if the guitar might be a better choice given the moldy jazz charts were were slogging through, this album - and this song in particular, clued me in that the only limit when it came to music was the guy in the mirror.
Kudos to Bill for allowing this song to play after the last track, Glad, the way the artist intended. These two blend together on the original vinyl and broadcast radio always does the chop chop...
A great Monday two-fer.
{#Music}
Thanks Bill!

 VicEdee wrote:
WHY is RP playing back-to-back tracks from this same album........??
 
Because they are oh so good.  Quit your crying.

A two-fer!   

Two in a row?!!!!!!
Go!!!!!! 
 laramieu wrote:

Go BILL Go!!!!

 

LOL!  What, is Bill wearing a bad polyester burgundy coloured blazer, turtleneck and plaid pants, kicking ass on his rock and roll jazz flute??  Okay, I have a funny visual going on, here.... 
 Tagish_girl wrote:
Go, Ron Burgundy, GO!!!
 
Go BILL Go!!!!

Go, Ron Burgundy, GO!!!
 Droidac wrote:

Actually, according to the Grammy's, Jethro Tull is actually "metal", not "rock and roll".

That said, the flute does not belong in either one, IMHO.

Cheers!

 
Ahem. Just to quote Mr. Anderson, then - " The flute IS a heavy, metal instrument".

And could be played in any rock band that can swing it. Accordion too, for that matter.


Repetitive trumpet
Off key singing
Jazz Flute

This song annoys the crap out of me {#Frustrated}
 VicEdee wrote:
WHY is RP playing back-to-back tracks from this same album........??
 
Ummmm.....because it's great stuff?

 capandjudy wrote:

Was the bass Rick Gretch or was this before he became part of Traffic?

  Rick was never a part of Traffic, TMK. Blind Faith, yes, Traffic, no.


WHY is RP playing back-to-back tracks from this same album........??
 Droidac wrote:
I guess the best way to sum it is is by saying that Traffic is not "rock".
 
{#Roflol}

This whole side of the album flows together so well, a perfect 22 min (or whatever). Glad you played them back to back (or are you like the old time DJ's where you forgot to hit the switch so its gonna play the whole side and then we'll get to hear the scritchity scratchity till you  get back from the john?)
 jagdriver wrote:
Proclivities
(Carrboro, NC)
Posted: May 07, 2009 - 08:25 < Reply >


Preceded by Blind Faith's "Well All Right" less than 90 minutes prior.  Not a bad thing, just an unusual dose of Steve Winwood.

Repeated tonight. A very good thing, this.
 

Thanks for another twin spin!
Never seen the same artist back to back on RP!!  {#Eek}

These guys play fast and loose with tonality, don't they? Pitch is all in the ear of the beholder, and all that rot, eh?

 toterola wrote:

I like my music eclectic, and not strictly governed. That's why I listen to RP.

Are you new here? {#Neutral}
 
I've been listening to this station for many years now, not that I see how that matters.

I like eclectic too, which is why I tune in here. But when it comes to the "rock" catagory, I like it to have an edge to it. The flute does not do that for me in any way. I guess the best way to sum it is is by saying that Traffic is not "rock".

Proclivities
(Carrboro, NC)
Posted: May 07, 2009 - 08:25 < Reply >

 sdn wrote: Oooh, double shot!

    Traffic - Freedom Rider
    Traffic - Glad
 

 
Preceded by Blind Faith's "Well All Right" less than 90 minutes prior.  Not a bad thing, just an unusual dose of Steve Winwood.

Repeated tonight. A very good thing, this.
 Papernapkin wrote:
This is the second worst song ever.
 
i would like to know which one is it worst of all.


 Droidac wrote:

Actually, according to the Grammy's, Jethro Tull is actually "metal", not "rock and roll".

That said, the flute does not belong in either one, IMHO.

Cheers!

 
I like my music eclectic, and not strictly governed. That's why I listen to RP.

Are you new here? {#Neutral}
This is the second worst song ever.
 belalugosi wrote:
 miahfost wrote:
The flute is not a rock and roll instrument!
 
Qué pasa mi herman@? Have you ever heard Jethro Tull?


 
Actually, according to the Grammy's, Jethro Tull is actually "metal", not "rock and roll".

That said, the flute does not belong in either one, IMHO.

Cheers!

 redstorm wrote:


hey! people make music with wash tubs, and plastic containers, i recall the beatles using a jet airplane engine in "back in the ussr" anything can sing!
 
Hear hear! -> https://www.lostwandering.com/
 sdn wrote:
Oooh, double shot!

    Traffic - Freedom Rider
    Traffic - Glad
 
 
Preceded by Blind Faith's "Well All Right" less than 90 minutes prior.  Not a bad thing, just an unusual dose of Steve Winwood.


 gutboy wrote:

Ian Anderson and I would beg to differ. Rock and Roll is a state of mind.

  

absolutely! people make music with wash tubs, and plastic containers, i recall the beatles using a jet airplane engine in "back in the ussr" anything can sing! and i agree with you about the historical reference of freedom rider.....i am ashamed

 miahfost wrote:
The flute is not a rock and roll instrument!
 
Qué pasa mi herman@? Have you ever heard Jethro Tull?


 sdn wrote:
Oooh, double shot!

    Traffic - Freedom Rider
    Traffic - Glad
 
 
Great!!! Two does of hippy nonsense - painful

Oooh, double shot!

    Traffic - Freedom Rider
    Traffic - Glad
 
this is a very "saxy" mini-set Bill has going this morning
Go young Stevie!!!  
 robco1 wrote:
miahfost wrote:
The flute is not a rock and roll instrument!

{#Beat} Never. Limit. Rock-n-roll.

 
Ian Anderson and I would beg to differ. Rock and Roll is a state of mind.

Ashamed to say I didn't know what a Freedom Rider was at the time. Now that I know its an even better song.
 E_A_D_G wrote:
Cool time signature. Xlnt bassline.
 

Was the bass Rick Gretch or was this before he became part of Traffic?

A 5 if ever I heard one.
miahfost wrote:
The flute is not a rock and roll instrument!

{#Beat} Never. Limit. Rock-n-roll.

Count me as a long-time Traffic fan!

(Only a 6.9? What's WRONG with you low scorers?)

Thanks, RP for playing this and Glad together AND for the great sax set with "Buena"!
 uritsukidoji wrote:
please, someone release the singer from his suffering
 
Does Excelsior have a cousin in Amsterdam?

 westslope wrote:
Steve Winwood
 
good guess

Steve Winwood
Dang, music just isn't going to ever get any better than this, is it?

::shoots self in head::

{#Lol}
 Jazbo wrote:
Wow.... a twofer!!! Thanks Bill.
 
It's just not right to play one without the other.  It's a shame "Empty Pages" isn't in  the library.

Wow.... a twofer!!! Thanks Bill.

My kind of traffic jam . . .


 

Oi Va Voi - Worry Lines     ==>         Traffic - Freedom Rider -   ** 9 **


the piano and sax made me think of the theme from poirot.
G/FR - Top THIS!   Go on, I dare ya...it just doesn't get much better than this.
Bill, Rebecca, whoever uploaded this to the LRC...

THANKS! Mind blown.

Signed, a 31 years-old n00b.
{#Motor}

LOL - this and Elton John's Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding mojoman wrote:
This song was written specifically to allow DJs time to go take a piss and have a smoke and still be back in time to spin the next platter. It allowed me to go take a piss and get a cup of coffee and still not miss anything.
This song was written specifically to allow DJs time to go take a piss and have a smoke and still be back in time to spin the next platter. It allowed me to go take a piss and get a cup of coffee and still not miss anything.
Nice - 2 Traffic in a row - one of the greatest bands of all time! :clap:
Cool time signature. Xlnt bassline.
2xJBMD =2x10! Thanks so much!
miahfost wrote:
The flute is not a rock and roll instrument!
How about two flutes? Seriously, the flute work (and sax, of course) of Chris Wood on this tune is really fabulous. But I do ask myself why the song was pitched so that he has to work so hard (and not always successfully) to get that bottom note out of his tenor.
Plug in Low Spark of High Heeled Boys and you add up to a "30". These three tracks are penultimate Traffic. Damn! but those boys were good.
buddy wrote:
I don't know how old you are or how well you know Traffic, but these two songs are a set on this album. To hear one without the other would have been the odd thing. Both a "10", by the way.
I don't think it has anything to do with age. I just don't like Traffic-jams. :biggrin:
Two Traffic-songs in a row is just too much. There's so much excellent music you could have played instead.
uritsukidoji wrote:
please, someone release the singer from his suffering
:yes: Ughh!
please, someone release the singer from his suffering
that is so funny Mari wrote:
... go tell tull! :jump: in fact go tull it to the mountain!
miahfost wrote:
The flute is not a rock and roll instrument!
... go tell tull! :jump: in fact go tull it to the mountain!
The flute is not a rock and roll instrument!
Yay double shot of traffic!
I want those 5+ minutes back....
siandbeth wrote:
This is just a personal thing but Traffic has always been so depressing, and that underwater sax, how sad. Maybe it's because I grew up in the 70s when some of the music was so depressing - Jim Croce, anyone?
Some seventies was depressing, but I have to admit my 1990s had a lot of slow mo "dear god, where's my SSRI pills?(prozac/celexa/zoloft)" tunes too. I think its funny that I havent heard much Traffic, but by using a sax and a flute a certain way, I know exactly what time period this music was. Its like ladies' hairdos in movies.....
sharkartist wrote:
Just can't play Glad without following with Freedom Rider, just can't do it. :no:
So right! :clap: :clap:
This is just a personal thing but Traffic has always been so depressing, and that underwater sax, how sad. Maybe it's because I grew up in the 70s when some of the music was so depressing - Jim Croce, anyone?
A two-fer
Just can't play Glad without following with Freedom Rider, just can't do it. :no:
I like Stveie Winwood and but two of my fave Traffic songs are "Hole In My Shoe" and "Feelin' Alright".
:yawn:
Dianyla wrote:
I was just thinking to myself that that's the only thing that could possibly make this set worse.
The Welcome Back Kotter theme would suck, not Low Spark.
Thistle wrote:
I would love to hear Low Spark of High Heeled Boys now. That would be another sweet segue.
I was just thinking to myself that that's the only thing that could possibly make this set worse.
Looks like this is an important album that should be in my collection. Thank, Bill, for adding to my education and musical awareness.
I love Traffic but I always think... oh boy! We get to hear some King Crimson... when this song first starts.
I would love to hear Low Spark of High Heeled Boys now. That would be another sweet segue.